When Panic! At The Disco said, 'lying is the most fun [you] can have without taking your clothes off', they clearly hadn't run a strip-poker bluff!
What Is Strip Poker (SP)?
Strip poker is a poker variant that usually centres around the fun, risk, and the hilarity of embarrassing your friends. Best played after (and along with) a few decent helpings of rum - or any other inhibition lowering beverage - SP replaces chips with clothing.
If chip stack is an indicator of scoring in regular poker, in strip poker, it's the visibility of your right nipple!
Who Should I Play Strip Poker With?
Although you can play with anyone, strip poker isn't going to be replacing charades as a weekend family activity any time soon. So, it's probably not the greatest idea to throw Grandma a cheeky wink the next time you're ruffling a deck of cards.
With that said, it is pretty important to play with people you feel comfortable around; a group of close friends or your partner make great candidates. But, if playing with a group of strangers at a party works for you, then go right ahead.
Just like in any other poker game, though, table selection is key.
How Many People Can Play Strip Poker?
I'd Recommend 2-6 payers. Strictly speaking, you can deal until you run out of cards, so the maximum size of your game will depend on what poker variant you're playing. I do recommend a two-player minimum, though. You can play on your own, but if you do find yourself going solo, I think a trip to the psychiatrist might be in order...
Oh, and remember, heads-up SP is likely to be more intimate and flirtatious than a group game at a party, which will be far more likely to centre around the hilarity of playfully embarrassing each other.
What Do I Need to Play Strip Poker?
- A sense of humour
- Drinks (optional)
- The consequential lowered inhibitions (optional)
- Curtains! (recommended by your neighbours)
- Clean underwear
How to Play Strip Poker
The key to a successful game of strip poker is to clarify the rules before you start (der!). Now, this might seem obvious, but since there's no official strip poker rule book (until I make a fortune taking it on Dragons' Den), it's worth clearing them up.
Here are a few things to consider:
- The Game: Most people are familiar with Hold'em these days, but in reality, the number of chips you need to facilitate the multiple betting rounds makes conventional hands (and games) last quite a while. Formats with fewer betting rounds and lots of drawing make the game more dramatic and a lot faster. They reduce the skill factor too, which amplifies the fun and makes those new to poker far more likely to join in.
- The Structure: let's face it; in strip poker, the anticipation and comedy of getting naked are way more fun than sitting around as a naked loser. It's cold, boring and, for the less conceited of us, a little embarrassing. With this in mind, I'd recommend playing several short games with smaller stacks and mandatory antes. Not only will this minimise a bust-o players' idle time, but it also will help drive the action, and prevent people trying to wait everyone else out.
- Will There Be Any Bonus Rules? Does a full-house allow you to get dressed again, or does anyone with a flush have to drink a shot? Perhaps the winner gets to add a rule to the next game, or the first person naked has to do the funky chicken around the table? Whatever it may be, bonus rules can make your SP game as unique and as weird as the bizarre birthmarks you'll witness during the game.
Strip Poker Example Game
With the rules ironed out, you're free to get started. Here's a variation I've played – it's the same one I've used with friends when we've had to allocate rooms or forfeits too.
It's a really quick format of the game.
- Ensure each player has a similar number of items of clothing before the game stars. You can group items or accept jewellery if you need to make it a little fairer.
- Players nominate an item of clothing as an ante.
- Players are dealt five cards. They are allowed to look at two, with the other three remaining face-down in front of them.
- A flop is dealt.
- Players have the option to exchange any of their known cards for an equivalent number of unknown cards. Discarded cards are mucked and no longer in the game.
- Turn is dealt.
- Players can exchange ONE of their cards with a face-down cards, if they wish.
- River is dealt.
- There is a showdown, with the worst hand losing the item that they nominated as their ante.
- Once you’re out of clothing, you must await the next game.
If you'd like a slower more skilful variant, you could always allocate a number of chips to each player, and enforce 'stripping' whenever a player loses all their chips, or another reaches a certain number.
I'm Too Shy to Play Strip Poker
As you might expect, SP isn't a game for the shy or self-conscious. Most people find it a little embarrassing to get their jiggly bits out in company. If you're especially insecure, I'd probably stick to twister or chess.
If you do decide to play, though, remember, people are way more likely to be laughing at your misfortune of losing than your 'frumpy bits', especially if you play with the right people.
So, there you have it, strip poker in a nutshell.