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Best of Alan Krigman
Fun and (Table) Games: Try Let It Ride4 January 2005
In Let It Ride, rounds begin with three equal bets, each at or above the posted table minimum. Players receive and look at three cards. The dealer places two "community" cards face down.
Based on the three initial cards, players acting in turn ask the dealer to
return the first of their three bets or "let it ride." The dealer
then exposes one community card. Predicated on what are then four-card sets,
players request that their second bets be removed or stay in action. Next, the
dealer flips the second community card. This completes each player's five-card
hand. The dealer then settles the bets still on the table by turning over the
hands at each position, combining them with the two community cards, and giving
or taking according to the poker values.
The Bonus version of Let It Ride has an optional auxiliary wager. It's normally $1, placed on a special circle at the start of a round. Payoffs vary among casinos, but typically range to $20,000 for royals. Wagering $5 per spot, a solid citizen getting a royal after having bet the bonus buck and letting everything ride could cop 1,000 x 3 x $5 plus $20,000, or $35,000 (minus $1 because the bonus bet is locked-up and not returned with the payoff).
Here's how to enter and exit the game. Grab a seat. Wait for the dealer to settle all bets and collect the cards from the previous round. Then, drop your cash on the table, and pick up your chips when the dealer pushes them toward you. Later, when you finish, slide your white, red, and green chips to the dealer and ask for "color." The dealer will trade them for blacks, purples, and greys which will be easier for you to haul to the cashier.
To enter the fray, place equal bets of at least the table minimum into each of the three clearly marked spots in front of you. If you're betting $5 (red chips), but ?? as an example ?? only have two reds along with a bunch of greens, put a green on the dealer side of the spot and mumble "change, please." Analogously to get whites for the bonus bet.
Although you may be at the casino as much for excitement as to strike it rich and quit your day job, you'll be putting real money at risk. So, sensible person you are, you'll want to know the optimum strategy for withdrawing bets or letting them ride.
Here it is. Keep the first bet in action when your three card hand is: a) at least a pair of 10s; b) a possible outside straight flush 3-4-5 or higher; c) a possible straight flush that can be made only two ways and contains at least one 10 or above (such as 8-9-J or J-Q-K); or d) a possible straight flush that can be made only one way and includes at least two 10s or above (such as 9-Q-K, J-K-A, or Q-K-A). Let the second bet ride with four cards comprising: a) a pair of 10s or better; b) a possible flush; c) any possible outside straight 7-8-9-10 or higher.
Of course, you can pooh-pooh probabilities and approach Let It Ride as a game of hunches. Doing so, you can make out handsomely. But, your prospects will be more propitious by pursuing the path painted so picturesquely by the punter's poet, Sumner A Ingmark:
'Though you can succeed, 'tis more frequently folly,
Best of Alan Krigman