Frequently Asked Questions

What does The Poker People do?

Thanks for asking. We provide event planning, equipment, and professional dealers for poker games. Our staff runs home games, charity poker tournaments, and team building events.  We have even started offering virtual team building on our own custom-built poker platform.


Do all your games come with dealers?

Yes, they do. Even our virtual poker tables will have a live dealer and Tournament Director.  Our staff are all in-house employees and well-trained to make sure your game experience is fantastic.


Can you tell me more about this virtual poker thingy?

We built our very own poker website just for team building events.  Employees from around the country or even around the world can come together and play for fun and bragging rights.  We pair the game with a video conferencing call so you can see your tablemates and work on your poker face.  We even have a live dealer on each table to provide tech support and ensure that the game flows smoothly.


Is poker actually legal?

Yes, with some restrictions.  You can host a home game as long as the “house” doesn’t take any part of the prize pool, you can have a team building event that is free to play for the guests and you can have a charity poker fundraiser as long as you get a permit.  We are happy to talk you through the process for any of these options.


How does a home game work?

We will provide you with a dealer, a poker table, and all the expertise you need.  We can run cash games or tournaments.  We can even run mixed games and help you figure out the best structure to meet your needs.


How does team building work?

We bring the game to you with tables and professional dealers delivered to your workspace. We will teach you everything you need to know for an enjoyable round of poker and camaraderie.  Because we randomly seat players, it breaks up the usual social cliques and allows your folks to have a good time with their co-workers in a friendly environment.


How do I run a poker game for my charity?  

Nonprofits must apply for a permit through the State to hold an event and follow some guidelines.  We can walk you through the process.  It’s pretty easy.


Because of the pandemic, we want to hold our charity fundraiser online.  Is that legal?

Nope.  The law specifically prohibits permitted fundraisers from taking place online.  We are currently working on getting an exception to that.  If you want to be part of our coalition, send us an email.  We are putting together a powerful argument for legalization and would love to have you on the team.


Well, what if we just run a charity fundraiser ourselves on a free site?

That’s up to you, but it’s still illegal. The play sites are not set up for it, so it’s a lot of work to get players registered, track rebuys and hope people pay you.  Oh, and don’t forget to tell your participants that they can’t get a tax credit for an illegal act.  You’re risking your 501c3 status and the charity’s reputation if the Department of Justice finds out, and also, did we mention that it is totally, seriously illegal?  

*California Code BPC 19986(o)


Ok, we will do our charity tournament in person. What is the process to get a poker permit?

It sounds daunting, but it’s really not that difficult.  To be eligible for a permit in California, your nonprofit must have been in existence for three years or longer.  The permit fee is $100.  You may only conduct one poker fundraiser per year, attendees must be 21 and over, you have to adhere to strict prize restrictions, and you must contract with a registered company to provide the games and dealers.  We are registered in multiple states and are happy to help you through the process, no matter where you are located.

*law link – permit application


Prize restrictions? But I have a sponsor who will donate a new car. Can I use that as a prize?

Short answer, no.  It varies by state, but in California the law caps the value of any individual prize at $500 and the total prize pool at $5,000.


That is a stupid rule.

Yes, we agree and that’s why we are trying to get the law changed.  Email us to find out more and join the fight.


Are casino night fundraisers legal?  

Many of the casino fundraisers you see advertised are, in fact, not legal.  To use gambling for fundraising you need a permit.  The only permit available in California excludes games like blackjack, craps, and roulette because there is a “house” representation.  However, we do offer many poker-based games that are covered by the permit and can be used for fundraising purposes.

*California Penal Code section 330


Can I have craps and roulette at my company or house party?

Yes, as long as you are not banking the game or attaching any actual value to the chips.  Casino parties are great fun for the holidays, birthdays, or pretty much any gathering.  If you are thinking of making the company holiday party into a casino night, book early.  Busy December dates often sell out at early as September.


Can my kids play?

Sure, kids enjoy the challenges of learning poker and the competition with their friends.  We can play for fun at birthday parties or any other excuse, as long as it is not part of a charity event.


What makes you different from the competition?

We’re so glad you asked.  Poker is not only our full-time job; it is a game that we feel passionately about.  We invest in the success of your event and we hope that means you will call us again next time.  We are a small, women-owned business and all our dealers are actual employees, not independent contractors.  We love poker and we love what we do, and we hope that shines through.


Can I put my company logo on the cards or chips or something?

Sure can.  We have lots of cool options to brand your event.  Everything from a drink coaster to the felt on the poker table.  Call for options.


What does your Production Consulting include?

Our experienced staff has years of casino and general gambling knowledge under their belts. (And a little bit up their sleeves.)  We have consulted on books, commercials, tv shows and major motion pictures.  If you want to make sure your story is authentic, then you need someone who knows the game.  We can help you with the script, casting, hand doubling, and even be with you on set to make sure everything is perfect.


How far in advance do you sell out?

That depends on the size of your event, but we recommend setting a date about 3 months in advance.  We are not a huge company and we use all our own staff, so we do sell out on some dates.  It makes more sense to book early with us than to go with someone else who will just grab random last-minute dealers from Craig’s List.  Yep, that happens.


Do you require a deposit?

We do everything through QuickBooks, so it is very clear what to expect.  We require a 20% deposit to secure the order and give you a cut-off date a week prior to make any changes.  We take all major credit cards, checks, Venmo, PayPal, and wire transfers.


Can I just talk to someone about what I want to do without a commitment?

Yes, you sure can.  Call us or send an email and we will give you an exact quote and probably even a little advice on how to best host your event.  No obligation.