## INTERESTING: My money management strategy for “Let It Ride”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Let_it_ride

http://wizardofodds.com/letitride

Assuming that you know the game, (if not read the two cited webpages, play it a few times, and come back), here’s my current money management strategy at LIR.

All my money management strategies at gambling are focused on (1) minimizing losses; (2) capturing winnings; and (3) letting good luck play itself out.

(If you breezed by my three points, then please return and consider them carefully. I’ve paid a lot of “tuition” for that meme.)

SETUP

Assume one is at a 10\$ table, with the standard three circles, a 1\$ bonus, and a 5\$ side bet.

Back in my area, I align three general areas: the wall, the last bet, and the bank.

My initial bet is: 1\$ for the bonus, 5\$ for the side bet, and 3 stacks of 10\$ for a total of \$36.

The wall is composed of four stacks of replacements for routine play. They are each: 1\$ for the bonus, 5\$ for the side bet, and 10\$ for the circle. That’s a stack total of \$16. Four times that is 64\$.

My final bet area is for my last bet. (Then, I say bye! And count my losses. Or more rarely, my winnings.) That final bet is: 1\$ for the bonus, 5\$ for the side bet, and 3 stacks of 20\$ for a total of \$66.

(So, with two exceptions, my maximum loss is \$36+64+66=166. If I want to risk more, I add stacks to the wall in increments of \$16.)

Operation

I play hands as does any other player. I lose mostly, but some times I win. Losing I just repopulate the betting area from my wall. Winning, I rebuild the wall. When the wall is gone, it’s time for the final (double) bet. If I lose I quit. Any time I win, I just rebuild the wall. If at anytime the wall is FULL, then all the remaining chips won move to the bank. If I can’t rebuild a whole stack from winnings, the change sits by the wall for dollar bonus bets or to combine with another small win to build a stack.

Wins on the bonus or the side bet go directly to the bank.

With one minor and one major exception, money only flows INTO the bank. Never out of it.

(This prevents the all too often seen phenom of playing all your winnings back to the house. That’s why I detest — what I call — the muck strategy of money management — where players keep all their chips neatly stacked in front of them. Add their winnings and quit when they have no more chips to play. Argh!)

The minor exception is sometimes that dollar bonus will draw out a five out of the bank to top off winnings on the wall. In general, that doesn’t happen to often.

The major exception is low pairs. I will LIR on the first circle with a low pair, possible straight flush, or possible royal flush.

Explanation

When I play LIR, the top three values can’t be won with all three stacks without taking some extra risk. The low pair is the common problem. If you are dealt a low pair in your three cards, what do you do? If you pull back your first circle bet, then you can never get paid for three circles if you have four of a kind where you have a low pair and the dealer has the matching low pair. Granted not a high probability, but it happens more often then you think. (I’ve caught it four times in my playing time.) Clearly if you have winning high pair or trips, there’s no decision. It’s that pesky low pair, for which I make a major exception. I WILL take chips from the bank to play the low pair. Similarly, for a three card potential straight flush or royal flush, I will do the same thing. But, I can only think of that happening once.

I pay to play that low pair out of the bank when I lose so that I don’t get cold feet and / or play a hunch.

Also notice, I NEVER chase a straight, flush or three money cards with that first circle like many players do. I also don’t guess or play hunches. (I’m a notoriously bad guesser.) I usually don’t chase them with the second circle either!

When the deal turns his first card, if it doesn’t give my low pair trips, then I pull the second circle bet. (If the dealer has the answer to my prayers — my matching pair, the first turned card must give me trips. Then, I LIR the second circle and the only question is if I get the fourth one. Notice my trips will be paid with three circles; not the usual two that other players get.) Similarly, if I am chasing a straight flush or a royal flush, the dealer’s first turned car must help for me to LIR the second circle. I don’t get that happening often.

Lest, it seem all glum. I have caught trips several times on the second dealer card. Or had the dealer pair his two cards but not match my pair. The payoff for two circles by two pair gives a nice payback for all the bad chases.

Conclusion

I play to win big, lose little, and never give anything back. I chase low pairs but not much else. I use the bank to prevent giving back my winnings.

Questions?

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## 11 thoughts on “INTERESTING: My money management strategy for “Let It Ride””

1. John F says:

Comment for Lar: Probably why you buy casino stocks is because you can’t win playing. Your strategy of not playing the bonus bets on Let it Ride makes it very hard to win. The big hands do hit occasionally, and if you have the bonus bets then you will win enough to play for a long time without hitting another. My wife hit \$3000 in LV last year and I hit \$400 at the same table…and, she would have won \$5000 if she had been letting it ride (she plays very conservatively).

2. Well that hasn’t worked out so good — casino stocks that is. When playing for the short run, I dont worry about the house percentage. I’m not going to give them a lot of action. I’m in for a couple of hundred and I’m gone. Short swings, you might catch a little luck. Long run, we’re all dead any way. :-)

3. Lar says:

You are a fool…why put ANY money on the \$1 “tracking” bet or 3 card “bonus” bet It seems you just want to increase the house odds.

People like you make me glad that I invest in casino stocks

4. John F says:

I did understand you, I was just supporting your theory of letting it ride, at least once to see if anything hits, when you have a low pair. The guy on the website I mentioned does not support letting it ride on any low pair. But I thougtht if it is only going to cost me 74 cnets over the long haul, I agree with your approach on the low pairs (ie, letting it ride once, then if no hit, pull back ont he next one).

5. I think you are misreading what I am saying, or in the alternative I am saying badly.

I will chase with the first bet on a low pair, three card straight flush, or a three card royal flush. I will NOT chase on a possible straight, possible flush, or three “money” cards. (Some players with three non-paired cards higher than the ten will chase on the theory that having three of them means the dealer “must” have one of them to pair and payoff. I think that’s a poorhouse move.)

I haven’t seen any stats on what that means in house edge.

6. John F says:

Found this interesting statistic on the wizrdofodds.com site. He doesn’t like ‘letting it ride’ on low pairs, but got the following question rom a blog reader:

I trust your Let it Ride advice is correct but I still like raising on a low pair with three cards. Often I have seen these turn into paying hands. So how much is it costing me to raise on low pairs?

With a low pair your expected value on the initial bet is -7.40%. So if your original bet was \$10 then letting it ride with a low pair will cost you an extra 74 cents. May 13, 2004.

For my money, I say the extra 74 cents is well worth the ‘fun’ if you hit!

7. Leaving a comment is a highly technical operation. As a experienced blogger, you know how intimidating it can be? :-)

8. John Francois says:

‘Meg says’? Is her computer broken? ha ha :-)

9. Meg says that I’m “too analytical”?

10. Jason says:

Now can you have Mom read this, for next time. Ha Ha… Love you Mom.

11. John Francois says:

I have heard you describe it to me several times (slow learner!), but with this in writing it has finally sunk in! I will have to try it at my next trip to the LIR table. It not only helps you to likely walk away from the table with at least ‘some’ chips (and possibly many), but it also helps prevent that ‘digging into the pocket’ for another bill when your chips run out. It provides a clear discipline, other than the usual mental note that I should ‘limit’ my play. If forces your hand if you choose to follow it. Thanks Bud!