Rivers Casino Let It Ride

On Friday, the Rivers Casino in Des Plaines, Illinois, opened its first sportsbook. The problem is that the casino is still awaiting approval on the state to start accepting bets.

Mini Baccarat. Click on a game above to download a Gaming Guide. In addition, Rivers Casino also offers a 30-table live poker room where poker players can pull up a seat and play Limit and No Limit Texas Hold’Em, Omaha Hi-Low, Pot Limit Omaha and more. It is no wonder that Rivers Casino was named. Let It Ride; Blackjack; Big Six; Rivers Casino uses a card-based player rewards system (discussed below). When playing slots or video poker, the player simply inserts the card prior to playing. When players show their card to the pit boss, table game play also earns points on the system according to the following chart.

The BetRivers SportsBar opened a nearly 5,000-square foot space at the casino property on Friday near the main gambling floor. However, patrons will not be permitted to place bets at the venue until state regulators give them the green light to do so.

Awaiting Approval from Illinois Gaming Board

Rush Street Gaming and Churchill Downs Inc., the companies in charge of the casino property, are waiting for the Illinois Gaming Board to release new rules and regulations regarding sports betting. The companies are also waiting for the board to start releasing sports betting licenses, which will cost $10 million to obtain. We could see all of this happen after the board’s next meeting, which is scheduled for Thursday, December 19.

The sparkling new sports bar features a massive 47-foot ultra LED video wall with an adjustable screen that can display as many as 27 different sporting events at the same time. There are 14 additional televisions situated throughout the lounge with 32 leather lounge seats and a full-service bar. More than 24 bar seats have their own gambling touch screens, as well. There are 10 86-inch televisions and 4 more 75-inch screens lining the walls.

The new bar occupies the space that formerly housed the Cube nightclub and special events lounge. Casino officials wanted the bar to be ready before regulators issued the updated rules and regulations. Casino officials released renderings of the bar, but photographs are prohibited as of now due to the gaming board’s rules.

There is extra space for 5 betting windows with a separate betting kiosk. Walls on both sides of the bar have been equipped with the proper wiring for the odds boards to be turned on once officials grant the casino the right to start offering sports bets.

Customers Eager for Sports Betting

Corey Wise, the general manager of Rivers Casino, told the Daily Herald, “We want to be prepared and primed once we know what the Illinois regulatory requirements are. We’re ready to go once the state is ready to go.”

Customers are chomping at the bit to be able to place bets in the sparkling new lounge. Wise added that someone played the first slot in the new space less than a minute after it opened for the first time. Another patron inquired about when sports betting will be available shortly thereafter.

In November, Rivers Casino became the first in Illinois to be granted approval from the state’s gaming board to offer land-based gambling. Rivers subsequently installed 115 slot machines throughout the site. The casino, which opened its doors for the first time in 2011 as a riverboat. However, Illinois subsequently struck down the water requirement, which opened up the possibility for 6 new casinos across the state.

There are currently plans to install more slots at the property near the main entrance. The updated law gives Rivers the opportunity to add more slots and table games, and plans to expand the building are currently in development. Wise said it’s still too early to say how large the potential expansion would be, or even where on the existing space it would be located.

However, construction has already gotten underway to add another 750 parking spaces in a new 1,550-space parking garage expansion adjacent to the property. That expansion will cost about $24 million and is due to be completed sometime in the summer of 2020.

Illinois voted to approve the legalization and regulation of sports betting back in June.

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Introduction

Let it Ride is among the first of the wave of new casino games, starting in the late nineties. It is a simple poker-based game where the player is paid based on his five card hand only. No dealer hand to worry about. The twist is that as the cards are revealed the player has the opportunity to decrease his bet if he doesn't like his cards. As of 2013 Let it Ride is still out there, but its numbers are decreasing.

Rules

  1. Player makes three bets of equal size.
  2. Dealer gives player three cards.
  3. Player may pull his first bet back or 'let it ride.'
  4. Dealer deals the first community card, to be used by all players.
  5. Player may pull his second back or 'let it ride.'
  6. Dealer deals the second community card, to be used by all players.
  7. Player is paid according to the poker value of his five cards, remaining bets, and the posted pay table.
  8. Side bets are usually available, which are explained below.

The following is the standard pay table most casinos follow. All wins are on a 'to one' basis.

Let it Ride — Standard Pay Table

HandPays
Royal Flush1000
Straight Flush200
Four of a kind50
Full House11
Flush8
Straight5
Three of a kind3
Two pair2
Tens or better1
LoserLoss

The pay table for this and 15 other known Let it Ride pay tables can be found in my Let it Ride appendix 3.

Strategy

The following strategy is for the standard pay table.

With three cards you should only 'let it ride' if you have:

  • Any paying hand (tens or better, three of a kind)
  • Any three to a royal flush
  • Three suited cards in a row except 2-3-4, and ace-2-3
  • Three to a straight flush, spread 4, with at least one high card (ten or greater)
  • Three to a straight flush, spread 5, with at least two high cards

With four cards you should only 'let it ride' if you have:

Rivers casino let it ride lyrics
  • Any paying hand (tens or better, two pair, three of a kind)
  • Any four cards of the same suit
  • Any four to an outside straight with at least one high card
  • Any four to an outside straight with no high cards (zero house edge)
  • Any four to an inside straight with 4 high cards (zero house edge)

A lot of people have asked me what I mean by 'inside straight', 'outside straight', 'spread 4', and 'spread 5.'An inside straight is one in which an 'inside' card is missing, such as (4,5,7,8). An outside straight is one in which an outside card is missing, such as (4,5,6,7). Outside straights are much better because there are 8 cards that can complete them as opposed to 4 for an inside straight. Spread4 means that the cards in question span 4 ranks in a row,for example a (5,6,8). Spread 5 means the cards in question span 5 ranks, for example a (5,7,9).

Play Let It Ride for free while learning the strategy.

Aggregate Payout Warning:

The table will probably have a maximum payout. At Casino Niagara in Niagara Falls the maximum aggregate payout is $75,000 per round. As a result the player should not bet more than the maximum payout divided by 3000. Any bet above this quotient will not pay the full odds on a royal flush, thus increasing the house edge.

Analysis

Let it Ride — Standard Pay Table

HandPaysBetWinCombinationsProbabilityReturn
Royal Flush100033,000800.0000020.004617
Royal Flush100022,00000.0000000.000000
Royal Flush100011,00000.0000000.000000
Straight Flush20036003520.0000070.004063
Straight Flush20024003680.0000070.002832
Straight Flush200120000.0000000.000000
Four of a kind5031507,8720.0001510.022717
Four of a kind5021004,6080.0000890.008865
Four of a kind5015000.0000000.000000
Full House1133333,4080.0006430.021210
Full House1122241,4720.0007980.017553
Full House1111100.0000000.000000
Flush832410,0080.0001930.004621
Flush821692,1520.0017730.028366
Flush81800.0000000.000000
Straight53154,4640.0000860.001288
Straight521088,6560.0017060.017056
Straight515110,8800.0021330.010666
Three of a kind339364,5600.0070140.063122
Three of a kind326328,9680.0063290.037973
Three of a kind313404,7120.0077860.023358
Two pair236574,1280.0110450.066272
Two pair224682,7760.0131360.052542
Two pair2121,214,1360.0233580.046716
Tens or better1332,571,6360.0494740.148423
Tens or better1222,647,5600.0509350.101870
Tens or better1113,228,8040.0621170.062117
Loser-13-353,0760.001021-0.003063
Loser-12-2937,8240.018042-0.036085
Loser-11-138,576,7000.742156-0.742156
Total51,979,2001.000000-0.035057

5-Card Bonus Bet

I don't know if this bet even has a name, so I am titling it the '5-Card Bonus Bet.' It is a $1 side bet, which pays based on the poker value of the final five-card hand. This is a sucker bet, that should be avoided. Based on a small sampling of casinos in Las Vegas and Laughlin, the house edge varies from 13.77% (Lady Luck) to 36.52% (New York, New York). Below are some casinos, their payoff table, and their house edge, in order from best to worst. Wins are on a 'for one' basis, meaning the player does not get his original bet back, even on a win.

Let it Ride Side Bet Pay Tables

HandTable 1Table 2Table 3Table 4Table 5Table 6Table 7Table 8Table 9
Royal flush200002000020000200002000010000200002000025000
Straight flush200010002000200010002000200010002500
Four of a kind100100100400400100300300400
Full house75757520020075150150200
Flush505050505050505050
Straight252525252525252525
Three of a kind948558555
Two pair634004000
Tens or better010000000
House edge13.77%23.73%25.39%25.53%26.92%26.93%35.14%36.52%24.07%

The following is a list of which casinos have which pay tables based on my small sampling. Unless otherwise stated all casinos are in Las Vegas:

  • Table 1: Lady Luck
  • Table 2: Las Vegas Club, Freemont, Californian,Plaza, Main Street Station, Ballys, Circus Circus,Hilton, Grand (Biloxi), Beau Rivage (Biloxi), Horseshoe(Tunica), Grand (Tunica)
  • Table 3: Golden Gate
  • Table 4: Bellagio, Excalibur, Mandalay Bay, Harrah's,Imperial Palace, Paris, Venetian
  • Table 5: MGM Grand, Golden Nugget
  • Table 6: Colorado Belle (Laughlin), Sky City (New Mexico)
  • Table 7: Four Queens, Flamingo Hilton
  • Table 8: New York New York
  • Table 9: Rivers casino in Pittsburgh, PA

The next table shows the probability and return for every hand under pay table 2 above. The return of 76.27% reflects a house edge of 100.00% - 76.27% = 23.73%. Again, all pays are on a 'for one' basis.

5-Card Bonus

HandPaysCombinationsProbabilityReturn
Royal flush20,00040.0000020.030782
Straight flush1,000360.0000140.013852
Four of a kind1006240.0002400.024010
Full house753,7440.0014410.108043
Flush505,1080.0019650.098270
Straight2510,2000.0039250.098116
Three of a kind454,9120.0211280.084514
Two pair3123,5520.0475390.142617
Tens or better1422,4000.1625270.162527
Loser01,978,3800.7612200.000000
Total2,598,9601.0000000.762730

3-Card Bonus Bet

Some casinos offer a side bet based on the value of the player's three cards, similar to the Pair plus bet in Three Card Poker. The main difference is in Let It Ride the bet has a separate win for a 'Mini Royal', defined as a suited ace, king, and queen. The following table table shows the most common pay table for this bet.

Play Let It Ride Online

3-Card Bonus

HandPaysCombinationsProbabilityReturn
Mini Royal5040.0001810.00905
Straight flush40440.0019910.079638
Three of a kind30520.0023530.070588
Straight67200.0325790.195475
Flush310960.0495930.148778
Pair137440.1694120.169412
Nothing-1164400.743891-0.743891
House Edge221001-0.070950

The next pay table shows other possible variants of the Three Card Bonus bet.

3-Card Bonus

HandTable 1Table 2Table 3Table 4Table 5
Mini Royal505020010050
Straight flush4040405040
Three of a kind3030303030
Straight65666
Flush34334
Pair11111
Nothing-1-1-1-1-1
House edge7.10%5.39%4.38%4.20%2.14%

Let It Ride Free Game

The only casino I am aware of that offers pay table 5 is the Borgata in Atlantic City (source).

6-Card Bonus

Some casinos add on a side bet known as the 6-Card Bonus. This side bet is found on multiple poker-derivative games, so I created a special page for it. For more information, please see my page on the 6-Card Bonus.

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Millionaire Progressive

This is a $5 'red light' progressive side bet that pays $1,000,000 for a royal flush in spades, using the player's five-card hand. For all the rules and analysis, please see my page on the Millionaire Progressive.

Seeing Extra Cards

Although players are not supposed to share information, you can often accidentally see other player cards, or this rule is ignored and players voluntarily show each other their cards. Seeing other cards can make the difference in borderline plays, namely the zero house edge straights listed under the 4-card strategy above. In his book Mastering the Game of Let It Ride, author Stanley Ko offers a strategy for these situations. He doesn't state how much it lowers the house edge, but James Grosjean does in his book Beyond Counting (Exhibit CAA). According to Grosjean, if you can see every player card in a 7-player game, and made perfect use of the information, it would lower the house advantage from 3.51% to 2.34% only.

Inside Links

  • Appendix 1: Details on how the strategy and expected return were determined.
  • Appendix 2: Details on the Isle of Capri (Black Hawk, Colorado) rules.
  • Appendix 3: Analysis of 16 different Let it Ride pay tables.

Outside Links

Play let it ride online

German translation of this page.