How to Play Let ‘Em Ride

Poker has long been established as one of the most popular card games in the world. Unlike some other games, its appeal is not only limited to casinos. People play it in the confines of their homes as well. Poker does not refer to a single game, but rather a group of games which use the same hand rankings to determine the winner. These games usually differ on the basis of the betting method, dealing method, or sometimes there is a slight change in the card rankings as well. Let ‘Em Ride is one such poker game, also known as ‘Let it Ride’ poker. This game has slightly different betting rules, and is based largely on community cards.


The credit of inventing this game goes to Michael Parisi and Karen Elder of the Shuffle Master Gaming company. The aim of the game was not to lure customers but rather to increase the sales of automatic shuffling machines to the casinos. It was first introduced in Reno, Nevada in 1993. But along with increasing the sales of shuffling machines, the game became an instant hit. Though the game was a bit slow paced compared to some other poker games, it attracted a huge player base. It especially appealed to some of the older players and to those who were new to the gambling scene.


Let ‘Em Ride is derived from 5 card stud poker. So, it involves player cards and community cards. The most interesting part about the game is the betting rules. In this game, the player has a chance to withdraw one-third of his bet not once but twice.

  • To begin the game each player has to place the bet.
  • To ensure that the bet is divisible by 3, there are three sections for placing the bet. A player has to place equal number of chips in all the three sections. Usually, these sections are marked as 1, 2, and $.
  • If a player wishes to remove one third of the bets, he can do so from the first two sections.
  • After everyone has placed their wager, the dealer starts dealing out the cards. He first gives a card to each player starting from his left, then puts the first community card face down. After that, he gives the second card to each player and then places the second community card face down. Subsequently, he deals out the last card to each player.
  • After this the players are allowed to have a look at their hands, and it is not permissible for players to reveal their hands to others, or see other players’ hands.
  • If anyone wishes to lower their wager by one third, then they can remove chips from the first section.
  • When players are done with lowering their bets then the first community card is revealed. After this the players are again allowed to remove one third of their wager.
  • If they chose not to withdraw parts of their bets, then it is termed as letting it ride, which gives the name to this game.
  • After the final card has been revealed, the payout is made on whatever is the remaining bet. Generally the payout begins at a pair of 10′s and you lose with anything below that. Payout table changes from casino to casino, but typically the house has an edge of about 3.4%.


In Let ‘Em Ride poker, the strategy is based around the first two betting circles and the first four cards that you have. There are two main steps to this; to decide what to do after seeing your initial hand of three cards, and what to do after the first community card has been revealed. After the first three cards have been dealt to you, you should only let your bet ride if:

  • You have a pair of 10′s or have a three of a kind. In both the cases let your bet ride no matter what the 4th or the 5th card is as the payout for a pair of 10 is 1:1 and for three of a kind is 3:1.
  • You have the three cards for a flush with a 10 or a higher card.
  • You have three cards to a straight flush or a royal flush.

After the fourth card is revealed you should let your bet ride only if:

  • You have a hand with a pair of tens or something better, or even a two pair.
  • You have a three of a kind or a four of a kind, which pays 50:1.
  • You have a four card flush, a four card straight flush, or a four card royal flush.

You also need to remember that it is not necessary for you to have removed your first bet in order to remove your second. You can remove the second bet even if you let the first one ride. The limits to a casino table are also very important. You get a payout of 1000:1 for getting a royal flush. Now suppose you are playing on a table whose upper limit is $25,000. You have bet $15 on each of the betting circles, which makes your total bet $45. Assuming that you let both your bets ride and you get a royal flush. You will get only $25,000 and not $45,000 because of the upper limit. Always be aware about the limits of the table you are going to play on.


Most safe online casinos also offer players a side bet based on their initial 3 card hand. This bet has a house edge of about 7% based on the 3 card bet payout chart. Apart from this particular side-bet, some casinos also offer a $1 side bet. By making this bet, you get an additional payoff on certain hands. This bet has a house edge varying from 13.7% in some casinos to 35% in other casinos. It is advised to avoid this bet.


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