How to Organize a UTV Poker Run

One aspect of owning and riding a UTV that stands out is the fun.

It’s not just the thrill of a good course or the competition of a race, but the customization and community. Unlike other motorized vehicles, the community find much more fun in their vehicles through mods, custom jobs and shows. Sure, you get that with cars and bikes, but not to the same level. Where else would you get an exciting custom job like a Project Yamaha YXZ1000R?


Fun, that’s what owning and driving a UTV is all about, and any elements of extra fun that can be piled on are surely welcomed. One thing you might consider, particularly if you are a UTV club, is a poker run. Poker runs are great to raise money for good causes or your club, and they’re topical too. Recently, the 2021 World Series of Poker wrapped up in Las Vegas, making the game topical right now. The desert terrain of Nevada is also perfect for a tailored UTV poker run across the barren wasteland kicking up plenty of dust. You don’t need to have a grasp of poker; you don’t even need to be in Nevada; you can still organize a great UTV poker run and have lots of fun doing so.

Usually, a poker run is held on motorbikes. That’s the accepted norm, a point-to-point ride on bikes with a group or club, stopping along the way. However, there’s nothing to stop you from doing it in a UTV; in fact, the UTV community is perhaps geared more towards poker runs than anything. There’s an element of showing off machines, and there’s far less emphasis on racing and more on the actual course in our sector.

Those not wanting to compete in the Quadna sled pull, obstacle course or mud bog had the poker run, with the last card stop being a Matt Farris concert.

How does it work? You attract people to the poker run by charging an entry fee to drive the course, usually a point-to-point. This raises the money for charity, but you can have other events on the day, specifically at the start and end points. Perhaps stalls selling goods for rider’s nearest and dearest, or a raffle, refreshments, that sort of thing.

The course will usually consist of five points, including the start and finish line. At each point, a contestant is given a playing card, at random, to keep until the end. Every time they stop at a point, they get a card until they have five, just the right amount for a poker hand. The final point sees the hands checked, and the person with the best hand wins. All you need to set this up is a course, plenty of playing cards, a basic knowledge of poker terms and hand rankings and contestants willing to power up their UTVs. It’s that easy.

The attraction isn’t in the poker hand; that’s pretty much random. It is in the coming together of people in their UTVs, chatting and comparing as a community. It is getting out on a course, putting machines through their paces, and stopping intermittently to enjoy the day. Sure, the poker is fun, and the winner will surely feel achievement, but unlike real poker, everyone who takes part is a winner.

Why not think about a poker run for your next UTV event?

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