How to Play Strip Poker - Easy Tips to Play Strip Poker

howtoplaystrippoker
Even the best play strip poker! (Photo: ESPN Body Issue)

So you want to know how to play strip poker and you’re not quite sure what the proper rules are?

Here's what you need to know to play a titillating game of strip poker in just a few minutes

First things first: any variation of poker can work for strip poker although the simpler games with fewer betting rounds (such as Texas Hold’em or Five Card Draw) are the most popular.

While the rules of strip poker can obviously be a lot 'looser' (see what we did there?) than a standard game of poker, it still helps to set some easy-to-follow guidelines from the start.

Eg: Socks and underwear count as clothes; jewelry and glasses don’t.

Also, for fairness, the number of items of clothing can be fixed for each person. For example if you want to keep a strip poker game from lasting for hours, 5 items is a reasonable amount of clothing for most games.

Play Strip Poker Fast, Slow or Somewhere In Between

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There are three main ways to play strip poker games:

  • quick strip poker
  • medium-paced strip poker and
  • slow strip poker

For the quick version, each player shows their best 5-card poker hand at the end of each hand. The player with the best hand  doesn’t take off any items of clothing while everyone else takes off one item.

Play continues accordingly with all players showing their hands at the end of a hand and everyone except the winner taking off an item of clothing.

The first player that ends up naked is the loser. That’s the most common way to play strip poker.

For the medium-paced version, only the player with the worst hand at the end of the hand takes off an item of clothing. But again, the first one to end up naked has lost.

As for the slow version (which can take a while), the game is played as normal with poker chips but a player is allowed to bet an item of clothing if he or she wants to continue in a hand.

If you’re playing with good players who know how to drag chips off other players, it can take a while before anyone gets even a little bit naked.

Alternative Ways to Play Strip Poker: Throw in some Truth or Dare

Other alternatives can be added to basic strip poker games such as some Truth or Dare. In this version you can make up for lost chips by combining Truth or Dare and items of clothing.

strippoker

Each player can fold at any moment but, depending on the rules you set, whomever folds may have to pay in the form of a Truth and/or Dare.

At the end of the hand the winner decides what Truths or Dares the losers have to do to save removing an item of clothing. Those who've bet clothes can decide what item of clothing they should take off (depending on the value of the hand).

An item of clothing that was taken off cannot be put on again. If a player ends up naked, their only way to keep playing is to pick Truths or Dares.

Here’s a quick reminder on Truth or Dare for those who may have never played or forgotten: If a player picks “Truth” they have to answer truthfully to a question (usually fairly intimate or embarrassing). If they pick “Dare” they have to do a challenge picked by the winner. But be careful that your challenges aren’t too stupid or too risky.

A Few Tips for a Good Strip Poker Game

If you want to organize strip poker games at home with your other half or a few (daring) friends, here are some tips:

  • The atmosphere is obviously crucial: low light, plenty of comfortable cushions, a nice couch and some music will help people relax and forget their inhibitions.
  • Also remember to have the room properly heated: no one wants to get naked in a freezing room (though you don’t have to turn it into a sauna either).
  • Don’t forget to make it fun: Turn the removal of a clothing item into a spectacle. Or offer to allow the winner to take off one of the loser’s items. Maybe instead of their hands, they use their teeth? (Though be careful not to get carried away...)
  • Don’t forget to wear nice underwear!

Tensions will be high, no doubt, but you’ll certainly enjoy your night. Have fun and may the best person win ... or lose, depending on how you see it.

When Did People Start to Play Strip Poker?

When you hear the words "strip poker" your mind probably starts to race. You might even start thinking about crazy nights in years past in private or special clubs with your partner or with (very) close friends. This “hot” version of poker might even be a part of regular foreplay for you.

steamboat poker from sol smiths book

But do you know the origins of strip poker? Are you aware that strip poker is surprisingly pervasive in pop culture?Do you know that a joke has even led to the running of real strip poker tournaments where hundreds of naked connoisseurs gather?

Born Alongside the Game Itself

Strip poker is one of the many variations of poker, the best-known card game in the world. And just like poker, it's a little hard to determine exactly when and where it was born.

According to Wikipedia, strip poker was born in New Orleans at the same time as poker itself around the 1830s. But it's obvious that poker as we know it is the end result of a long evolution and there's no consensus as to its origins.

Some think the ancestor of poker came from 10th century China; others say 17th century Persia or even 18th century Europe. What we know for sure is that most classic poker games in America developed aboard the steamboats of the Mississippi River before conquering the Far-West saloons.

Strip poker was essentially born around the same time, although some argue that the first written evidence of the words “strip poker” is from 1916.

No More Tar and Feathers

During the Great Depression the term “mixed strip poker” referred to strip poker games with men and women as opposed to games with only men.

In this version saloon players who had no more chips could keep playing with the risk of ending up naked. Since the game was often played in “unofficial” casinos that were more often than not also brothels, no wonder it rapidly got a reputation as an erotic game.

It's worth noting that strip poker was not played in private, despite popular beliefs. Seeing a player naked at the end of a game was just as common as tar and feathers to punish cheaters.

Nowadays, there's no more tar and feathers and strip poker has become a party game played during a social gathering to lighten the mood, enable interactions and get to know people more intimately.

Strip poker works with any type of poker but, as mentioned above, Texas Hold’em or 5-Card Draw are by far the most common.

Play Strip Poker Board or Video Games

If you want to have a designated strip poker playing set, there are pre-made board game versions of strip poker. For example Cissia Schippers Kamapoker, which mixes poker and the Kama Sutra, was recognized by sexologists as a tool that “helps players own their desires and fantasies, communicate better and make sexuality a more mundane part of their personal lives."

Strip Poker

If you're too shy for board games with actual people you can play strip poker “alone” with your gaming console. And yes, that means only your virtual opponents will get naked (unless, of course, you join in).

Various game editors on Apple II, Amiga, Atari, Commodore and even Nintendo NES created (official or unofficial) licenses as early as the 80s: these are the very first erotic video games.

From A Sizzling Game of Chance (1982) to Strip Poker Professional (1994) or Peek A Boo Poker (1991) and Gameloft’s Sexy Poker (2004), the choice is yours and the differences in graphics can be spectacular.

To find out more, check out our History of Strip Poker Infographic that maps the evolution of Strip Poker Video Games from the 80s to now.

Some ambitious men's magazines - like Playboy, Hustler and even Swank - even created their own, real-money online poker sites but none made much impact.

Strip Poker in Pop Culture

If you’ve paid attention over the years you know that strip poker pops up in some unexpected places in American pop culture -- even in black and white movies!

madyouth
Mad Youth

One of the most controversial movies (and probably the first of its kind) is the 1928 film The Road to Ruin with Helen Foster. It follows the dissolute life of an uneducated woman: smoking, drinking, sex before marriage, prostitution and abortion are all tackled.

There's even a strip poker game to emphasize the declining morality of the main character. In the updated, speaking version (made in 1934), strip poker was replaced by a “strip dice” game.

In the 1932 political satire The Dark Horse, with Bette Davis, a strip poker game is used to discredit presidential candidates. In 1940, the teenagers in Mad Youth enjoy some wild strip poker games while their parents play bridge at the club, boasting about their kids’ wholesome qualities.

As early as the '50s strip poker started becoming more and more popular in the US as part of what was to become the sexual revolution. In 1971, Milos Forman’s Taking Off used some memorable strip poker scenes in which adults are interrupted by their children.

Erica Schoenberg, Discovered

There have been countless TV shows with strip poker scenes, from Friends to Three's Company. In the 1990s erotic shows like Tutti Frutti and Colpo Grosso with strip poker elements even appeared on German and Italian television.

These shows have “evolved” with time and one of the most famous specifically dedicated to strip poker is the Strip Poker Invitational, hosted by Carmen Electra and broadcast in the USA in 2005 (on pay-per-view).

This is actually where young and talented poker player Erica Schoenberg made her debut. A DVD was even available after the end of the series.

Strip Poker Tournaments, Too?

In 1999 there was even a strip poker tournament with about 100 players organized by the Naturist Association of Estonia. The winner still had her socks on.

paddypowerstripoker

What started as an April’s Fools joke became reality in 2006, however, with the biggest annual strip poker tournament in the world organized by Paddy Power Entertainment Ltd (Ireland).

After an online poll showed that 50% of poker players played naked at home, Paddy Power toyed with the idea of a strip poker tournament as a joke.

The winner was supposed to be awarded a gold vine leaf marked Paddy Power Poker and win a trip to one of the largest naturist beaches in Europe (Cayton Beach, in England, for those interested).

After many players showed their interest Paddy Power did organize the tournament for real on August 20, 2006, in London’s Café Royale. It was called the World Strip Poker Championship (WSPC PaddyPower) and had 196 players.

On top of the regular rules of poker the list of clothes one was allowed to discard was very strict: each player was to start the game with five items of clothing provided by the organizers.

Each player also got a towel on which to sit and with which to cover themselves once they were naked … but only after the jury could see they were actually naked!

In the end John Young, a British freelance journalist, won around $16k, a vine leaf trophy and an entry for the Irish Open. Fair play to Paddy Power who also offered the same prize to a cancer research association.

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