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Poker Run Basics

Just two years ago I had no idea what a poker run was. Since then I have been on a half dozen and have had a lot of fun and met a lot of friends. Use this as your unofficial poker run guide.

The elements that make up a poker run are pretty simple. It is basically a motorcycle ride with five stops. At each stop you get a card from a standard 52-card deck. At the end of the poker run, the biker with the best hand wins a prize.

The riders are split into smaller, more manageable groups that have an easier time staying together on the road. The groups are staggered so that the poker stops are not overwhelmed. A poker run is not a race, so take your time and don’t bunch up. It just causes headaches.

With so few requirements, it’s the differences between them that make poker runs fun. Only the organizers’ imaginations are the limit. Here are some of the variations that make each one unique.

The basic way to distribute cards to the riders is to have the participants pick a card from a deck. You can also set up a board with cards glued to it and have people throw a dart at the cards. I have thrown bean bags, and spun a wheel to pick the cards.

Clubs can make extra money by letting participants buy extra “draws”. For an extra $5 you can get another “draw” if you don’t like the card you just got. This pretty much guarantees that someone will get a straight flush so unless your hand is good to start with, don’t bother on the paid draws.

Clubs raise extra money by selling raffle tickets for prizes and 50/50 draws. A 50/50 raffle pays the winner 50% of the pot, while the other 50% goes to the club. Merchandise is usually sold as well as food so bring some extra cash, especially if it is for a good cause.

Here is another great resources where you can read more about poker runs:


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