Let it ride card game

The Let It Ride game is played at a relaxed pace relative to other casino card games, which has made it attractive to older players and to table game neophytes. Initially found in many casinos, the popularity of Let It Ride has waned over the past 15 years, because of the large percentage edge the house has on this game. The house edge varies on each hand, but is in the 5-20% range. Let It Ride was invented by John Breeding (US Patent 5,288,081) founder of Shuffle Entertainment, which owns the trademark to both the name of the game and the logo.

The game is a variation of five-card stud, based on three player cards and two community cards. The two community cards are dealt face down. The most distinguishing feature of Let It Ride is that the player is given two opportunities to withdraw exactly one-third of their initial wager. One chance occurs after the player looks at their hand but before the first community card is revealed, and the second occurs after the first community card is revealed, but before the second is revealed. The player may reduce their wager on either of these occasions, or on both, or neither. If the player decides not to withdraw part of their wager, they are said to “let it ride”

There are small variations in payoffs between casinos, but the lowest paying hand in Let It Ride is typically a pair of 10s; a pair of nines or less is a losing hand, which results in the player forfeiting their remaining wager to the house.

Payout schedule Let it ride

Hand Payout
Royal flush 1,000 to 1
Straight flush
200 to 1
Four of a kind
50 to 1
Full house
11 to 1
8 to 1
5 to 1
Three of a kind
3 to 1
Two pair
2 to 1
Pair of 10s or better
1 to 1

In order to ensure that the initial wager of a player is divisible by three, each player must distribute their wager over three betting spots which must all contain the same chip value. On some table layouts these spots are given the symbols 1, 2 and $, with 1 and 2 indicating the thirds of the wager which the player can withdraw before the first and second community cards respectively are turned up, and $ representing the third of the wager which there is never a chance to withdraw.
After players have placed their bets, the dealer starts from their left, and deals each player one card, followed by the first face-down community card, followed by a further card to each player, followed by the second community card, followed by a final card to each player.

Player decisions in Let It Ride affect the house edge. With correct strategy, the casino’s edge in Let It Ride is about 3.5% of the final, non-withdrawable third of the initial wager. Just like a lot of other casino games, Let It Ride offers players side bets such as a bet on the poker hand formed by the player’s three cards. This is comparable to the ‘’pair plus’’ side bet in the casino game of three card poker. Furthermore, a fixed payout schedule based on a five card hand, in particular starting with two pair or three of a kind also is a side bet which can be made in Let It Ride.