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With its three separate stakes and two communal cards one might imagine perfect strategy for let it ride would be rather complicated. Thankfully for the player this turns out not to be the case. Optimal let it ride strategy is far simpler to learn than for almost all the other casino poker variants. Following the guidelines outlined in this article will result in a house edge against the player of just 2.8%. Not too bad for a game that is fun to play and offers big win potential.

Stage One: Made Hands and Straight Flushes

The game features two decision points for the player. The first of which is whether or not to let the box one stake ride or to take it back. This opportunity is available to the player immediately after they have received their initial three card hand. The player is only correct to let the box one stake ride under the following conditions. If none of these conditions are met the stake should be taken back.

  • 1. The player already has a pair of 10s or better.
  • 2. The player has three consecutive cards to a straight flush with the stipulation that these are 3-4-5 or higher.
  • 3. Three cards to a straight flush with one gap as long as the hand contains one card with a value of 10 or higher.
  • 4. Three cards to a straight flush with two gaps as long as the hand features two cards with values of 10 or higher.

Stage Two: Made Hands, Straights and Flushes

The second decision point comes after the revealing of the first of the two communal cards. At this point the player can now see four fifths of his final hand. He must now decide whether to withdraw the box two stake or let it ride until the end of the hand. The player should only let this stake ride if they hold one of the following hands. Anything else and, as with the previous decision point, the stake should be taken back.

  • 1. Any made hand, that is, pair of 10s or better.
  • 2. Four cards to a flush.
  • 3. An open ended straight draw which contains at least one high card, for example: 8-9-10-J.

Break Even Stage Two Hands

The three stage two hands outlined above have a positive expectation for the player. There are two additional hands which result in a house edge of 0%. As let it ride favours the casino overall to the tune of around 2.8-3.5%, the player should also let stakes ride on these break even hands. They are:

  • 1. An open ended straight with no high cards, for example: 4-5-6-7.
  • Any four cards with values of 10 or above. This gives the chance of a winning pair or an inside straight.

Odds

Let it ride pays out on any hand which is a pair of 10s or higher. A standard pay table looks like this:

  • One Pair (10s or better) - Evens
  • Two Pair - 2/1
  • Three Of A Kind - 3/1
  • Straight - 5/1
  • Flush - 8/1
  • Full House - 11/1
  • Four Of A Kind - 50/1
  • Straight Flush - 200/1
  • Royal Flush - 1000/1

Bonus Bets

The game also features optional bonus side bets. The edge on these is often significantly higher than the 2.8% that players can achieve playing perfectly at the standard game. Standard pay-out tables result in edge of 24% for the five card bonus and around 7% for the three card bonus. This being a strategy article, the best advice we can give is to avoid all bonus bets. Full details of the bonus features including pay tables can be found in our how to play let it ride article.