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Let It Ride Poker     by Rob Roy

I deal this game quite often.  I like to deal this game because the players are not playing against the dealer. 

You can review the basic rules here on this webpage.  I will give you good basic strategy, and tell you about some common pitfalls to avoid.  I see far too many players making bad bets.

You are going to pull back bets 1 and 2 most of the time.  You want to make the mathematically correct plays.  You want to minimize your loses so you get to play at the table long enough to win a big bonus hand like a full house or better. 

High Pairs and Three-of-a-Kind hands will not make you rich, but they just enable you to extend your playing time at the table.  Then you continue to play with the casino’s money and hope to hit it again before the casino’s money you won runs out.

The most common error I see players make is going for the flush and playing “Let-it-Ride” on the first bet.  I just dealt the player three cards of the same suit (but no possibilities for a straight flush, lets use Q 8 6 of hearts as an example), and the player gets excited and elects to “Let-it-Ride” on the first bet, instead of pulling it back (the correct play).  Bad bet. 

Break it down and you will see why:  You have 10 hearts left in the remaining 49 cards.  The odds that both of them will appear in the community hand for you to make your flush is 1/25.     (10/49 * 9/48).    Therefore any payout less than 24 to 1 is a bad bet.  The casino pays only 8-1 for a flush.  If it happens, great.  But I would not leave the first $ 10 bet up there.   That $ 10 will win $80 once in 25 tries.  That bet is worth only $3.20.

Now I flip over the first Community card and reveal a heart:  Hey !  Now we are talking a horse of a different color !  Lets analyze it:

You see four hearts, so there are nine left in the remaining 48 cards.   So 9/48 * $80 is $15    That $10 sitting on bet #2 is worth $15, so “Let-It-Ride” for bet #2 is the correct play. 

Let me emphasize this is the way to think when playing this game.   Of course you are going to leave your bet up if your hand is already a paying hand (i.e. “no-brainer”).  You never leave a bet up if you are trying to get something less than a straight, its just not worth it.

The criteria for leaving the first bet up is a “No-Brainer” (i.e. Pair of 10’s or better, or 3-of-a-kind).  Or 3 cards to a ROYAL FLUSH, or three suited cards in a row except 2-3-4, and ace-2-3.    If you cards are not “in-a-row”, then you must factor in high cards to make it worthwhile, see my Poker Card for details.

Leaving the second bet up, you must be thinking straights or better.  Unless you already have a no-brainer, or possibilites for a straight or better, see conditions

I.e. you do not leave your 2nd bet up looking to make three of a kind or two pair, i.e. you have a low pair (9’s or less). It’s not worth the risk.  I see people playing this way.  If it happens, that’s great, but don’t risk your $10 on a bet that’s only worth $ 2.55 in equity.  (3/47 * $20 + 2/47 * $ 30).    There are three cards in 47 that will get win you $20, plus two cards in 47 that will match your pair to get you 3 or a kind to win $30).

Even if your 3rd card is a high card, it not worth it.   3/47 * $10, yields only another 64 cents in equity.  Even when you factor in the chance of pairing up with your high card  (3/49 + 3/48).  The community hand will be a high pair once every 38 hands.  What are the odds of this happening after the first community card is a high card ?  (3/47) or 1/16.

Do not “Let-it-Ride” for Three-of-a-kinds, or Two-Pair.   If they happen, they happen, good, but do not “Let-it Ride” bet 1 and 2.

Also, be patient.  That’s the nature of this game.  I will never forget once, it was a Saturday Morning, and a carload of women all came together sat down to open my “Let-it-Ride” table with me.  We went a couple hands, nobody hit a no-brainer yet.  Everybody was pulling back their bets and not winning anything yet.

One woman, a newcomer, complained, as if something was supposed to happen already.  Her friends explained to her the nature of this game of “Let-It-Ride”. You go many hands without ever winning anything.  Go play it for free;   Play Let-it-Ride online  and see what I mean.


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