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Best of Elliot Frome

Gaming Guru

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Let It Ride Primer

13 December 2004

Let It Ride is essentially the grand-daddy of the new generation of table games. For many years, it was the most popular of the new games, until Three Card Poker overtook it a few years ago. I believe it still holds the number two spot in terms of the number of tables in U.S. casinos.

To the beginner, Let It Ride can appear to be intimidating. Even when the table is a $5 minimum table, the Player has to start by wagering $15, or $5 for each the '1', '2' and '$' wager. What most people don't realize is how infrequently the first 2 bets actually stay in play. Of the 22,100 unique 3-card hands, only 1,628, or about 7%, warrant 'Letting it Ride'. Similarly, of the 270,725 unique 4-card hands, only 43,113, or about 16%, warrant not pulling the bet back. In the end, only an average of about 1.25 units are wagered per hand. Put another way, only about $6.25 is wagered on each hand at a $5 table. Compared to almost every other game out there, this is very low.

At the same time, Let It Ride has the potential to take your money much faster than many other games should you stray from proper strategy. Because we 'Let It Ride' anytime the expected value of the particular bet is above 1.0, this means that 93% of the time, the '1' wager is a loser. If you decide to leave the bet in play based on hunches, you'll be betting on a loser (and frequently a BIG loser) very often. The good news is that the proper strategy is very easy to remember.

The '1' bet stays in play anytime the 3-card hand contains a sure winner (Three of a Kind or a High Pair) or contains 3 cards to a Royal Flush, or a 3-Card Straight Flush or 3-Card Inside Straight Flush. Using this strategy will result in winning this wager 93% of the time, with an average expected value of about 2.4.

The '2' bet strategy is a bit more complex, but should not be hard for the average player to memorize. Keep the '2' bet in play anytime the 4-Card hand contains a sure winner (Four of a Kind, Three of a Kind, Two Pair or High Pair), a 4-Card Straight, a 4-Card Flush, 4 High Cards, a 4-Card Straight Flush (outside or inside) or a 4-Card Royal Flush. You'll notice that the Low Pair is NOT on this list. It does NOT warrant letting the '1' or '2' wager stay in play. Using the proper strategy will result in the '2' wager winning about 90% of the time, resulting in an expected value of 2.4.

The bad news is that the '$' bet MUST stay in play and it's expected value is a little less than 0.63. This bet will also only win a mere 24% of the time. In the end, Expert Strategy can bring an overall payback of about 97.18%. This is a bit lower than many of the newer table games. Given the lower average wagers bet per hand, this is not surprising. The casinos can offer higher paybacks on games that require more dollars to be wagered per hand.

Let It Ride is not the most exciting table game out there. Of course, said the other way around, Let It Ride is a lot less volatile than many of its counterparts. It does afford the Player the opportunity for a big win while not requiring a large bankroll, IF the player is smart enough to use the right strategy.

Elliot Frome

Elliot Frome is a 2nd generation gaming author and analyst. His father, Lenny Frome was considered one of the premier authors of Video Poker books. Titles include, Expert Video Poker for Las Vegas and Winning Strategies for Video Poker, which includes the strategy tables for 61 of the country’s most popular versions of Video Poker. Check out Compu-Flyers website at www.vpheaven.com, or drop Elliot an e-mail at compuflyers@prodigy.net.

Elliot Frome Websites:

www.vpheaven.com

Books by Elliot Frome:

> More Books By Elliot Frome

Elliot Frome
Elliot Frome is a 2nd generation gaming author and analyst. His father, Lenny Frome was considered one of the premier authors of Video Poker books. Titles include, Expert Video Poker for Las Vegas and Winning Strategies for Video Poker, which includes the strategy tables for 61 of the country’s most popular versions of Video Poker. Check out Compu-Flyers website at www.vpheaven.com, or drop Elliot an e-mail at compuflyers@prodigy.net.

Elliot Frome Websites:

www.vpheaven.com

Books by Elliot Frome:

> More Books By Elliot Frome