How to Play Let It Ride Poker

Written by: Sadonna Price , Expert in Online Casinos and Poker
Let It Ride Poker Cards and Title Image

Let It Ride Poker is a popular casino table game with a unique reverse betting structure. Will you get a pair of tens or higher to win a payout? Get ready for an exciting and fast-paced title that rewards confidence and good starting cards.

This guide to Let It Ride Poker covers the title’s basic rules, mechanics, and wagering options. We’ll also show you the best strategy and the legit online casinos where you can play for free or win real money.

Let It Ride Poker Guide

Everything You Need to Start Playing

What is Let It Ride Poker?

Poker Chip with Spade Icon

In 1993, Shuffle Master Inc., now owned by Bally, developed a hybrid of stud poker and blackjack known as Let It Ride. The game has spread throughout land-based casinos for over two decades and has even experienced a renaissance among online casino players.

Let It Ride provides you with two crucial decisions in every hand, lending this title a sense of strategy that other table games lack. When variable payouts and bonuses get added into the mix, you have a fan-favorite title where you can turn a few bucks into a big score.

Game Name Variations

Today the game goes by several names, but they all have a nearly identical experience. If you don’t see Let It Ride on the casino’s floor or website, check for Let ‘Em RideKeep ‘Em GoingFree Ride, or Keep’em Poker to get the same exciting gameplay.

Let 'Em Ride Poker Logo
Let It Ride Poker With 21+3 Side Bet Logo
Multi-Hand Let It Ride Poker Logo
Keep'em Poker Logo

Let It Ride Poker Rules

Let It Ride is a straightforward game with only a couple of quick decisions to make. To increase your profits, you’ll need a good starting hand, some confidence, and a little luck to end up higher on the paytable. Let’s take a look at the rules and objectives.

Main Objective

The game’s goal is to have the largest number of your wagers left on the table when you have a pair of tens or higher.

You aren’t worried about beating anyone else at the table or even the dealer. You’re simply hoping for a more substantial hand, so you win more money on the paytable.

Unique Reverse Betting Structure

Before the hand starts, you have to put three equal wagers on the table that equal your max for the round. However, you will get two opportunities to withdraw 1/3 of your bets as the hand progresses.

Player Decisions

After you place your bets and the dealer passes out the cards. All players will get three cards face-up with two facedown community cards that will eventually complete your five-card poker hand. Each card will get flipped, but you get to make a couple of choices first.

Your first decision is whether to pull back part of your wager based only on the three cards you see. So, you can save 1/3 of your money on the table or “Let It Ride.” After everyone makes their choices, the first community card gets flipped over.

Your second and final decision is the same as the last. Do you save 1/3 of your wager (a second third if you saved part of it last time) or press on with all your bets on the table to reveal the 5th card?

The round ends after the dealer reveals the final community card and everyone’s hands are measured, and prizes get paid out based on the paytable.

Let It Ride Payouts and Paytables

At the end of the round, you’ll have a five-card poker hand. You get paid out based on your wagers that still exist on the table and the strength of your cards. In the end, the more of your initial stake you “let ride,” the more you stand to make.

Standard Paytable

Each 1/3 of your initial bet that’s left on the table gets paid out following the table below. Keep this chart handy when you’re playing since it can help you make decisions on pulling back your bets or letting them ride.

Royal Flush1000:1
Straight Flush200:1
Four of a Kind50:1
Full House11:1
Three of a Kind3:1
Two Pair2:1
Tens or Better1:1

Side Bets

Some tables have side bets that you can set at the start of the round. Make sure to check the table rules or ask the dealer about these optional wagers before you place them.

Below we give you two example payout tables for different side bets. Remember, they often have attractive payouts with a much higher house edge.

5 Card Side Bet

This bet is a supplemental wager for the outcome of your five-card hand.

Royal Flush20,000:1
Straight Flush2,000:1
Four of a Kind100:1
Full House75:1
Three of a Kind9:1
Two Pairs6:1

3 Card Side Bet

This wager only takes your initial three cards into account to create a mini hand.

Mini Royal Flush50:1
Straight Flush40:1
Three of a kind30:1

The Let It Ride Poker Table Explained

Before you begin a session of Let It Ride, it can be helpful to familiarize yourself with the table layout. Every casino or online poker site might have a slightly different format. Still, for the most part, they all include the same basic structure.

Let It Ride Table Layout Explained Infographic

How to Play Let It Ride

Once you know the rules, it’s time to sit down and give Let It Ride Poker a try for real money. Now we’ll look at how to play a hand, so you have the complete picture.

One thing to keep in mind is that some games might do the sequence of wagering in reverse. In other words, some versions begin with you placing a single bet, then raising at each decision phase.

  1. Initial Bet (Ante)

    Your initial bet constitutes the ante or the mandatory wager needed to play the game. For the sake of this discussion, we will use a betting increment of $5. Your initial wager will be three $5 chips, one in each of the betting areas.
  2. Dealing the Cards

    Once the bets are on the table, the dealer will pass out the cards. Each player will get three face-up cards in front of them, with two facedown community cards closer to the dealer box.
  3. First Player Decision

    Look at your initial three-card hand and decide whether to let all three $5 chips ride or pull back one of them back. When all players have made a choice, the dealer will flip one of the community cards.
  4. Final Player Decision

    Now you can see four out of five cards that will make up your hand. Choose again whether to let all remaining bets ride or pull back one of your $5 chips. After this round of choices, the dealer will turn over the final community card.
  5. The Dealer Awards Payouts

    Based on everyones’ hands and the paytable, the dealer will collect chips and distribute winnings. If you have at least a pair of tens, you’ll get a payout for each of your remaining $5 chips left on the table. If your hand is weaker than that, you’ll lose the wagers you didn’t opt to pull back in the previous rounds.

Optimal Let It Ride Strategy

Let It Ride Hand Strategy Royal Flush and Poker Chips

Just like in blackjack, you can break down the multitude of scenarios in Let It Ride into a set of formulas to figure out optimal gameplay based on the math.

Using proper Let It Ride strategy can reduce the house edge to around 3.5%. That puts it right up there with some of the best tables games on the floor.

First Bet (With Three Cards)

When playing with the standard paytable, let all bets ride when holding any of these initial three-card hands.

  • Any hand with a pair of 10s or better
  • Any three to a Royal Flush
  • Three suited cards except 2 3 4 or A 2 3
  • Three to a straight flush with at least a 10

Second Bet (With Four Cards)

After you see the fourth card, you should let it ride and not pull your chips back if you have any of these hands.

  • Any paying hand consisting of tens or better
  • Any four cards of the same suit
  • Any four to an outside straight
  • Any four to an inside straight
Avoid Let It Ride Poker Bets Red Ban Circle

Avoid the Side Bets

The house edge goes out the window when you start to place side bets. Even the most generous paytable can raise the casino’s advantage by 13% or more. So of all the strategies you can employ, avoiding bonus bets at all costs should be your priority.

Best Places to Play Let It Ride Online

The list below highlights several real money online casinos that offer Let It Ride and cater to US players. Remember, you might see the title going by other names, but it’s almost always amongst the table games.

US Online Let It Ride Casinos

These are some of the top-rated casinos we have reviewed. They all have great bonus offers, trusted banking methods, and amazing game selections.

1 DuckyLuck Casino Logo DuckyLuck Casino BONUS 500% up to $7,500 Play Now
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5 Cafe Casino Logo Cafe Casino BONUS 350% up to $2,500 Play Now

Play Online Let It Ride Free

Try your hand at online Let It Ride for free. Familiarize yourself with the layout and betting style before playing for real money.

You’re Ready to Let It Ride Like a Boss

Cards Bet Icon

Now you should feel confident at the Let It Ride table. Take what you’ve learned from this guide and apply it at the casino so you can win big.

Follow the base strategy and make sure to avoid the side bets. If you’re really lucky, you’ll have three wagers on the table when you hit that Royal Flush!

Let It Ride Poker FAQ

Below are a couple of common questions we get about the game.

How do you play Let It Ride?

To play Let It Ride, you must place your bets before the cards get dealt. Then you’ll have the opportunity to make two decisions, one after you see three of your cards and another after the 4th. At the end of the round, you get paid out if your five-card poker hand lands on the paytable. We also cover the entire process in our step-by-step guide above.

What is a pullback in Let It Ride?

A pullback is when you decide to save 1/3 of your initial bet in one of the decision phases.

What is the Let It Ride house edge?

Let it ride has a house edge of about 3.5% when you play by the math. Of course, you need to avoid side bets and play over a lot of time for the math to work out.

Sadonna Price

Sadonna Price Expert in Online Casinos and Poker

Sadonna is a gambling content writer and former professional poker player that loves using her creativity to provide insight into the most interesting aspects of the casino world.

Learn More About Sadonna