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How to play Let it Ride

This variation of five card stud is interesting in that players don't compete against the dealer or each other. Instead they try to get a good hand by combining three cards dealt to them with the dealer's two "hole" cards. To help their cause players can remove up to two-thirds of their original bet during play to reduce the risk when chances for a winning hand seem bleak.

Here's how it works: Players make three equal bets and are dealt three cards. Then the dealer receives two cards face down. If the player's not happy with his deal he can remove one of his bets or let it ride.

The dealer then turns over one of his cards - which is counted as the player's fourth card - and the player must decide whether to withdraw his second bet or let it ride. In either case the dealer then turns over his second card and all the players lay down their cards. The players' hands are determined by combining their three cards with the dealer's two cards. The minimum winning hand is a pair of tens or better which pays even money. If the player has a winning hand he is paid on all his remaining bets according to the following schedule:

Pair of tens or better 1-1
Two pair 2-1
3 of a kind 3-1
Straight 5-1
Flush 8-1
Full House 11-1
4 of a kind 50-1
Straight flush 200-1
Royal flush 1000-1

The bonus, "Bet the Buck" side bet, varies from casino to casino so I'm leaving out the pay  outs for this high house advantage side bet. (house has a 23% advantage on this bet)

Strategy:

With three cards you should only "let it ride" if you have:

  1. Any paying hand (high pair or three of a kind)
  2. Any three cards to a royal flush
  3. Three suited cards in a row except 2-3-4, and ace-2-3
  4. Three to a straight flush, spread 4, with at least one high card
  5. Three to a straight flush, spread 5, with at least two high cards

With four cards you should only "let it ride" if you have:

  1. Any paying hand (high pair, two pair, three of a kind)
  2. Any four to a royal flush
  3. Any four to a straight flush
  4. Any four to a flush
  5. Any four to an outside straight with at least one high card

4 card situations with no advantage or disadvantage:

  1. Any four to an outside straight with no high cards
  2. Any four to an inside straight with 4 high cards

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