What Is a Poker Run and How It Works

What is a poker run and how does it work? Is it something anyone can do or are there restrictions? If you’ve been wanting answers to these questions, you’ve come to the right place. Today, we’re taking you into the enchanting and entertaining world of poker runs. So let’s get into it.

What Is a Poker Run?

So what is a poker run exactly? From the outside looking in, it might look a bit odd, but it’s actually an incredibly amusing pastime activity, for which you don’t even need any particular strategy.

Essentially, a poker run is an event where participants travel to five or seven stops and collect a playing card at each one. The entire event is timed, and the player (or team) with the best poker hand wins the event. Of course, the number of stops there depends on which poker variant is being played.

Most participants take part in a poker event using motorcycles, bikes, or even boats. However, there have also been events that involved horses, small aircrafts, snowmobiles, skateboards, canoes, and kayaks.

Most poker runs have a fee to enter and include various checkpoints at different destinations. It’s also important to note that a poker run is not an actual race. While being fast is important, the ultimate goal is to have the best hand, not the quickest time. It’s purely a game of luck, but one that brings players from all over the world together.

What Is a Rendezvous Poker Run?

An event thought up by Power Boating Canada, the Rendezvous Poker Run opens its doors to all family boaters looking for a bit of fun. It follows the same safety guidelines as a regular poker run and it’s sanctioned by the APRA. It’s an event with the whole family in mind, and the checkpoints and activities reflect that.

The History of Poker Runs

The usual goal of a poker run is to raise money for a charity of the host’s choice. Originally, poker runs started as get-togethers for members of bike clubs who wanted to entertain themselves through a series of organized activities that promoted socializing.

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the largest poker run event was held in 2009. In it, 2,136 participated to benefit the Fallen Firefighter Survivors Foundation.

But the record for the single largest venue event happened three years after that, in 2012. 586 motorcyclists raised money for Prostate Cancer Research in Ottawa, Canada.

The Rules of a Poker Run

Now that we’ve broadly answered the question of what is a poker run, it’s time to dive into the specifics. Now, the rules of a poker run can vary because they often depend on the host. That means that pretty much every run is unique and unlike another one.

For those who want to host a poker run, the first rule would be that all proceeds of purchases made have to go to charity. Also, every participant needs to be given a stamp at each checkpoint.

Another thing you’ll see in almost every poker run is that all players have to visit all the stops at the designated time. So even though it’s not a race, there are still certain time constraints.

What’s more, players have the opportunity to draw another playing card if they pay an extra fee. That, of course, increases the chances of the best hand.

In the end, all players will have to submit their scorecards and the winner is the person with the best hand.

Why Are Poker Runs So Popular?

The point of a poker run is to get out there, socialize with others, and have a bit of fun. But there’s more to it.

One of the biggest benefits of both hosting and participating in a poker run is that all the proceeds are going to a good cause. Also, it encourages people to explore and visit stops they might not have on their own.

The poker run promotes friendship and socialization, as well as interaction between others. Players get to meet new people, exchange experiences and have a good time.

What’s more, moto, auto, boat, and bike enthusiasts get a chance to enjoy their hobbies more. It’s an excellent opportunity to do what you love and meet other, like-minded people.

Consider Hosting Your Own Poker Run – Here’s What to Know

If you want to host a poker run, the first thing to do is determine the purpose of the event. Then, decide which charity or good cause you want the proceeds to go to, and clearly post it on all invitations and marketing materials for the event.

Once you know that, gather the local business in the area that wants to participate in the event. Look for partners, and make sure the stops are somewhere the other participants might enjoy. 

When looking for businesses to partner up with, explain the goal of the event, how it works, and how it can benefit them. Explain that it could be a great promotional opportunity and ask whether they, too, want to donate something to the cause. 

When you have your partners, you should also come up with a prize or an award that the winner will get. Oftentimes, especially if the poker run is for charity, the prize isn’t monetary.

Once the poker run starts, be sure that all teams know their start and end times to avoid any confusion or latecomers. You should also ensure that every team or player has a rule sheet and a tally sheet. They can pick those up at their first stop and have them throughout the event.

To Sum Up: What Is a Poker Run?

So what is a poker run at last? It’s a fun and interactive event where players of the world can meet, have fun, and be charitable. If you want to take part in an event, there are opportunities at every turn. Check out the Poker Runs America calendar for 2023 with a list of events, dates, and locations. And for more information on all things poker, make sure to explore the Tony G blog!

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