If you’ve never heard of a poker run before, you’re missing out. These events have become popular both within and outside motorcycle communities because of how effective they are for fundraising. One such case is Deadwood Custom Cycles and Saloon No. 10’s joint poker run fundraising initiative for the Puppies for Heroes program. It successfully collected $10,360 to help veterans heal with service dogs.
But the question remains: what exactly is a poker run? Keep reading to learn more about poker runs and why people love them.
What are poker runs?
In a poker run, bikers gather around and ride for a shared cause. It doesn’t matter what make or model your bike is—anyone who has a flair for riding is invited to participate. After all, poker runs are mainly held to generate funds for charitable causes. For instance, the Vintage Motorcycle Enthusiasts conduct annual poker runs to sustain the club and fund activities. Regardless of the cause it supports, poker runs are often meaningful activities with an extra taste of adventure on top.
How do poker runs work?
Players are expected to venture through a set route and finish with a hand of cards. Along the way, they stop at designated checkpoints where they each draw one card. Some events go with a traditional Texas Hold’em 5-card draw requiring 5 checkpoints, but others use 7-card stud instead.
At the end of the event, those with the best hands win. You can refer to a poker hands ranking chart to see how your hand ranks against others. If you didn’t get a high-ranking hand, don’t give up just yet. As we’ll discuss below, you’ll still have a chance for racking up points at the finish line.
Why do people love them?
Poker runs are well-loved because the event is also an opportunity to meet other riders who also delight in both the verve of biking and the excitement of poker. If you’re lucky, you might even come across someone who owns a state-of-the-art bike—like the iconic cross-country GoldWing or the magnificent Harley-Davidson Road Glide.
During your ride, you can even stumble upon scenic views and discover new areas that you can incorporate into your own personal routes. This is because these events are usually organized along less-traveled paths. As such, we discussed that it’s better to travel on a motorcycle because it’s much easier to maintain on your own in case of mishaps. It can also take you places that four-wheelers won’t be able to fit through.
On top of this, participants would be happy to find that—at the end of the route—they still have a chance to make up for weak hands with skill-based, non-poker games. This is typically an easy dart game. In this way, a dart board is covered by playing cards. Poker’s card-point system can then help decide how many points you earn from playing darts.
Poker runs have innovated the ways you can advocate for a cause, appealing to the most adventurous supporters to take up their vehicle of choice. With memories like these to keep for the rest of your life, poker runs are an experience you shouldn’t pass up on if given a chance.
For more content like this, head over to the adventure category.