Let It Ride: Rules of the Game
For those of you who are not familiar with Let It Ride (LIR), I thought it would be helpful to take a close look at how the game is actually played. The advantages of LIR over any other casino game will become apparent as you study the playing rules. LIR is easy and as mentioned before, one of the best kept secrets in the casino. Let’s begin.
Directly in front of the player are three betting circles. From left to right these circles are labeled $, 2 then 1. In the center of the table directly in front of the dealer are two squares. These squares are reserved for the community cards that will be used in your five card stud poker play.
The game begins with the player placing three bets of equal amounts on the table. You place your bets on the $ circle, the 2 circle and the 1 circle in front of you.
After you’ve put your bets in place, you’ll be dealt three cards. The dealer will be dealt two cards face down. These two cards are community cards and will be revealed later. All of the players at the table share them. They will be considered part of your hand.
You win by making the best possible five card hand, using the three cards dealt to you, plus the two cards in front of the dealer. Depending on your final hand there are the payoffs for each hand ranking.
After you have received your first three cards, you now have the unique option of pulling back one bet at a time as the community cards are turned over. That is, no matter what your initial hand is, you can pull back the circle 1 and circle 2 bets. You can never pull back the $ circle bet.
Let’s play this out so you can see how easy it is to play Let It Ride. So after the first three cards are delivered, you immediately have the option of pulling back the circle 1 bet before any of the community cards are turned over. You have the option to leave or pull back your bet.
However, if you want to leave your first bet in play, just set your cards face down on the table and wave your hand, palm down, over the top of them. A better way of signaling the dealer that you don’t want your bet drawn back is to tuck the cards, face down, underneath your bet on circle 1.
If you have a winning hand ( pair of 10s or better), then you won’t be pulling back any bets for this hand. Instead of tucking the cards under circle 1, tuck them under the $ circle. The dealer knows you’re waiting to be paid.
After you’ve made your choice about the first bet in circle 1, the dealer will turn over the first community card. You get to look at it. Pick your three cards back up if you need to and see what you’ve got.
Now decide, all over again, what to do with the bet in the number 2 circle. Do you want to leave it in play (let it ride), or pull it back? Again, you have the option to pull or leave this second bet if you want to.
After signaling the dealer, release your hand by tucking your cards under the $ circle to await the final community card. At this point you cannot pull back any more bets.
The dealer will then turn over the second community card. At this point, you will have one, two, or three bets remaining on the table. Each bet wins according to the payoff chart. You either get paid off with a winning hand, plus you keep your original bets, or you lose your bets to the house.
That’s it. There is nothing more complicated to playing the game that this. The real strategy comes in the decision of whether to pull your first or second bets, depending on the possible hands and payoffs.