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What Is The History of Let It Ride?

Let it ride is a fairly new game in standards of casino game history, and was originally devised by Shuffle Master as a way to sell their products. Shuffle Master, now known as SHFL entertainments Inc., is a company that deals in the manufacturing of casino products such as shuffling machines, table games, slot machines, and other such products. Shuffle Master was formed by John Breeding, a former truck driver who, after reading a newspaper article about card counting in Blackjack, borrowed $30,000 to design a mechanical shuffler that would deal every hand with a fresh deck, therefore eliminating any possibility of card counters cheating at the game. However, around the time of the product’s eventual release in the year 1992, casinos has already started to use multiple decks when dealing games for Blackjack, making card counting nearly impossible, and reducing potential demand for Breeding’s product. In order to fuel demand for his product, Breeding developed a single deck game called Let it Ride. Let it ride is not the only game to have been devised by SHFL entertainments, others being Three Card Poker, Blackjack Switch and Casino War.

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Early Momentum

Let it Ride combined the unique technology of Shuffle Master, their automatic shuffling machine, and the Blackjack table, and was highly popular and attractive to casino goers, becoming well known in Reno, Nevada, where the company was based. Customers enjoyed the game straight from its initial introduction for several reasons; it derives from poker, which being the most popular and universally recognised card game, means that it uses poker hands and is understood by most people that know how to play cards; and it offers satisfaction to the player’s preference for control as it enables bettors to retrieve some money while the cards are dealt. Although it used a Blackjack table, it was meant to attract all sorts of players of all different levels by being easy to learn, moving at slow pace, and offering a possibly high reward to players on side bets. The rules are simple and the objective of the game is singular, to simply get the highest poker hand possible, the normal poker hand rules apply, whilst keeping the maximum bet on the table. It is a player friendly version of five stud poker, and as a result of its slow pace it has earned the nickname Let it Die’ by dealers.

Continued Growth in Popularity

After only five years since its inception, Let it Ride was bringing in more revenue for Shuffle Masters than its original shuffling machine, which was its namesake device. It is now one of the most played games in more than two hundred casinos in America.


As mentioned above the rules are fairly simple. Each round starts when every player has placed the three required bets, of which each must be of the same value. The dealer then deals three cards to each player and two to himself, which he keeps facing down to the table. This is when the first decision must be made; whether to remove one of the bets from the table, pull back’, or to leave them all on the table, let it ride’, the basis for the name of the game.

After the decision has been made, one of the two cards belonging to the dealer is turned face down to be visible by the players. In doing so the card becomes an extra card to each of the players’ hands, and will give a clearer indication of whether to let it ride’ one more time, or to remove another one. Regardless of whether the player had already removed one bet from the table in the previous step, the choice still remains.

After this second step has been completed, the dealer turns over his second card to be visible, and effectively completes the five card hand of each player. If a player has a minimum of a pair of tens, then they will receive a pay-out. The pay-out rate is determined by the strength of the combination in each players’ hand; a stronger combination the higher the reward, and respectively the weaker the hand the lower the pay-out, depending on the odds of receiving that combination of cards. The pay-out rates vary from casino to casino, but a standard basis to the rates follows:

Royal flush 1,000 to 1

Straight flush 200 to 1

Four of a kind 50 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 of 10s + 1 to 1

There is an optional side bet offered to each player by each casino when playing Let it Ride, which is another feature that is attractive to potential customers. The terms of the bet inevitably vary from casino to casino as they do with the rates of pay-out.

Popularity with Casinos

It is not just the players who are attracted to this game, but Let it Ride is also very attractive to the Casinos. As with every game at the Casino, the odds are in there favour, and although their edge of 3.5% is not as high as other games, it is still a considerable amount and offers fairly profitable rates of return, which when considering the amount of players that come to the tables, must end up high.

As with every card game played in a Casino, there are strategies a player can take to reduce the house edge, which play up to the requirements of the game, and the likely hood of receiving a pay-out at the end. Being a game with very few variables, the process of working out the choices with the aim of either cutting losses or maximizing profits is more simple than with other games.

Other Notable Facts

Let it Ride is perhaps best known for its popularity on on-line gambling websites. Players can make the choice whether to play for money, or to simply enjoy the process. One reason it is so popular in this medium is because it is very simple and does not require much thinking, or contain much risk; so it can be an attractive choice when just trying to relax at home, and not after high pulse, high risk all in situations.

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