It's usually a ride through the woods where you stop at certain checkpoints to pick up a card at each one, usually in an envelope or something. When you finish the run you open them up and see what your hand is.. The best hand wins.. It's all luck of the draw but they sure are fun !!!!
What is that? Many of us have asked that same question when we hear a new term or phrase we are not familiar with. Poker Runs are one of the least understood activities in ATV'ing. This section of the site is dedicated to changing that. We hope you find it useful. So just what is a Poker Run?
Don't feel bad if you are not sure. I wasn't sure either the first time I heard someone mention a poker run. I just thought it was some type of race and left it at that. Actually I found out a short time later that a poker run isn't a race. It is more like a rally.
Poker runs have been popular with car and motorcylce enthusiasts for years. With the explosion in ATV sales and usage, many riding areas are finding that Poker runs are a great way to draw new riders, rasie extra money and offer yet another way for ATV riders to enjoy the sport.
A Poker run starts with a list of stops or destinations. These stops are usually on predefined set of trails. For each stop you reach you get to draw a single playing card from a deck of 52 cards. The person manning the stop will record the card you have drawn on some form of tally sheet or form that you carry with you. This tally sheet or form will also have your poker run entry number on it. This is done to prevent riders from drawing more than one card at any stop. Once you reach all of the stops you will have picked up all the cards "dealt" to you.
Usually there are five stops in a poker run but there can be more. For example, there could be seven stops and the player gets to choose the best five cards to keep for their hand. At the final destination the player with the best over all poker hand wins. Its not real complicated.
The run is not timed so there is no advantage to riding the course fast. It is handled this way for safety. There is typically a start and end time to the run but there is enough time allocated between the start and end times to allow for a rider to easily get to all the stops, visit and sometimes even grab lunch.
There are several variations of the Poker run. Each poker run you attend is likely to have slightly different rules. Some of the variations include:
Having the rides pick up a chip or marker at each stop instead of picking a card. The rider then trades in these chips or markers for cards when they return at the end of the day. The advantage to this variation is that the stops do not have to be manned.
Making the stops harder to find by giving clues to the stops instead of directions. This makes the poker run a little like a treasure hunt. This can be a lot of fun.
Don't let the riders draw the cards at the stops. Instead have then pick an envelope from a group of sealed envelopes that contain anywhere from 1 to 3 cards. This will result in some people getting extra cards which will allow more people to have better hands. This increases the excitement since there will be many "good" hands dealt.
Designate a card as a "special card". Anyone who draws this card some sort of prize.
Give a proze for the worst hand in addition to the best hand.
Allow riders to "buy" up to two cars when they return. This will give you an opportunity to rasie addition money. The rider would pay a few dollars to be able to turn in one or two cards and draw a replacement for those cards from the deck increasing thier chances for a better hand.
A poker run can be a lot of fun. Typically there are prizes or money offered for the winner(s).
Now the next time you hear about a poker run you will know what it is.