Contrary to popular belief, a poker run is not a race. Poker runs are social gatherings for friends who embark on an adventure from one destination to another while they collect cards from a deck along the way. The run is accomplished on all forms of motor vehicles in addition to animals, including horses. Just what is a poker run?

How Does A Poker Run Work

The ultimate goal of a poker run is to collect the best poker hand. Five to seven stops are planned on a route where the operator and passengers collect a card from a deck.

Each of the stops is a location that offers the capability of a large social gathering, including a restaurant, park, or banquet facility.

The participants dine, drink, and socialize while collecting a card before continuing the adventure to the next destination.

To win the poker run, the participant with the best poker hand takes home the prize. However, participants frequently do not benefit from succeeding due to the event being hosted for charity.

What Are The Rules Of A Poker Run

There are a limited amount of rules that apply to the run. The goal of a poker run is to collect the best poker hand by the final stop 

Along the route and while visiting the stopping points, the operators of the vehicle, whether a boat or other form, are not allowed to consume alcohol for the safety of its participants and others.

In addition to restricting alcohol, the event is not a race. Races by inexperienced operators result in dangers, including collisions.

Rather than racing, winners are determined by the poker hand. However, the event is timed, which disqualifies those with mechanical issues. Disqualifications are necessary because establishments such as restaurants are made aware of the incoming influx of patrons. 

How Much Does A Poker Run Cost

Pricing is twofold when it comes to booking a run. The pricing structure most frequently falls under two categories.


The operator and one crew member fall under the registration of the vehicle. A vehicle registration ranges between one hundred and fifteen hundred dollars, depending on the event. Poker runs with high-cost speed boats are on the higher side of the scale.


Why leave the friends and family out of the fun event. Passengers come at an additional cost on top of the crew. Keep in mind; this can be the experience of a lifetime for loved ones and friends. 

How Long Does A Poker Run Last

While it would seem like the event would last for an entire day, this is not the case. Although not always the case, boats run at a high rate of speed from destination to destination.

The majority of poker runs are completed within three to five hours. Both the travel times between destinations are quick in addition to the allotted time allowed at each stop. 

Why Are Boats Fun To Enter In A Poker Run

Since we are a boating and fishing website, let’s undoubtedly focus on boats. Besides, boats are the most fun way to participate in a poker run.

Traveling from stop to stop by water allows for the most scenic view in addition to factors that keep the operator on its toes. As a result of elements, the driver may combat rough seas, high winds, rain, and heavy boat traffic. Of course, the challenge adds to the fun.

While not always the case, consequently, most poker runs are in offshore waters with high-speed boats; however, this is not always the case. 

Boats in a poker run stop at unique destinations, including waterfront restaurants, and navigate waters with gorgeous coastal views, particularly in Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. Remember, freshwater lakes also feature poker runs.

Do You Need A Speed Boat To Enter A Poker Run

Of course, most runs are created for speed boats, but runs are geared toward small vessels despite this. As an example, boat clubs and marinas organize poker runs and include watercraft of all sizes.

Don’t assume that you need a go-fast boat to enter the fun. Before partaking in the run, ensure the vessel is in excellent operating condition to avoid becoming disqualified by time limits. 

Are You Ready To Enter A Poker Run

Register your family or friends for the next poker run that pops up in your area. Consider that you don’t even need to own to enter. Carefree Boat Club and Freedom Boat Club offer periodic runs. While speed boats travel faster from point A to point B, don’t assume that an equal amount of fun cant be had on bow runners and fishing boats. You never know. You might just have the winning poker hand.