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Thursday, December 13th, 2007

Poker Snow Job

Written by Tom Somach in Poker News

To celebrate new license plates in the State of Utah that picture snow scenes and skiing, a ski group is awarding prizes to state residents based on poker hands derived from their license plates.

The new ski-themed license plate in the state was recently issued by the Utah Division of Motor Vehicles.

The plate features the tag line “The Greatest Snow on Earth” and depicts the snow-covered local Wasatch Mountains with the figure of a skier in front of them. In celebration of the new plate, Ski Utah, a chamber of commerce-like organization that promotes skiing in the state, has decided to award prizes by playing license plate poker.

The competition is open to any owner of a licensed vehicle registered in Utah.

Contestants are to e-mail pictures of their new license plates, along with their names and locales, to Ski Utah to enter the game.

License plate letters and numbers are scored like poker hands, with the player with the highest-ranked license plate to win either a pair of skiis or a snowboard.

Specifically, the numbers 2 through 9 on a license plate equal the corresponding number in a deck of cards, so two 2’s on your plate would be a pair of deuces, etc.

The number 0 (zero) on a plate is equal to a 10.

As for letters, an A on your license plate equals an ace, a K equals a king, a Q equals a queen and a J equals a Jack; all others letters aren’t counted.

The Utah license plates have six characters, so license plate poker players can use the five best characters to make up the highest five-card poker hand possible.

For example, if your license plate is AJJ666, you’d have a pair of jacks and trip sixes for a full house.

If your plate was QXZ733, you’d simply have a pair of threes.

Obviously, the suits of the cards won’t come into play, so there won’t be any flushes.

But players will be able to form a pair, two pair, three of a kind, four of a kind, a straight or a full house.

“We were so excited by the new ski plate, we just had to have some fun with it,” said Ski Utah president Nathan Rafferty.

“License plate poker is a great way to get people as excited as we are about this new plate and win some great gear too,” he added.

For more information about the contest, visit Ski Utah’s website at

The last time skiing, gambling and the State of Utah all converged was at the 2002 Winter Olympics, which were held in Utah and attracted online gambling on various events.

(E-mail Tom Somach at [email protected].)

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