Thursday, 27th October, 2016

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Let It Ride Odds & House Advantage

Any casual or professional gambler needs to be aware of two key casino components regardless of the game they play: the odds and the house advantage. Let it ride is a classic casino poker game and while the game itself is not hard to play, especially for those who have played five-card stud or other simple poker games before, the overall odds of the game and house advantage are definitely factors that need to be considered before playing. First, a player needs to note what hands win at the particular casino they are in or at the table they sit down at. The more hands that win, obviously the higher the odds of winning and vice versa. Similar to other casino games where the players are allowed to make betting moves along the way (such as Blackjack), player decisions do determine the house advantage in let it ride. However, on a typical played round of let it ride, the house advantage is only around three and one-half percent (3.5%) of the final one-third bet. That three and a half percent advantage is higher than most other casino games aside from double-zero roulette and keno, but not by very much. Nothing really ever comes close to the lowest house advantage in the casino of less than one-half of a percent for blackjack.

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Even setting aside the house advantage for a second, a player must also consider the actual odds of winning let it ride. For purposes of the example let’s assume that the winning hands at the table are a pair of tens or better, a pretty standard arrangement. That means that out of the three cards dealt personally to the player and the two community cards, the player must make at least a pair of tens in order to win. Now each casino will pay out at differing rates for the different hand combinations with a royal flush paying out at the highest rate and a pair of tens or better paying out at the lowest end. For any given hand the odds of making a royal flush fall in the range of less than two ten-thousands of a percent (.0002%) – not exactly a probable winning hand. Most poker players understand and appreciate the rarity of getting a royal flush. But what about the odds of making a pair of tens, jacks, queens, kings, or aces? The odds here are not anything to write home about either at just over six percent (6.2%). That means out of every one-hundred hands of let it ride that you play, statistically you will only make a winning pair about six times. Overall, a player of let it ride should only expect to have a winning hand less than one out of every four hands (statistically speaking). Of course any gambler knows how a player can go on both winning and losing streaks at any time. The overall odds of the most common winning hands of let it ride are as follows:

Royal Flush: 1 in 649,740
Straight Flush: 1 in 72,193
Four of a Kind: 1 in 4,165
Full House: 1 in 694
Flush: 1 in 509
Straight: 1 in 255
Three of a kind: 1 in 47
Two Pair: 1 in 21
Pair of Tens or better: 1 in 16

Along with the best five card hands listed above, some casinos also allow players to bet on the best three card hand from their personal hand, without the community cards. Based on those three cards these are the potential winning combinations and odds if your table allows for them:

Straight Flush: 1 in 460
Three of a kind: 1 in 425
Straight: 1 in 31
Flush: 1 in 20
Pair: 1 in six
High Card: 1 in 2

Accordingly, based on these odds, the casinos then determine the payout ratios for the various hands. Obviously a royal flush will pay out the most and a pair of tens will pay out the least. Most royal flushes pay out one-thousand times the players bet. Similarly, a pair of tens will typically pay out an amount equal to the player’s initial bet. Players should check with their individual table for a full list of pay outs. At the end of the day, let it ride is a great poker game for experienced and novice poker players alike. There are many different strategies a player can implement to better their odds at winning and if you think let it ride might be your game of choice, you should definitely explore those different strategies.

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