How to Play Strip Poker

You may have heard this one before – strip poker leaves very little to the imagination. The game is predicated on the age-old rules of poker, whether you are inclined to playing Texas Hold’em or Omaha, or perhaps Stud Poker – how apt.

The only real difference is the (social) currency you use here – your pieces of clothing. And once you start going down this road, it’s easy to get to the point where you are in the vortex of a few awkward situations.

Yet, there is good news. The people who are usually inclined to give this version of the game a go aren’t too shy about going around in the nuddy. With this said, let’s see what it takes.

A Quick Refresher: What Is Strip Poker, Really?

Strip poker will be based on any popular version of poker a group of people understands and has agreed to play in the first place. The only difference is to replace chips with items of clothing – as simple as that.

The game may have evolved from another popular urban game, Truth of Dare, which was also designed to let young people loosen up a bit, although some inhibitions, admittedly, should preferably stay intact.

How Do I Play Strip Poker?

To start a game of strip poker, all you need to do is establish a base line, which usually has to do with how many clothes or items you will consider removing. Some people agree to adding accessories, such as hats, glasses, hoodies, earrings and count them as viable stakes.

The rules of strip poker are exclusively “house rules,” meaning every group and experience can be slightly different. Is a hat worth a t-shirt and vice versa? That’s up for the group of players to decide.

Now, some people prefer to not include “big blinds.” The game starts with a small blind – which is an item of clothing – and most people just checking. If someone feels particularly inclined to raise the stakes, they throw in another item of clothing, with players now either having to opt out or call and possibly raise the bet.

Of course, most games of strip pokers are usually very quick, and most gatherings try to have as many people playing as possible.

The Quick Set-up:

To just run through this one more time, consider the following stages of setting the game up.

  • The Game Variant: Evidently quite important to begin with will be the choice of a poker variant. Hold’em seems to be the most logical choice as it’s played wildly across the poker community. Another upside to choosing this version is the slower pace of gameplay as well as the arguably more strategical depth. In Omaha, many people feel too bold too soon, and the party might run out of clothing to wager very soon.
  • Introduce an ante: Adding antes seems like a clever way to make sure that nobody is really whiling around and waiting for everyone else to get naked. You generally want to establish a dynamic that will prevent those more devious of mind to simply wait you out and let you sit around in the nuddy.
  • Extending the game: Balancing strip poker can be a bit of work, but luckily, time-tested practices exist to help you smooth out the entire experience and make it a whole lot more enjoyable. As it is, players often introduce cool rules whereby a full-house or a flush allow players to put some pieces of clothing back on and give an incentive to win and keep playing.

How Long Does It Take to Conclude a Game of Strip Poker?

The length of a game of strip poker can spawn from a few quick minutes up to half an hour, depending on the number of players and clothing you have. Some devious participants might unnecessarily draw out the rounds to make people feel uncomfortable sitting around naked or throw them off their A-game as it is.

With this said, the number of players will impact how much a game continues. The recommended number of players seems to be anything between 2 and 7 players, though, but as long as there are people willing to opt in and strip down, this number can go higher.

What Do You Need to Set Up Your Game of Strip Poker?

  • A clean pair of underwear
  • A secluded venue to play
  • Another person to play with
  • A sense of humour to loosen up
  • Some alcoholic beverages
  • Enough clothes to use as chips

To get yourself all set up all you need to do is pick a version of the game you are happy with, see how many people will be willing to join, set a base line for the chips and their value. Of course, you ought to keep in mind that since you will be stripping naked – or in the near vicinity of naked – you might also want to make sure that you are covered when it comes to personal hygiene.

It definitely helps to have a few drinks around and perhaps a good sense of humour, but similarly, nothing soils a good strip poker experience like a pair of soiled underwear to begin with.

Meanwhile, it’s recommended that you don’t let your antics get in the way of proper social decorum outside your circle so make sure not to be too loud or disturb your neighbours. After all, people talk and once the brief headiness of your alcohol beverages wears off, social anxiety might take its rightful place instead.

Winners Take All?

Spicing things up is a natural part of strip poker, or so it would appear. Now, there are some more intimate rules to the game. For example, some groups might let the winner choose a group member and ask them to perform an action of their own preference.

The explicitness of said action is once again subject to the house rules set out by individual group members cumulatively. Once again, you must make absolutely sure that everyone is on board and doesn’t feel alienated, off-put or simply anxious to participate.

Play Only Around People Who Are Comfortable

Long story short, strip poker definitely can be a lot of fun, providing you are surrounded by the same free spirits as yourself. This being said, people who are too anxious or self-conscious are unlikely to feel very well in such a setting and perhaps it’s always best to pick your strip poker crowd smartly and with this in mind.

Strip poker is an abiding motif in pop culture and is often referenced. Yet, there are a few challenges the game that still has to overcome before it can span its wings and take the world by storm.

The game has actually appeared in quite a few productions and as early as 1928 way before the sexual revolution blasted its way throughout the United States, from there – the world. In The Road to Ruin featuring Helen Foster, strip poker is all part of the plot, which is centred around a heroine who is descending form one vice into another.

The Dark Horse from 1932 is another popular movie where strip poker is actually featured. The product is still early for nudity, but a surly game of poker takes place nevertheless.

Eventually, the game found its way into two popular screenings in Europe, and specifically in Tutti Frutti and Colpo Grosso, two movies that were then broadcast on both Germ and Italian TV, much to the uproar of strait-laced citizens.  

Maybe You Would Want to Join the Next Strip Poker Tournament, Too?

Now, you have probably thought about this yourself. Strip Poker is just bound to have a tournament out there, yes? Perhaps a small World Series of Poker for those who are somewhat more scantily dressed?

Well, be that as it may, there is no such big event, although, as you can imagine – worthy attempts have been made. In 1999, the Naturist Association of Estonia gathered together some 100-odd players who didn’t mind showing their poker skills in the nuddy.

Paddy Power Entertainment, however, did decide to take things up a notch and hosted the world’s first strip poker tournament back in 2006, cleverly dubbed the World Strip Poker Championship.

Curb your enthusiasm though, because the event only attracted 196 players – not the most impressive number at all. At first blush, it looked like a whole lot more people would turn up, but social anxiety often finds its discreet way in boosting your inhibitions to begin with.

So, Where Can You Play Strip Poker Today?

There seem to be one or two places that will very happily allow you to sign up and have fun playing. The safest environment you can choose is playing with friends and trusted people who wouldn’t mind to participate in the game and also can talk openly about boundaries.

While a few online alternatives may exist, it’s worth noting that not many people are willing to go on camera. However, an alternative exists as well here. You can join animated strip poker portals where you will mostly get a sort of cartoonish nudity, so not necessarily “the real thing.”

Yet, many players find this satisfying, and after all, this is the best alternative to actually revealing your identity online. Strip poker can be immensely fun, but even more importantly – you got to be at your best behaviour nevertheless.