How to Play Let It Ride Poker

how to play let it ride poker

If you’ve ever experienced the thrill of sitting in at a poker table, you know the rush of receiving some hot cards, or of working out your strategy to maximize what you have. You may also know the feeling of wishing you could take back a bet that you see going south as the hand plays out.

Let It Ride poker gives you that chance. This version of five-card stud poker offers players the opportunity to pull back parts of their stakes as dealer cards are revealed. Like what you’ve been dealt? Keep your stakes where they are and “Let It Ride.” Not so sure? Pull one back as each community card is revealed.

Here’s how to play Let It Ride poker.

History of Let It Ride Poker

So where did Let It Ride poker come from?

John Breeding, the founder of Shuffle Master card shuffling machines, took a bit of a gamble of his own in 1983. That’s when he quit his job as a truck driver and focused on inventing an automatic card shuffler. By 1992, he’d developed Let It Ride poker as a means of promoting his device. By 1993, his game — and his new shuffling devices — started becoming fixtures in casinos.

Breeding’s single-deck shuffler drew the interest of casinos because they could shuffle a fresh deck while dealers kept games going for players.

Today, you can play Let It Ride poker in person at more than 30 Las Vegas casinos and hundreds more around the country. Look for minimum bets as low as $5 and up to $25.

How to Play

So you want to try out a new poker game? Great! Let It Ride poker is available at most casinos around the country and on countless sites online. If you’re new to the game, you might even want to try it out online to get more familiar and comfortable with the rules.

Wherever you decide to go, here’s how you play:

  1. Determine your budget. Never gamble more than you can afford to lose.
  2. Find a [electronic] table (or online room) with a comfortable minimum bet.
  3. If you’re playing in person, don’t be afraid to ask the dealer questions.
  4. Set out your bet, in three equal parts, on the designated spots.
  5. The dealer will deal you three cards face down. You can look at them, but don’t let other players see them.
  6. Look at your three cards, reference the pay list on the table, and see if you have anything that would pay out right off the bat.
  7. At this point, the dealer will allow you to pull back one of your bets. If you have something already that will payout, don’t pull anything back because you’re guaranteed a payout!
  8. If you don’t have anything, that’s OK because the dealer’s community cards might. You may want to pull back one of those three bets, though.
  9. The dealer will flip over one of their two community cards, which all of the players can use to form their hands. If you have something new, you’ll want to keep your remaining bets in place because you’ll be guaranteed a payout. If you still don’t have anything, you might want to pull back your second bet.
  10. The dealer will flip their second and final community card, and now everyone will know whether they have a winning hand. You can’t pull back your third bet because the hand is over. Either you’ve won a payout, or the casino wins the rest of your bet. Now you get to decide if you want to play the next hand, and with each hand, you’ll become quicker at recognizing each step in how you play.

Let It Ride Poker Rules

If you’re new to Let It Ride poker, it may seem complicated. But the rules are actually quite simple. The trick is learning the strategy of what to do with your three-part bet, whether to “pull it back” or “Let It Ride.”

  1. You make three bets of equal size.
  2. Dealer gives each player three cards (face down).
  3. You may pull back your first bet or “Let It Ride.”
  4. Dealer flips the first community card (to be used by all players).
  5. You may pull back your second bet, or again “Let It Ride.”
  6. Dealer flips the second community card, again used by all players.
  7. You’re paid according to the poker value of the five cards (your three and the dealer’s two).

Here’s the standard pay table for hands in Let It Ride poker:

Hand Pays

The Wizard of Odds is just one place to find common payouts for various winning Let It Ride poker hands:

  • Royal Flush: 1,000 to 1
  • Straight Flush: 200 to 1
  • Four of a Kind: 5 to 1
  • Full House: 11 to 1
  • Flush: 8 to 1
  • Straight: 5 to 1
  • Three of a Kind: 3 to 1
  • Two Pair: 2 to 1
  • Pair (10s or better): 1 to 1
  • Losing Hand: 0

Popular Terms and Fun Facts

Get into the Let It Ride vibe by learning some of the terminologies you might hear at the table:

  • Suit: four groups of cards make up a deck: Club, Diamond, Heart, or Spade
  • Flush: a hand consisting of five cards of the same suit
  • Royal Flush: Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and 10 of the same suit (the rarest hand in poker)
  • Straight Flush: Any five consecutive cards of the same suit
  • Straight: any five consecutive cards (any mix of suits)
  • Full House: three of a kind and a pair
  • Face Card: a card with a “face” on it, a Jack, Queen, or King
  • Three of a Kind: three cards of the same number (or face)
  • Pair: two cards of the same number (or face)


You might be a poker rookie, or maybe you know your way around the table but are simply looking for something different. We all know the feeling of wishing we could pull back at least part of a bet we see going the wrong direction. Invented out of necessity, Let It Ride poker has taken on a fun, fast-paced life of its own since the early ’90s.

Brush off your best casino outfit and get ready to step out into something new! Let It Ride is easy enough to find in your friendly neighborhood casino or certainly online if you want to familiarize yourself with the rules and gameplay for free.

Let It Ride Poker At RW NYC

Resorts World New York City visitors are welcome to enjoy a game of let it ride poker (and more) in its electronic version. Same level of excitement guaranteed!