As a popular motorcycle event, the Poker Run is one of those activities that has taken on an almost legendary status. That’s because it’s not really about just riding or even winning prizes. It’s really about getting together with other people who share your love for motorcycles and having some fun.

In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into everything you need to know about how a poker run works – from what it is, to why bikers love them so much, to how you can join in on the fun.

What is a Poker Run?

What is a Poker Run?

A poker run is essentially a game of poker played out over several hours and several miles. It usually takes place on motorcycles but sometimes cars are included as well. The idea is simple – riders follow predetermined routes that lead them through different checkpoints.

At each checkpoint (also known as “stations”), they draw playing cards from decks that have been shuffled beforehand by volunteers who are stationed at these locations. Each card represents one card in a standard deck of 52 playing cards.

The goal is to collect five cards at different stations throughout the course of the ride and then use these five cards to create your best poker hand once all participants arrive back at the starting point or final destination.

Types of Poker Runs

Types of Poker Runs

There are two types of poker runs: open and closed. An open run allows anyone with an invitation or entry fee to participate while closed runs are limited only to specific groups such as club members or charity organizations trying to raise funds for their causes .

Charity based poker runs typically fall under this category as they’re often organized by motorcycle clubs looking for ways to support community oriented non-profits; charities such as Toys For Tots or St Jude’s Children Hospital .

How Do You Play?

Playing in any type of Open Poker Run starts with registration which begins one hour ahead before kickstands go up . Once registered , participants will be given instructions on where start positions will be staged. From that point forward it’s easy – destination checkpoints are posted with clues on how to navigate from one checkpoint/station to the next in order.

Upon arrival at each station, competitors will receive a card which they must keep before riding on to the next location. Some runs will allow extra hands for additional money raising benefits such as Poker Run Bingo, another version of Poker Run .

After reaching all predetermined stations there is usually a final stop where cards that were collected previously are drawn and hands tallied up. The rider with the best ranked poker hand takes home bragging rights and often cash prizes but more importantly it’s fun so just participating should provide enough satisfaction.

Rules of Play

The rules can vary depending on who’s organizing the event but generally, these are some common rules applied:

1 – All participants must stay together: No speeding ahead or falling behind at any point during a run (safety first).

2 – Cards cannot be exchanged: Once you’ve drawn your card, you’re stuck with it until the end of the game.

3 – Players must arrive back within designated times after leaving starting point and visit all listed check-in locations /staging areas along route . Failing to complete required tasks may lead not only exclusion from winning but leaving early puts everyone else at risk if tallying hasn’t been completed; prize winners will simply forfeit opportunity towards payouts normally awarded by organizers.

What Are Prizes?

Usually this involves cold hard cash, merchandise or gifts donated by sponsors/vendors or club members themselves . Often monetary amounts range ranging between $500-$1500 dependent upon entries & supporting establishments able contribute towards pot.

Why Do Bikers Love Them?

Poker runs have become an almost sacred part of motorcycle culture because they combine many things that bikers love–riding motorcycles and playing games! It provides a chance for riders to socialize , fundraising through charity organizations while enjoying their hobby.

Many see this competition as team building activities as well and the opportunity to support a cause while doing something they already enjoy. Last but not least Poker Runs give riders an excuse to hit the open road and discover new locations with fellow enthusiasts.


The Poker Run is definitely one of those events that have become synonymous with biker culture . It’s popularity has turned from simple games of chance into engaging community outreach programs bringing fellow enthusiasts together for good causes.

It’s a great opportunity for all types of people to get involved in a fun activity that benefits everyone while providing quite an unforgettable experience especially when participated in such settings like rural communities or historical landmarks just effortlessly begging to be explored through this type of adventure.

Hopefully this deep-dive article gave you some insight on how poker runs work, why they’re so enjoyable, and how you can participate if interested making every ride becomes part charity-supporter-fun-hero!