poker run

How To Organise a Cycling Poker Run

Have you heard about Poker Runs? A poker run is a fund-raising event patterned after the card game of poker and is generally held by motorcyclists, however, any vehicle-based organization can hold a poker run such as Instead of sitting down at a table and having the cards dealt by a dealer, the participants travel to several different locations or checkpoints.

Poker runs are gradually gaining momentum all over the country, and cyclists can get in on the act. If you're part of a cycling club or just have a group of friends who saddle up every weekend, you could organise a poker run, have a lot of fun, and raise money for a chosen charity.

Poker runs have become so successful because they are entertaining and can be used to tap into people’s adventurous side. It also mixes cycling (or other modes of transport) with the general rules of poker, so those who enjoy the game can still have fun while participating.

poker race

What is a poker run, and how does it work?

To understand why poker runs are so popular, you will have to know how they’re played. Participants will visit at least five checkpoints where they draw a card before proceeding to the next. On the last leg of the run, the player with the best poker hand will win the event. They can use different vehicles like motorcycles or all-terrain bikes to reach these markers, but regular cycles have become popular.

While the rules of each event may vary, it is still important to understand the basic principles of poker to win and enjoy the run. Participants should have a basic grasp of poker hand rankings to understand how their hand is developing. Outside of that, poker skills are not really required, as there will be no swapping of hands. The idea of introducing poker is to gamify the experience and add an element of competition outside of visiting checkpoints.

How can you participate in one?

Create your own event

You can participate in a poker run by creating one for yourself. While most big events are done to raise money for charity, a small-scale event can be done for fun. It can easily be held at different points within and surrounding your area. You might have a group of ten friends wishing to travel between points in London or even travel to the countryside for a weekend to make a longer event.

Contact friends and family who you believe would be interested in helping you out or participating. Map out the locations you would like to use as checkpoints and find people who can manage the area. If your event is happening in a small location, consider using electric bikes. They will help participants navigate through traffic easily while still being able to get to the checkpoints quickly.

You will also have to plan the logistics of your poker run in a legal sense. This involves checking the laws of your area and getting the right permits before proceeding with the event. You may also want to have an insurance policy. This will help free you of any liability in case unforeseen circumstances occur.

Also, don't forget there's usually an entrance fee, even if you and your friends make a small donation. This is usually split between the winner and the charity, or you could do the whole thing for charity and have something else for the winner; a donated prize, perhaps?

Sign-up for it

If you don’t want to go through the work of creating your own poker run, you can also consider joining one. These events are mounted all over the country, so it won’t be too hard to find one you can participate in, although cycle ones were not as commonplace in 2022.

Check community boards to see if they are hosting an event near your location and when they will be happening. You can also check poker run calendars which provide comprehensive lists. They will be able to tell you the date, location, and contact information to sign-up. Just remember that most big poker runs are done for charity, so there will normally be an entrance fee.

Poker runs are a great way to bring a group of people together and have fun. Knowing how they work and are organised can help you enjoy the poker runs you embark on yourself.

Read on:


9 Un-useless bike accessories

100 Cycling Tips

Electric bikes - questions to ask yourself when buying

Bike storage for your home

Hacks for the home office

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.