Strip Poker Rules, History & Strategy

all about strip poker

Strip poker is the ultimate party game for those who like cards and getting nude! And it’s even more enjoyable when everybody understands strip poker rules and strategy.

If ever there were a casino game where the risk was worth the reward, it’s strip poker. As the name implies, strip poker involves playing cards until somebody, or better yet, everybody, is naked. Unfortunately you won’t find this game offered in brick and mortar casinos. But strip poker is quite popular at private parties and get-togethers – especially when alcohol is involved. Assuming you want to play this game at your next party to get that special someone naked, check out the following strip poker rules, strategy and history.

Strip Poker Rules

Rather than using cash or chips, clothes are used to make wagers in strip poker. If somebody stays in a hand until the showdown and loses, they need to remove an article of clothing. Many people start out with simple things like shoes and socks, although the piece of clothing that’s removed is normally up to the individual. Some players also like to attach bet sizes to each clothing article; for example, shoes would be worth one bet while a shirt is worth two bets.

In regard to the poker variation that’s used, pretty much any game can be played. However, since the point of strip poker is to have fun, most groups stick with the simpler poker games. Five Card Draw is particularly easy for many players to learn since it only involves two betting rounds and one card exchange (trade one, two or three cards for new ones).

As for the number of participants involved, 2-8 players is usually a good number. Many strip poker games end when the first person gets nude; however, other groups may go until all but one player is naked.

Also be aware that alcohol often goes hand in hand with strip poker because it lowers inhibitions and generally makes the game more relaxed and enjoyable. Furthermore, it can help people who are self-conscious about their bodies feel more at ease.

Strip Poker Strategy

The most obvious aspect of strip poker strategy involves being good at the variant that’s used. So if you’re playing Five Card Stud, it would definitely pay to have some in-depth knowledge of this game beforehand. Oftentimes, not everybody is familiar with strategy for a specific game, but there are some more general things we’ll discuss to improve odds of winning.

Of course, some people consider “winning” to be the fastest person with all of their clothes off. So another aspect you have to think about is your goal: do you want to stay clothed or be the first one in your birthday suit? If it’s the latter, you should play as many bad cards and make as many bets as possible during the game. Other people would rather avoid taking everything off so, if the game doesn’t penalize players for folding preflop, they should continue folding until great hands come along. Just don’t fold every single time though or you could draw the ire of the table!

Assuming you’re involved in a game where there’s a flop, such as Texas Hold’em, take special note of the betting rules. A typical Hold’em game sees players bet preflop, on the flop, on the turn, and on the river. But because people only have so many clothes, a group might merely require a one clothing-item wager per hand. So, if you bet preflop, you’d get to see the entire hand dealt.

In these situations, it’s best to fold most drawing hands preflop because you have a low chance of connecting on straights and flushes. Going further, if only one clothing item is bet per hand, the pot won’t progressively build past the flop; this negates the benefit of hitting a flush or straight later in the hand. In contrast, having a high pair, two pair or set preflop would really give you an advantage.

Strip Poker History

The idea of playing games of chance with clothes on the line has been around for centuries. But as for the specific origins of strip poker, some historians believe that it spawned in New Orleans brothels and bars during the late 19th century. The actual term “strip poker” wasn’t coined until 1916, when “The Technology Monthly and Harvard Engineering Journal” published the following joke:

“Say, Bill how, did the game come out?”
“It ended in a tie.”
“Oh, were you playing strip poker.”

Following this publication, strip poker would continue to appear in various pieces of literature, such as Eric Linklaters’ 1931 novel called “Juan in America.” Linklaters, who was a Brit visiting America, discussed how he saw a lady lose her clothes during the game. In 1939, the first account of strip poker outside of the United States was published in “A Coffin for Dimitrios.” This book talks about a game that takes place in an Istanbul, Turkey villa.

Since the time of these publications, poker and its strip variation have spread all over the world. Nowadays, pretty much everybody is aware of the game and have a basic understanding on how it works. That said, you should have an easy time getting a strip poker game going, provided everybody is comfortable with taking some (or all) of their clothes off.

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Carl Sampson
About the author, Carl Sampson
Writer, Poker Expert
Poker player, poker coach and writer. I have a love for all things poker and when I am not playing poker then I love walking and reading with a little light TV.