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Host a Successful Poker Night with U.S. Poker & Casino Parties

Poker Night

One of the best ways to raise money for a charity or foundation is to hold a Texas Hold’em Poker Tournament. We have been a part of several of these each year, and the money raised ranges from $10,000 to over 1 million dollars. Below are some of the key parts of ensuring you have a successful poker fundraiser.

First Things First...Logistics

In Illinois, your charity, the venue, and the casino supplier all must have a charitable gaming license. This allows you to run a poker night using real money. It also allows the state to collect taxes on the funds raised. You can find information on the licensing process at this link. US Poker & Casino Parties has been a charitable gaming supplier for over 10 years, so you can rest assured that we will guide you to a legal and successful poker night.

Once you have the license, you need to decide on your theme (James Bond, Denim & Diamonds…) and your price point. Some of the variables for the price points are:

a) the type of audience you want to attract (you know your charity. Are they used to a $100 ticket price, $250…?),

b) what is included in the ticket price (sit-down dinner, silent auction, live auction, open bar, starting stack for poker tournament …)

c) the venue fee(s)-including rental of the room, food & beverage (F&B), Décor…

Sponsorships Can Help Maximize Your Efforts

A key factor in maximizing the money raised is your sponsor packages. We recommend putting together packages for the Venue Sponsorship, a Food Sponsor, A Drink or Bar Sponsor, a Gaming Sponsor…and wrapping them up into fun names like Queen of Hearts Sponsor for $2500; All in Sponsor $10,000… Sponsor packets can include tickets to attend, custom felts for the poker table, signage at a table(s), shoutouts, logos on the invite, and on-site... If done right, you can get all the expenses paid by key sponsors. Some great sponsors include law firms, car dealerships, insurance companies, and any big brands that your board members may be employed by.

The U.S. Poker and Casino Parties Experience

You can count on US Poker & Casino Parties to run the tournament by helping you do a training for new players at the beginning, setting the starting stack amount, building the blind schedule, making all the announcements, breaking down the tables as people are eliminated from the tournament and opening up side games or casino games to the guests after the first hour of play. Most tournaments last 4-5 hours. We ‘slow play’ the first hour to give new players a chance and others to re-buy when they run out of chips. Players can typically re-buy two times and then do a final ‘add-on’ at the end of the first hour. Each re-buy and add-on is additional money raised for your charity.

To the Victor, Goes the Prizes

The tournament is designed to have one winner at the end. We recommend having enough prizes for those who make it to the final table (about 9 prizes) with the biggest prize going to the top winner. Common prizes are gift cards, Cubs/Sox tickets, TVs, Amazon Echos, Trips, overnight stays… and a host of other donations or prizes from your charity board.


Your charity is always looking for new ideas for raising money. The No Limit Texas Hold’em tournament is one of the more effective ways to engage your guests, raise a lot of money and provide a memorable evening out. Interested? Send us a message and we are happy to talk more details about how U.S. Poker and Casino Parties can help your team or organization.


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