Poker has a lot to offer for every fan there is. You can find cash games, tournaments, sit and go’s, and then you have all sorts of different variations, from the five-card draw, over Texas Hold’em, and a bunch in between.
Then, there is strip poker.
Strip poker game has become a part of pop culture, and you almost certainly seen it mentioned in movies and TV shows.
Maybe the thought had crossed your mind that it would be fun to organize a strip poker game, but you just didn’t know how?
The whole point of the game is to relax, have a few laughs, and enjoy the time spent with your friends.
Unlike other more serious variations, strip poker isn’t all that strict about rules and strategies, but you need to know some rules and etiquette to organize a pleasant strip poker night.
What Is Strip Poker?
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One of the first obstacles you’ll run into is trying to figure out what variation to pick for your strip poker game night. I’d suggest you don’t overthink it.
Any format can work, really, but you’re better off picking the one with fewer betting streets and possibly adjusting the rules to make things even simpler.
Strip poker is about stripping (surprise) and not about “outplaying” your opponents. You can leave your bluffing face at home for this one. You won’t need it other than to hide your discomfort once you’re down to just your underwear.
The main goal of strip poker is to get your opponents naked and keep as many clothes as possible yourself.
That would be the GTO approach to the game, but not everyone has the same opinion on nudity.
You may be completely relaxed in your birthday suit while someone will start to panic as soon as their shirt is off their back.
So, the main thing is to keep the atmosphere light and entertaining for everyone. There are no losers in this game if you set your strip poker night right.
How to Play Strip Poker
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Not surprisingly, the biggest challenge you’ll face trying to set a strip poker game has nothing to do with the rules of poker.
You first need to find a group of like-minded individuals open to the idea of sitting around the table, playing cards, and getting naked.
While it only takes two to get the ball rolling, an ideal number of players for a strip poker night would be between four and six.
This is enough people to create a fun atmosphere without having someone feel like they have to get undressed in front of a crowd.
In terms of logistics, you’ll need:
- A standard deck of playing cards
- Chips (optional)
- Drinks (optional but recommended)
If you don’t know how to play strip poker, the good news is that it is far less demanding than setting up an actual tournament or a cash game night.
As long as those coming to play show up in a good mood and willing to have fun, you’ll have no particular problems on the logistics side of things.
Strip Poker Rules
There isn’t an official set of rules defining what is strip poker or how it is meant to be played. You, as an organizer, have a free reign to set things up the way you like, but there are some guidelines you should follow to make it a pleasant experience for all participants.
How will you manage the striping
Firstly, you need to decide if you will be using chips to play. It can go both ways, but using closes instead of chips can make the game much smoother, and that is an essential thing for having fun.
In a strip poker game, articles of clothing are chips most of the time.
So, you should define how much an accessory or an article of clothing is worth.
For example, a ring or a watch could be one unit, shoes, two units, and underwear ten units. The more naked you get, the more valuable your next item should be.
You can set up your strip poker rules to adhere entirely to the official rules of any game type you choose. You could play for chips and use clothes as ante for each hand.
However, I’d suggest simplifying things so that you aren’t limiting your group only to poker fans. A strip poker night can be fun for all, but if you are too strict on the rules, those who aren’t into poker probably won’t enjoy it.
What will count as clothing
You need to define what will be counted as an article of clothing.
Will watches and jewelry count, for example?
You can go either way, it makes no difference, but if you’ve never done it before, you should probably give people a bit more wiggle room.
How to make it fair
It is also essential that everyone comes wearing a similar number of apparel pieces.
You don’t want someone coming to your game wearing ten rings on their fingers and five more on their toes to try and “cheat the system.”
Once you have these things figure out, you need to come up with actual game rules. I’ll offer some examples of different game variations as well, but the main idea is to make strip poker night fun.
Different Formats For Strip Poker Game
Playing strip poker can be a lot of fun no matter what variant you choose, but some formats are a much better fit than others.
You don’t want to go with Razz or Badugi. Even some of your poker-playing friends might not know what the hell you’re talking about when you start explaining how the best poker hand is determined in these games.
Instead, keep it to the simple variants with a few betting streets and possibly simplify it even further.
Five Card Draw
Five Card Draw is probably the best pick for a strippoker game. As long as those participating know what the best and the worst poker hand is, they’ll have no problems keeping up.
At the start of the hand, everyone antes up, i.e., they verbally announce the article of clothing they’re risking. Then, everyone is dealt five cards. They’re allowed to exchange up to five cards from their hand once to try and make a better hand. (you can read more about 5-card draw rules here)
Once everyone is done, hands are tabled, and the player with the best hand is the winner, and then you have a couple of options to decide who is going to strip.
- The winner doesn’t have to remove any clothes while everyone else has to remove the item they staked at the start of the hand.
- Alternatively, you can decide that only the player who has the worst hand removes a piece of closing, to make the game last longer, and that is a good idea in most cases.
- Or you can choose to let the winner of the hand decide who has to take down a piece of closing, and this can surely spice things up even more.
It’s fun, it’s simple, and even if someone has never played poker before, they can learn it in no time.
If you want to add some more spice to the game, you can add bonuses for very strong hands like full houses or better.
For example, if a player wins with a full house or quads, they also get to put one item of clothing back on. It adds a bit of strategy to your strip poker game and can also make it last longer.
Although Hold’em is the most popular poker variant that almost everyone knows how to play, it’s not the best pick for a strip poker night. However, you can make it work!
I’d suggest dealing everyone their two cards and then dealing flop, turn, and river. If you want to spice it up, maybe you can allow an extra betting round on the river so that any player can up the ante.
This would add some bluffing elements to the mix, which can be great for the game, but don’t make it too complicated.
Your main goal should be to play as many rounds of strip poker as possible without wasting time.
You want everyone to have fun and chill, so having someone sitting almost naked while another player goes into “tank” for ten minutes about whether to put their socks on the line can kill the momentum.
To avoid it, you can even use the timer and give players like 30 seconds to make their decisions to spice your strip poker night even more.
Tips & Tricks for a Great Strip Poker Night
Figuring out the set of strip poker rules to use and getting the crowd together is a big piece of the puzzle.
However, not everyone may fully understand what they’re getting into, and you need to do your best to ensure your game doesn’t fall apart before it even starts.
- Talk with everyone beforehand. While it may sound like a good idea to just bring the deck of cards and try to start the game of strippoker out of the blue, it could make some of your friends uncomfortable. You don’t want to put them on the spot or force them into doing something they don’t want to do. It won’t be fun.
- Only invite people you know pretty well. It will help create a more relaxed and trusting atmosphere. If you have a relative stranger in your group, others may feel uncomfortable. Also, someone you don’t know that well is more likely to start misbehaving and ruin things for everyone.
- Set up a comfortable atmosphere. Not everyone will be that thrilled about getting undressed, at least at first. Setting up dimmed light, comfortable chairs, cushions, and other accessories to make people more relaxed will help a lot. Also, people will be getting naked, so make sure the temperature in the room is pleasant, and there are some robes handy if someone starts feeling chilly.
- Keep things light and entertaining. This can’t be overstated. As a host, it is your job to make your guests feel at home. Make sure all players are behaving, and there aren’t rude or inappropriate comments. Friendly banter and teasing are a part of what makes a strip poker night fun, but some limits need to exist still.
Strip Poker Game Do’s & Don’ts
At this point, you should have a pretty good idea of how to play strip poker and have a fun night with your friends.
As you can see, it’s not that hard at all as long as you have a group of people willing to give it a go and try something new.
To wrap things up, here are a few do’s and don’ts that you can go through before your guests arrive to make sure you’ve done everything right.
- Come up with all the rules and prepare necessary stuff (cards, chips, whatever else you need)
- Talk with your friends beforehand to see if they’re interested in the idea
- Set up a cozy and comfortable atmosphere with dimmed lights
- Set up a light mood with good music and drinks for those who need / want them
- Force anyone’s hand to participate; if they’re not comfortable with it, just let it go
- Invite jerks or people you don’t know as they can spoil it for everyone
- Let the banter get out of control and turn into insults; stay alert and protect your game
And there you have it. Follow these simple tips and tricks, and you’ll be able to set up a great strip poker night everyone will likely enjoy.
If you want to learn poker strategy or improve your game to prepare for your night, try visiting a training site, but remember that the most important part here is to have fun.
Don’t expect too much from the first game, of course, as people might need some time to get into it. But, once you get the ball rolling, don’t be surprised when your friends start texting you about when the next strip poker game is happening!