Let It Ride Casino Game – Odds, Cheats, How to Win

Let It Ride is a good introduction to casino gambling for many people. In fact, Let It Ride was invented back in the 1990’s by a casino equipment company as a game for new players and older gamblers. Because Let It Ride has a slow rate of play, it’s a comfortable game for beginning players.

Why Play Let It Ride for Free? 

Unlike slots, roulette, or baccarat, Let It Ride is a game which offers better odds to those who can master its strategies. This makes Let It Ride similar to video poker or blackjack. If you want to master how to play the game without losing a lot of money learning the hard way, finding a good free game online is the best way to go.

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  • Why Are Free Let It Ride Games So Hard to Find?

    Let It Ride is a harder to find than games like blackjack, craps, roulette, and slots. The newness of Let It Ride hurts the online version of it, while it’s probably not helped by the fact the game is a little harder to find in land-based casinos than it was a few years ago. Still, I pointed the way to several ways mobile gamblers can play the game, while giving at least one traditional Internet venue which offers the game. I’ll offer one last suggestion.

    Free Online Casinos

    All online casinos offer a free version of their site. In some jurisdictions, offering the free option to any game you list can sometimes be good for local legal reasons. Besides, most casino operators know that a person who practices on their site is likely to play a few hands on their site. This can turn into a real fan of the site (a regular customer), so they offer freebie versions of their game to the gaming public. If you can’t find anywhere else to try out a new game, simply go to your favorite online casino and enjoy the freeplay version of the website.

    Facebook Let It Ride – It’s a bad sign when you look something up on Facebook and you find a music band instead of the name you want. That’s what happened with “Let It Ride Facebook”, which produced a band which does both country & western and classic rock with a “touch of polka and waltz”. The band does weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, and company events, but they do not help you play casino games online for free. Let’s move on to the next likeliest target.

    Zynga Let It Ride – Zynga’s casino games focus heavily on slot machines, with Go Slots and Lucky Play (which also offers video poker). A sportsbook from Zynga is also available, but no version of Let It Ride. Speaking of sometime Facebook partners, Gamesys appears to have developed a Let It Ride application once, but it is listed as “no platforms for apps”. Gamesys doesn’t appear to be an option, either.

    If you’re on those who consider mobile gaming in the same light as online gaming, then you can go online and download apps for your mobile devices which let you play Let It Ride. Here’s how to play Let It Ride with your Android phone.

    Let It Ryde Free by Trikal – “LetitRyde Free” is a free application by Trikal. This download requires Android 2.1 and up. Version 3.1 of Let It Ryde Free was released in November of 2012. Features include up to $250 chips, a button to re-bet the same amount, accurate game play, and the 3-card bonus side bet, and custom chips to bet any dollar amount up to $1,000. Also included is a “how to play” guide, along with the full payout table. Trikal touts this game as the only Let It Ride-only game on the market, as of June 2012. After searching for more like it, I tend to concur. I had hoped 22-in-1 Casino & Sportsbook would have Let It Ride, but it didn’t. I even thought Zynga Poker might include poker-influenced table games like 3-card poker and Let-It-Ride in the games list, but that didn’t happen.

    Casino Game Strategy App – Anyone wanting to learn more strategy tips about Let It Ride can download the free Casino Game Strategy app from Carolina Wolf Software. The application requires Android 2.1 and up, because it was released in August 2012. Downloaders find ten game guides, including Let It Ride, Caribbean stuf, flop poker, 4-card poker, Mississippi stud, pai gow poker, Texas holdem bonus, 3-card poker, craps, and blackjack. Besides improving at the game we’re talking about today, you might learn one or two games you don’t see every day, like Mississippi stud and four-card poker.

    Ultimate Casino Guide – It isn’t free, but the Ultimate Casino Guide by Snuggz Production offers a cheap $1.49 application for Android 1.6 or later. The app contains over 30 casino games, including Let It Ride. In this section, you’ll find instructions and rules information for playing, the house edge, a strategy guide, and a visual walkthrough. This last feature might be the best part of Ultimate Casino Guide. Other games included are baccarat, classic blackjack, double exposure, switch, Spanish 21, no bust 21, Caribbean stud, red dog, sicbo, and even horse betting and sports betting. The app even has a section on “big six”, that game at the casino played with the big wheel of fortune. I wouldn’t recommend playing big six, by the way, since I’ve seen it listed as the absolute worst bet in casino gambling.

    Wizard of Odds Game – If you don’t want to download an application to your mobile device, you can find plenty of online gaming websites which offer Let It Ride. These sites might have ads you don’t like or hidden fees, so if you want a web address you can trust, try the WizardofOdds website. The Wizard of Odds, Michael Shackleford, developed his own free version of Let It Ride using Java script. Shackleford says it plays exactly like the most famous RTG site’s Let It Ride game. Reading the how-to section on his site is a good way to familiarize yourself with the game.


    How to Win at Let It Ride Casino Games

    Using proper strategy, as outlined below, the house advantage in this game is 3.5%, or an average loss of 17.5 cents per hand if you’re placing $5 bets. An average session of Let It Ride leads to 45 games per hour, meaning the casino expects to make about $7.88 per hour from each player placing $5 bets.

    The two basic playing strategies for Let It Ride are called Three Card Strategy and Four Card Strategy. That’s because you have two bets to make decisions on: the first wager based on those three cards you’re dealt and the second wager based on your three cards and one of the community cards.

    Three Card Strategy to Win at Let It Ride

    Basic strategy suggests letting your first bet ride if you hold any of the following hands:

    1. A winning hand such as three of a kind, a pair of tens or higher, etc.
    2. Three suited cards in a row
    3. Three cards toward a straight flush with a gap and a card ranked 10 or higher
    4. Three cards toward a straight flush with two gaps and two cards ranked 10 or higher

    Four Card Strategy to Win at Let It Ride

    You should let your second bet ride if you hold any of these hands after the first community card is revealed:

    1. Any winning hand, such as four of a kind, two pair, etc.
    2. Four cards toward a straight flush
    3. Four cards toward a flush
    4. Four cards that could lead to an outside straight and a card ranked 10 or higher

    Let It Ride is a nice distraction—a game in which you don’t compete against the dealer or any other players at the table. It is a laid back game based on the basic rules of poker, and the basic game strategy gives the casino a 3.5% edge, not the best on the gaming floor but certainly not the worst. If you are a slot gamer but want to make your way over to the better odds found at some table games, Let It Ride is a nice way to transition from games based on luck to those based on skill.


    How to Play Let It Ride

    Walk up to a Let It Ride table and you’ll notice some similarities with other modern casino table titles: a table similar to a blackjack betting surface, space for seven players and a dealer, and an automatic shuffling machine fit for a single 52 card deck. In front of each player’s seat are three spots for placing bets, labeled “$,” “2,” and “1.” The casino also provides a pay table and other useful data, such as table minimums (usually $3, $5, or $10, depending on the house you play in, the time of day you play, and other factors), and on some tables a Bonus section that allows you to place a $1 side bet for bonus payouts. Let It Ride games that offer this side wager option are called Bonus games.

    The game begins with three bets of equal size: one on each of the three bet circles. All bets have to be equal in size. After each player bets, the game’s dealer hands each participant three cards dealt face-down. In front of the dealer are placed two face-down cards; these are the community cards. Those two community cards will eventually fill out each player’s poker hand.

    Once the community cards are on the table, look at your three-card hand and determine if you want to continue playing. If you like your prospects, you have decided to “let it ride,” hence the name of the game. Proper game etiquette for letting your bet ride is to lay your three cards face-down behind the “1” bet. Should you choose to take back your bet based on the poor quality of your initial hand, simply scrape the cards toward yourself as though you were asking for a hit in blackjack, and the dealer will return the bet on the “1” space to you.

    After all players have made their first decision, the first community card is flipped over. This means it is time to make another decision, this time based on four cards: the three in your hand plus the one revealed community card. Don’t consider the decision you made on your first bet when making your second choice; the two are independent of one another. Again, scrape your cards toward you if you want to take back your “2” bet.

    From this point on, your decision-making is complete. The dealer reveals the final community card, and you now know what sort of poker hand you hold: your three cards plus the two in the community space. The bet you placed on the “$” symbol cannot be removed. The dealer will now flip over each player’s three-card hand, determine winners, and pay winnings based on the number of active bets and the standard payout schedule. Remember that any bet you removed doesn’t count towards a win.


    Playing High Limit Games Online

    The high limit for online Let it Ride games fluctuates between $200 and $500 for Internet casinos in most of the large brand name networks. This article takes a look at these networks of sites, broken down by the software provider. Since most casinos follow the policies of their software developer pretty closely, the information below should be a good indication of what you can expect at the online casinos where you play. Expect a certain amount of deviation from one site to the next, but not much (except in the RTG sites, perhaps).

    The high limit on most online games of Let it Ride is $500 per hand. The advantage of paying higher amounts per hand is it effectively reduces the house edge. As you know, the $1 side bet in Let it Ride is mandatory. Despite having a big progressive payout on the odd chance you win, the wager has a huge house edge. The side bet doesn’t increase when you spend more money on the regular wager. Since the regular wager has a house edge just over 3%, someone who pays $500 per deal makes the $1 spent on the side bet negligible–99.8% of the wager goes towards the wager with the 3% casino advantage instead of the 30% advantage.

    Low Limit Let It Ride in Las Vegas

    Las Vegas has $3 limit Let It Ride in downtown Vegas at places like Binion’s Horseshoe, the Plaza, Las Vegas Club Casino, and Main Street Station Casino. North of the strip, the Sahara Casino is known to have occasional $1 tables, which is the lowest you’ll find Let It Ride downtown. The Casino Royale also has a reputation for low limit tables, even on busy nights. The Westward Ho Casino and Slots-o-Fun also offer low dollar tables of Let It Ride, usually in the $3.00 range.

    The Vegas Strip casinos are likely to offer $5 Let It Ride tables on the weeknights, but they’re likely to increase those prices on the weekends and especially busy days. The Boardwalk Casino has multiple $3 table. If you aren’t familiar with the Boardwalk, it’s also known as the Holiday Inn Boardwalk and it’s somewhat near the Monte Carlo on the south end of the Vegas Strip.

    Remember that low limit Let It Ride tables in Las Vegas are going to be busy most of the time. Locals know where these tables are by heart, so if nothing else, you’ll find locals there all hours of the day. Follow the local gamblers off the Strip and you’ll find all sorts of good deals on your casino gambling in Vegas.


    Progressive Jackpots, Side Bets and the Odds

    Progressive Let It Ride uses the side bet rule to give players a chance at a huge progressive jackpot. The player must wager $1 on a bet to activate this opportunity. Once the bet is on, five hands result in payouts: a flush, a full house, a four of a kind, a straight flush, and a royal flush. The 4 of a kind, full house, and flush result in fixed payouts of $500, $100, and $75 respectively. The straight flush results in you winning 10% of the progressive jackpot amount, while the royal flush results in a 100% payout of the progressive. Each time the progressive jackpot doesn’t hit by a straight flush or royal flush not appearing, then the progressive jackpot increases by a small amount.

    Carousel Progressive Jackpots – Let It Ride jackpots increase at differing speeds, depending on how big of a network of machines feed the same jackpot. If a series of similar progressive Let It Ride games at a particular casino feed the jackpot, this is called a carousel progressive jackpot, because a bank or carousel of machines each feed the prize until one of them hits. This makes the progressive jackpot rise at a steady, respectable rate, though it’s nowhere near the rate the networked Let It Ride games increase.

    Networked Progressive Jackpot – Networked progressives links the gaming machines over a wider area, going beyond the confines of one single land-based casino or Let It Ride games in an online casino. This network of linked games increases the number of games feeding the prize amount at any one time, so the progressive jackpot naturally increases much quicker than it would otherwise. If you can find this form of Let It Ride, play the progressive network variant.

    Progressive Side Bets – Keep in mind that the house edge on side bets are almost always higher than they are on the standard game. Whether you’re playing Let It Ride, Caribbean stud, or one of the blackjack variants, players pay in odds to have a chance at a bigger payout. This means players need to be patient, because they will face longer losing streaks. Don’t take that advice the wrong way and assume my strategy suggestion is to keep feeding cash into a game you expect to lose most of the time. If you’re a player who wants to play only the highest expectation games, you’ll want to steer clear of just about any side bet.

    Fixed Jackpot Let It Ride Jackpots – Many casinos in Las Vegas offer a Let It Ride jackpot with the flat-top amount of 20,000 to 1 or 25,000 to 1. All of these payouts are sucker bets which have a house edge between 13.8% and 36.5%. Lady Luck Casino has the best odds, but all of these are atrocious. You’ll find worse variations of the non-progressive Let It Ride side bet at casinos like Circus Circus, Bally’s, Freemont, Main Street Station, The Hilton, Grand Biloxi, Bellagio, Mandalay Bay, Four Queens, Paris, Excalibur, The Venetian, the Golden Nugget, Harrah’s, Golden Gate, New York New York, and the MGM Grand. In all cases, avoid the non-progressive side bet on Let It Ride, because the vast majority of gamblers will be sucked dry by this bet. Find better progressives to play.

    Let It Ride Progressive Jackpot – In the end, you pay for the shot at a progressive jackpot. People who play the lottery do so (hopefully) knowing the game only has a 60% expected return, a rate that would get live casino owners and online casino owners arrested if they offered such low odds. Still, people flock to the lotto drawings, because they know someone is going to get lucky. Playing the Let It Ride progressive doesn’t have nearly those long odds, but the same concept applies. You give away better odds for a shot at a jackpot prize most gamblers can only dream about.

    Let It Ride Strategy

    Like blackjack and video poker, Let It Ride is a game in which better strategy means better odds of winning. So many of the games which offer a progressive jackpot (like slots) depend only on luck. Strategy tips to consider include raising your bet when you have 2 cards to a straight or when you have a pair. The payouts on hitting a straight are enough that it pays to increase your bets, even if you still have a decent chance of losing. Though a low pair is still going to lose, you’re hoping for a three of a kind when raising when you have a pair lower than a pair of 10s.


    Progressive Jackpot – Why You Should Opt Out

    To win the progressive jackpot, you’ll need to collect a royal flush. The progressive jackpot starts at $10,000, while the break-even point is $220,000. The average payout on this bet is around $100,000. If you get a straight flush, this qualifies you to win 10% of the progressive jackpot. While it’s not as huge of a payout, the jackpot is still a substantial amount. The four of a kind, full house, and flush also win payouts, though they are a fixed amount, not a percentage.

    All of this might sound great, but the progressive jackpot is what’s known as a sucker bet in the gambling industry. The house edge fluctuates, since it’s based on a progressive jackpot. If the jackpot is only $10,000, then the house edge is around 60%. If the jackpot is $100,000, then the house edge drops to “only” 34%. If the jackpot climbs to $200,000, then the house edge on the side bet is still around 5%–more than the main wager. Only when the jackpot rises to $220,000 is the side bet an even-money wager. In the history of the game, the jackpot only reached that range one time.

    In any other circumstance, you’d tell yourself a 30% house edge is crazy and you’d walk away from the table. Players put up with a lot for their chance at a progressive jackpot, since a couple of hundred grand could solve a lot of money problems for most people. Make the decision for yourself, but full disclosure means you should understand you’re betting on one of the worst propositions in the casino, from an odds perspective. The good news is you have the discretion to make this wager. I’ve seen online casinos which make the progressive side bet mandatory. If you have the choice, it’s probably best to avoid the bet altogether, though that spoils the fun of Let It Ride Progressive.


    3 Card Bet Odds

    The three-card bet is also optional. In this game, you receive bonus payouts if you make the wager and the cards you’re dealt include at least a pair. This game allows payments for a pair (1:1), a flush (3:1), a straight (6:1), a three of a kind (30:1), a straight flush (40:1), and a “mini royal” (50:1). The mini royal is a suited ace, king, and queen. The house edge on this game sits at just over 7%, which is comparable to many slot machines house edges, but is worse than most other games in the casino. As always, the side bets offer worse odds than the main wager.

    Let It Ride was invented in the 1990s as a specialty casino table game based on poker. The popularity of poker, which began its boom in the late 80s and early 90s, encouraged casino game designers to develop games based on poker that also incorporated casino table game features.

    Let It Ride was designed by John Breeding, the founder of Shuffle Master, a company that designs and builds automatic card shufflers. Let It Ride was invented by Breeding to increase sales of his automatic shuffling devices—find a Let It Ride game in a casino and you’ll see Shuffle Master auto shufflers right there on the table.

    Shuffle Master licenses this game, and other poker based casino table game titles, and earns a licensing fee by offering the game to casinos. Let It Ride has some similarities to Three Card Poker and Caribbean Stud.

    In Let It Ride, players have three hole cards and two community cards, similar to 4th and 5th Street in hold’em poker games. The object of Let It Ride is to build winning poker-style combinations between your three cards (dealt to you face-down) and the two community cards dealt to the dealer. The community cards are turned up one by one, just like in hold’em games. Let It Ride rewards hands starting at a pair of 10s and moving up through the traditional poker hand hierarchy.


    How to Cheat at Let It Ride

    Cheaters who try to manipulate Let It Ride use the same methods poker game cheats use.

    Card mechanics have developed skills that allow them to manipulate cards, either hiding them up their sleeve or trading them under the table. These card cheaters are like sleight-of-hand magicians, and many of them have practiced for years to manipulate cards without being caught. In Let It Ride, hiding high-value cards up your sleeve to allow you to build better winning combinations can lead to big payouts.

    Marking cards works in Let It Ride the same way it works in any game involving cards. Marking a card means bending, scratching, or otherwise placing an identifier on a card to give the player an advantage. If you see a marked card about to be dealt, you know the value of that card, giving you an edge against the casino.

    In Let It Ride, marking cards can be especially useful when it comes to placing bonus bets. The bonus bet in Let It Ride is a $1 side bet offering bonus payouts for winning combinations. If a cheater were able to mark certain cards, making it likely for him to know that a bonus bet was worth it, he could use those marked cards to determine if the side bet was worthwhile.

    Another way to cheat in Let It Ride, as in any casino game, is to collude with the dealer. Dealer collusion is a reality in casinos. If a Let It Ride player were to pay the dealer ahead of time, he could have the dealer do any number of shuffling or dealing tricks to increase his winnings. Dealer tricks include dealing from the bottom of the deck, alerting the player through signals worked out ahead of time what cards were about to be dealt or whether he should place a side bet, or any number of other cheats to help the player gain an advantage in Let It Ride.

    Cheating at Let It Ride is likely to get you in big trouble. Because of the way the rules of Let It Ride are set up, cheating doesn’t give the player much of an advantage. That’s because Let It Ride is not a strategically complex game, and since Let It Ride players don’t make as many strategic decisions or actually participate in the way the game move (like the handling of dice in craps) there isn’t as much room to cheat. But as with any casino game, cheating in Let It Ride happens.

    Cheating is illegal in all gambling jurisdictions, so the best advice we can offer you is this: Don’t cheat.


    Glossary of Terms for Let It Ride Tables

    The definitions on this page may not be the same found in their Webster’s entry, because these descriptions also convey the pertinent details you need to know when studying this new game. Not many Let It Ride strategy guides exist, but you can find a short synopsis of the tactics you can use to win at several online locations.

    10’s or Better – The basic winning hand in LetItRide is a pair of 10’s. If you get a pair of tens or better (jacks, queens, kings, aces), you win. If you get a pair of 9’s or worse (a pair of 2’s through a pair of 8’s), you still lose. Any hand which would beat two tens in poker are winning hands, including three of a kind, a four of a kind, a flush, a straight, and a full house.

    $ – The dollar sign of “$” is found on the Let It Ride table in this sequence: “1, 2, $”. The “1” indicates the first wager you have a chance to pull back. The “2” indicates the second wager you have a change to retract. The “$” is thus the third bet, which can never be pulled back. That 1/3 of your wagered money must ride, no matter what you decide to do with the other wagers.

    Community Card – A card which every player at the table uses to build their hand. Two community cards are used in Let It Ride. If you’ve ever seen Texas holdem played on television, you’re familiar with community cards. In holdem, 3 community cards are offered to everyone.

    Five Card Stud – The game which Let It Ride is based upon. You must build a five-card hand with only five cards, so players receive no draw cards. In classic 5-card stud, five cards are dealt to each player at the table. In LetItRide, each player is dealt a 3-card hand, while 2 community cards are placed in the center of the table.

    House Edge – The casino’s advantage over the player, usually expressed as a percentage of 100. The house edge exists in most games besides certain full pay versions of video poker. For games with a house edge, the lower it is, the better. The house edge on Let It Ride is about 3.51%, which isn’t that great.

    John Breeder – The CEO of Shuffle Master Incorporated and the inventor of LetitRide.

    Let It Die – Nickname given by casino dealers, because the fewer hands mean fewer tips for the dealers.

    “Let it ride” – This term means you’re leaving the bets as is. In Let It Ride, the full wager is placed on the table to begin the hand. Instead of choosing to raise you hand as you would in most games, the player decides instead to pull back their wager in one-third increments. Two round of “betting” exist, so the player eventually has to bet one-third of his original hand.

    Non-Withdrawable – The final third of the bet. Consider this like your initial bet in poker or blackjack, what you must pay to play the hand.

    Pair Plus Side Bet – This side bet has a secondary pay schedule. The minimum hand to win is a pair, with bigger payouts on better hands. Also known as “Pairplus”.

    Payout Schedule – A list of the payouts, depending on the kind of hand you receive. Let It Ride is a game where the player tries to build a hand with a certain minimum rank, instead of playing heads-up against a dealer or other players.This means bluffing and reading bluffs has no meaning in Let It Ride. If you want a comparison, winning the game is similar to winning at video poker. In basic video poker, you’ll need jacks or better. In Let It Ride, you’ll need tens or better, though.

    Pull Back – This is what happens when you take 1/3rd of your bet and put it back in your chip stack. Players are given the chance to make two retractions during each hand.

    Shuffle Master Inc – Owns the trademark to Let It Ride. The company created the game to attract older gamblers and brand new gamblers to the game. Let It Ride’s slower pace makes it a favorite with those who don’t want too much of a challenge.

    Side Bet – This is a second bet in a game. The side bet usually pays more than the standard wager, but has a lower hit frequency and a lower house edge. Several side bets exist for LetItRide. The most common one is the pair plus side bet.

    Table Game – Table games are played outside the poker room at a table on the general casino floor. Table games have at least one dealer or croupier. Examples of table games are blackjack, craps, roulette, baccarat, and LetItRide. This means Let It Ride is not considered “poker” the way Texas hold’em, Omaha, or seven-card stud is, though the game uses the same card ranks as poker.

    Remember that LetItRide is a strategy game, like blackjack or video poker. If you learn the proper time to pull back your bets and the proper time to let the bet ride, your odds of winning do increase. This is in contract to games like slots, keno, or baccarat, where your chances of winning do not change if you use systems.

    This does it for the Let It Ride terminology guide. If you find the need to have more LetItRide terms defined, send the administrators of this site an email and this article will be updated soon.

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