Joker Poker

Events, functions and fundraising activities

Joker Poker is a simple and fun game that has been played at clubs to raise funds for many years. It’s usually played throughout a season on the major training night of each week or at the after match function.

In simple terms, 52 playing cards plus a joker are shuffled and pinned face down on a board, like a cork board. Each night/week a raffle is held where club members pay for the right to select a single card. The objective is to select the joker from the playing cards that are pinned faced down.

Part of the excitement and fun of Joker Poker is that after each unsuccessful card selection the prize jackpots . For example the prize may be a carton of drinks in the first week and jackpot by a carton of drinks each week until the joker is selected. Imagine how much excitement would be generated if the joker hadn’t been found after 15 weeks and the prize had grown from one carton of drinks to being 15 cartons of drinks.

Why Joker Poker?
This is a great fundraiser to engage your members and to grow excitement and atmosphere around the club.
It is important to be aware that this fundraiser does call on your club community to donate and doesn’t give an opportunity for fundraising dollars to be made from external sources.

When should I hold this fundraiser?
Joker Poker needs to be held across a significant period of time. While this could be across a night, it works best across the length of a season.

Key Activities
These are the tasks you will need to consider assign to volunteers at our club:

Before the Day

  • Source a pack of playing cards.
  • Attach the cards to the board.
  • Promote the fundraiser
  • Sell “tickets” (attempts at picking a card)

On the Day

  • Build up the suspense each time there is a card chosen
  • Announce the outcome and when the next will be chosen.
  • Ensure the board is put away safely and securely between each time a card is revealed.

After the day

  • Publicly thank everyone involved
  • Announce the amount of money raised in club newsletters, on social media, website and around the club.

Who can help?
It is important to engage your members to help in the running of your fundraiser.
For Joker Poker you could approach them to help:

  • Promote and sell the tickets
  • Secure prizes
  • Help logistical on the day

You could also approach current club Sponsors for prizes.

Recruiting your people
It is important to create a culture of volunteering at your club to help not only with fundraising but also across the day to day running of your club. For more on how to create this at your club, click here.

Using technology to making it easier

You may like to consider using technology to reduce the workload on your volunteers and increase your fundraising dollars. For an event like this, you may like to sell tickets using a platform like TryBooking.

TryBooking lets you sell tickets, take payments and donations for events online.

This takes care of a great deal of the work that is usually left to volunteers and automates the ticket selling process.

You can set up and customise your own event page and a unique URL in minutes. This lets you easily share the event online and engage members and supporters. Your club may also like to use social media, email newsletters and your club website to promote the event.

Financial Considerations
Joker Poker costs as much as the prize the club offers and the cost of a pack of cards.
Clubs can make good funds if the prize jackpots, take this scenario for example, 20 members pay $5 per ticket for the right to select a card that may win them a slab of Beer. If the joker is not selected for 10 weeks, the club has raised $1000 at the cost of 10 slabs (approx $350) and a pack of cards. If a prize is donated, then the funds raised will be cost free.

It is important to create a budget for the event and identify how much cash you will need before the day. For Joker Poker there will generally only be minor purchases before ticket sales begin, including prizes (if not already donated), a deck of cards, a pin board and pins.

To promote your Joker Poker fundraiser, utilise existing club resources and social media. Club resources include club newsletters, the club website and noticeboards. The more members that are attracted to the event and participate, the better the atmosphere and financial return to the club.

Communication considerations
As Joker Poker is an exciting event that will build suspense as the weeks pass, your club might like to use social media to grow community interest. This way people anywhere in the world can be part of the event. You may like to live stream the card reveal each day!

Social, Moral and Ethical Considerations
Supply of Alcohol
It is important to consider whether your club will allow the sale of alcohol at club events. Events can be alcohol free or limits or restrictions set in advance. Clubs need to consider how they will manage the risks of binge drinking as well as the Responsible Service of Alcohol.

What can go wrong? (Risk Management)
Financial Risks
There are obvious financial risks if enough tickets aren’t sold and the prizes and setup costs more than is made.
Participant Safety
The health and wellbeing of those who attend your event should be a focus at all times. It is important that your club takes time to consider all possible risks and how to minimise these.
No Winner
Assuming your Joker Poker fundraiser runs for 15 weeks, you can’t guarantee that the Joker will be selected during this time. This means your club needs a clearly defined process on how you plan to finish the competition.
What many clubs will do to identify a “last day winner” is to sell tickets to the final raffle as you would normally do (ticket sales should be significantly more given the increased interest due to large prize) and then draw one ticket at a time. After each draw the successful ticket holder selects a card from the remaining playing cards. If they don’t select the joker another ticket is selected and that ticket holder selects a playing card. This process is repeated until the joker is successfully identified

Licenses and Permits
Clubs need to check with their state or territory regulatory body to make sure they have all the required permissions to run Joker Poker.

Additional Revenue Opportunities
Clubs may look to combine the Joker Poker fundraiser with other post training or post match activities such as pizza/pie nights.

This links to other pages that have fundraising ideas that can run simultaneously, should the club like to.

Any specific suppliers or links for this particular fundraiser. Could be used for 3rd party advertising in the future.

This procedure should be treated as a guide only. Your club should seek advice specific to the needs of your club and event. Seek further details from authorities and service providers; especially in regards to insurance, licences, permits, spectator and participant safety.