Of all the poker variants out there, few get quite as much traction with a fringe audience of players than Strip Poker. True to form, the name of the game says it all. Strip Poker is designed for maximum entertainment value, using articles of clothing in place of chips during poker games.

Strip Poker is a fun-filled game for the adventurer in every one of us. It calls to our inner-nature, our yearning for excitement. Indeed, Strip Poker is the place where buns of steel may be the real deal, and likely the only card game where a pair can refer to your cards, or your bosom. Our cultural zeitgeist has embraced Strip Poker as a darling game of pulse-pounding entertainment, played in an atmosphere of joie de vivre. 

Is Strip Poker for you? Like so many risqué activities, many poker players initially balk at the idea, but our innate curiosity ultimately gets the better of us. There is something uniquely appealing about putting your threads on the line while waiting for others to lose theirs. The only ‘chips’ that you have are whatever you're wearing, and that makes Strip Poker utterly invigorating.

It's easy in the infancy stages, since nobody minds losing a jacket, scarf, or a hat, but as you get closer to the meat of the matter, the stakes rise quickly and there is no bluffing when the threads come off. Be prepared to reveal all your assets, and to take in the sight of everyone else's. In a sense, this truly is high-stakes poker. Now that we've whet your appetite, it's time to strip this game down to its bare essentials…

WHAT IS STRIP POKER?

First things first – Strip Poker can be played with any poker variant, including Texas Hold'em Poker, Omaha Hi Poker, Omaha Hi-Lo, and 7 Card Stud among others. There is some debate about the format of Strip Poker, but it’s generally accepted that everyone comes into each game with an equal number of items of clothing. So, is it pot limit, fixed limit, or no limit? It really doesn't matter in Strip Poker since there are no chips on the table other than the currency of clothing that you’re wearing.

Every time you play a round (as opposed to playing around) and lose, you must remove an item of clothing. This is the cost of defeat. Now, it's actually fun to lose in this game, and its equally fun to watch others lose in Strip Poker. 5 Card Draw is the most common poker variant for Strip Poker games.

Do men, women, transsexuals, transgenders, and LGBTQ folks play Strip Poker? You bet they do! It's a game that can be played by anyone, preferably within the confines of a private club, or your home. For excitement's sake, it's not going to be much fun for a group of straight guys, or straight girls to play with only the same gender – that's the beauty of Strip Poker. It's a game for everyone.

The greater the diversity, the better. Now, there is an elephant in the room that we've yet to address – the sexual component of Strip Poker. Whatever your orientation, you will see bare flesh and this will have an effect on our reptilian brains. Now, the rulebook says nothing about what players are allowed to do with one another during games of Strip Poker – that’s between consenting adults! 

Believe it or not, we have even discovered many instances of single player Strip Poker played online, where multiple players are connected to one another through the Internet. So, you don't necessarily need one fixed venue for everyone to participate in games of Strip Poker. Be sure that everyone understands the rules of play before getting started. We've summarized a few important guidelines for you to make everything run much more smoothly:

• Choose your Strip Poker variant
• Ensure the appropriate mood and lighting 
• Determine the pace of play for Strip Poker games 
• Pick the correct temperature setting for your game
• Always wear clean underwear for Strip Poker games
• Set a standard clothing count for all Strip Poker players
• Decide what items count as clothing and what items don't
• The best 5-card poker hand wins and all other players in the game must remove an item of clothing

There are many different formats for this game, including a slow burn, medium-paced play, and hybrid versions of the game. If you opt for a slow burn, players have the option to bet items of clothing to continue on in the hand. When great poker players are competing in this type of game, it can take quite some time to see some skin.

Medium-paced game play is preferred by players since only a single player removes an item of clothing (the player with the weakest hand); this stands in stark contrast (pun intended) to the rapid-fire play version where all losing players remove clothing items. By the end of multiple rounds, the weakest player is easy to identify – they are buck naked. Hybrid versions of the game add lots more excitement and variety to the action, and allow players to up the ante, based on the level of risk involved.

HOW TO PLAY STRIP POKER?

Now that you know exactly what Strip Poker is all about, it's time to get down to business. Strip Poker is played in much the same way as traditional 5 card draw poker games. The only difference is that you are not using chips; you are using items of clothing for betting purposes. The format of this game is easy peasy lemon squeezy. We've already established that it's best if all participating players in the game begin with the same number of clothing items.

You certainly don't want to give anyone an unfair advantage since there may be a pot of cash up for grabs for the ultimate winner. This game is less about poker tactics and strategies, stealing the blinds, 3-betting, or 4-betting, and more about having fun. In fact, it's all about fun, and if you don't want to go bust, or have anyone see your bust, it is a good idea to practice a little before you get involved in a ‘bare all’ game of Strip Poker.

A caveat is in order: If you are an introvert, easily embarrassed, or uncomfortable with intimacy or sexuality, this may not be the best game for you.

Right, with that out of the way, let’s get started with how to play Strip Poker:

• Pick an item of clothing that will be used for the mandatory bet known as the Ante (the Big Blind and the Small Blind don’t count in this version of the game)
• Each player is dealt 5 cards in tow, not in between the toes (weak pun, noted!)
• 2 cards are visible to each player, but the remaining 3 cards are face down. This is played differently to traditional Texas Hold'em or Omaha Hi-Lo.
• Next up, the designated dealer will place 3 community cards on the table. This is known as The Flop.
• At this point, players can discard 1 or 2 of their known hole cards for the equivalent number of cards from the dealer.
• The mucked (discarded) cards are taken out of the game.
• The fourth community card known as the Turn is dealt.
• Now, players have an opportunity to exchange one of their hole cards with a face-down card.
• The fifth and final community card known as the River card is dealt in the centre of the table.
• At the showdown stage, the player with the weakest hand loses the Ante bet and ‘pays’ the losing wager with the item of clothing nominated for the Ante.
• After a few rounds of play, the players who are high and dry with no clothing will have to wait until a new game begins.

Be advised that the game of Strip Poker can be played in many different ways. You could also give each player an equal number of chips to begin the poker evening with, and make a rule if a player loses, they must forfeit an item of clothing. 

STRIP POKER RULES

There are many different playbooks for Strip Poker games. Strategies will vary between different poker variants, particularly when you are playing with poker chips, or playing with items of clothing. Additionally, you can implement unique rules that don't require players to remove items of clothing if they fold pre-flop – after the hole cards have been dealt.

That's a great technique for players to play premium hands and stay flush with ‘clothing’, waiting for other players to run down their stash of ‘clothing’, in the process. This is more of a strategy than a rule, but it's certainly food for thought. Before we get to the meat of the matter, it's important to establish that the maximum loss a player can accrue in a single hand is one item of clothing. Compared to cash games, there is less risk involved in each hand of play.

A fair number of people are concerned that they may not have the personality for Strip Poker games. If you are an introvert, you may not enjoy playing Strip Poker. It's not for everyone, certainly not anyone who's self-conscious and insecure about their bodies, has psychological problems about nakedness, or is otherwise simply weird about trying anything new.

If you're a traditionalist, you may not enjoy Strip Poker and that's okay. We have learned that people are generally much more accepting of new things if they try new things in a group of like-minded people. You may want to carefully choose a group of players you wish to try Strip Poker with – that's always a safer way to make your play.

As for specific rules – there aren't any. The rules for each game are determined by the poker host and the players who will be attending the Strip Poker session. As mentioned earlier in our expose (pun intended!), any number of poker variants will qualify for a Strip Poker Makeover. More about poker rules >>

Most of the time however the game of choice is 5-card draw. When you don't have to worry about using chips, it's much easier to get down with this game. Hands don't last long since there is no checking, raising, or re-raising to worry about. Plus, Strip Poker is typically played by folks who enjoy having a good time and don't want to worry about optimal tactics and strategies for poker playing excellence.

We've learned from many poker hosts that for a Strip Poker session to be successful, you’ve got to get the ambience just right, and that includes the temperature settings on the thermostat. Nobody wants to strip down into their birthday suit at subzero temperatures.

Another thing – be sure that the invited guests are respectful of one another and not behaving in a bizarre, salacious, or inappropriate way. It takes a lot for people to even consider stripping down in front of strangers or friends – nobody wants to be surrounded by perverts and whack jobs.

Ready to strip down? Strip Poker is unique in every sense of the word. There is no bluffing what you’re holding in this variant of the game. Play for fun, have a good laugh, and don't give too much away!

About the Author
By

With digital marketing strategies in his blood, Louis Wheeler has traveled around the world, exploring gambling cultures and gaining experience in casino games from 2003. If you are in a casino anywhere around the planet, you may find him right next to you, playing blackjack, roulette or texas hold'em. 

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