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Variations of Poker that are Easy to Learn–Let it Ride and Omaha Hold 'Em

5-Card Stud, Texas Hold 'Em, Pai Gow, Let it Ride, Omaha Hold 'Em, and more– there's a version of Poker for everyone and Poker players are never bored. Developed sometime in the early 19th century in the U.S., the game is famous for its high-level betting strategy. Poker hand combinations have become so well known among card players, that they translate well to other variations of the game. Let it Ride and Omaha Hold ‘Em are two versions of poker played in a “community style,” meaning players play with incomplete hands and combine their hands with face-up cards on the table to create poker combinations. Whether you’re a seasoned poker player looking to try a new variation or a beginner, Let it Ride and Omaha Hold ‘Em are a fun new game to try and are easy to learn.

Photo: Christopher Chappelear

Let it Ride

The concept for Let it Ride was initially created by a company called Shuffle Master in order to promote its automatic shuffling machines. In 1993, when Shuffle Master first introduced the technology, casinos were hesitant to jump on board, so the company created a card game tied to their machine. Today, shuffling machines are as common as Let it Ride tables at casinos.

The popular game is a quick and easy-to-learn form of poker. Unlike other forms of poker, in Let it Ride, the player does not play against the dealer, nor do they play against other players at the table. The object of the game is to end up with a winning hand consisting of a pair of 10s or better, according to the typical scoring rules of poker (any pairs consisting of cards less than 10 will not result in a winning hand). As long as players achieve a hand of a pair of 10s or better, they receive a return on their bet. As mentioned previously, in this community card-style game, the player’s hand is combined with the dealer’s hand to create the final hand.

First, the player places wagers in three circles labelled 1, 2, and $. If the minimum bet is $10, the player will initially place $30 on the table, $10 in each circle. Then, the player is dealt three cards and the dealer is dealt two face-down. The player’s cards and the dealer’s cards will be combined at the end of the game, and the player must decide by looking at his or her three cards whether they have a shot at a winning hand. If the player is not confident about their hand, they may scratch their cards on the table and the bet in circle 1 will be returned. If the player decides to keep the first bet on the table, he or she will place their cards under the wager in circle 1 and all wagers will remain in play on the table.

Then, the dealer will reveal one card. If the player decides to scratch their cards after the first dealer card is revealed, the wager in circle 2 will be returned. If the player would like to continue with their existing bets, they must place their cards under the wager in the $ circle and all wagers on the table will remain in play. The dealer will then reveal the final card and will determine the winning hands. In the event that the player is initially dealt a winning hand (a pair of 10s or higher or three-of-a-kind), the player may place their cards directly under the $ since no more decisions will need to be made. Check with the dealer regarding the payout ratio for winning hands, as it varies between casinos.

Omaha Hold ‘Em

If you’re already familiar with Texas Hold ‘Em, then learning Omaha will be a breeze. There are two main differences between Texas Hold ‘Em and Omaha. First, in Omaha, players are each dealt four hole cards–the cards dealt to the player’s hand–instead of two. Then betting rounds and community cards are dealt just as they would be in Texas Hold ‘Em. The second major difference between the two games occurs at the showdown. In Omaha Hold ‘Em, players must play exactly two of their four hole cards, combined with exactly three of the five community cards in order to make the best possible hand.

The tricky part is that the combination possibilities can be numerous, and the player must identify what their “nut hand” is. The “nut hand” is the best possible hand achievable with a given set of cards. For example, the player may have the opportunity to create both a flush and a full house between their hole cards—the cards in their hand—and the community cards. Strong familiarity with poker hand rankings is essential to playing strategically in Omaha.

For more information about how to play Let it Ride and Omaha Hold ‘Em contact us today.