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Playing Strategies


As stated earlier, this games resembles five-card stud. But there are differences. First of all, in five-card stud, a player competes against all other competition. Here, the player simply wants to get a hand that qualifies for a payout according to the payout schedule. Then, in five-card stud, certain cards, such as an ace, have enormous value, for an ace-high hand can often win without any improvement. This is not the case in Let It Ride®, where an ace-high hand is a loser. A 10 is just as valuable as an ace, because paired up they are both equal winners. And if they are not paired, they're losers.

At the outset of play in Let It Rides, a player gets three cards instead of the two he would get in five-card stud. This makes a big difference in strategy, for that extra card gives a player quite a bit more information. In five-card stud, a player stuck with two weak cards at the outset can "fold" his hand, that is, throw away his cards and merely forfeit an "ante," usually about 10 percent of an initial bet, rather than lose a complete bet. In Let It Ride®, no matter how poor the player's hand is, he will have to forfeit one of his three bets.

On the bright side, the Let It Ride player will win with any hand of lOs or better, and will not have to worry about another player beating him with a superior hand. Plus, he will get a bonus payout for strong hands, and as we shall see later, for really big hands, like straight or royal flushes, he may be eligible to enter a multimillion dollar tournament.

What hands should be played, and what hands should cause a player to remove his bet? This strategy really runs in two parts. First, there is the three-card strategy, and then a four card strategy. A three-card hand that's worth playing may deteriorate in value so that, after four cards, it is useless. We'll show you how this can happen in a later section.

When you move allin with a bluff, you need to be 100 percent positive your opponent will fold. Can you do that? Probably not. A bluff is very useful in no limit to steal the blinds, but when you go allin and lose, you're out. It's just way too risky. In a tournament, especially a no-limit one, you have to play tight. You have to be aggressive but still tighter than in other games.

It's very useful on the river in some cases as well. The factors that make it painful to risk also make it very hard for your opponent to call with a medium-strong hand. Sometimes, you'll get called and you're out. It depends on your opponent's stack.
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