The Strategy of Let it Ride Poker

Many casinos offer optional side bets on Let it Ride, and the best strategy to take on these side bets is not bet at all – they are simply sucker bets and should be avoided at all cost.

The Optional Side Bets

Most gaming houses will offer a bonus bet, usually in the region of £1, and it is keyed in to the final result of the combined hand made up of the player’s three cards, and the dealer’s two. To win, a two pair or more is required.

On offer will also be a £5 side bet which is keyed to the player’s three cards and it plays and pays out in a manner similar to that of Three Card Poker. The payout is generally even money for a pair and then increasing amounts for a trip, three card Straight, three card Flush, three card Straight Flush and a 3 card Royal Flush.

Players who generally win on the side bet are more inclined to ‘Let it Ride’ in the regular game. This is because they perceive they have nothing to lose, a perception which is quite often encouraged by the dealer! This is a very foolish notion, as logically the house advantage is colossal in the two optional bets.

Strategy

The strategy behind a successful Let it Ride campaign is quite simple, and should the player follow this basic strategy, then the expected house edge will be in the region of 3.5%.

Pull back on the first bet unless the player holds:

  • Any paying hand – a pair of tens or better
  • Any three cards to a Royal Flush
  • Any three cards of the same suit where the lowest is 3 or above.
  • Any three cards to a Straight Flush, spread 4J, with at least 1 high card – 10 or more
  • Any three cards to a Straight Flush, spread 5JJ, with at least 2 high cards
  • Pull back on the second bet unless the player holds:
  • Any paying hand
  • Any four cards to a Royal Flush
  • Any four cards to a Straight Flush
  • Any four cards to a Flush
  • Any four cards to an outside straight with at least 1 high card
  • Any four cards to an outside straight** with no high cards
  • Any four cards to an inside straight* with 4 high cards

J – Spread 4 – the cards in question span 4 ranks in a row – 5, 6, and 8

JJ – Spread 5 – the cards in question span 5 ranks in a row – 5, 7, and 9

* – outside straight – one in which an outside card is missing – 4,5,6,7 – this is a better hand as there are 8 cards which can complete the straight as opposed to the 4 cards in an inside straight

** – inside straight – one in which an inside card is missing – 4,5,7,8