How to Play Strip Poker

Edgy Fun for Adults

A pair of kings -- the second best starting hand in no-limit holdem

Playing poker always makes for a great time, especially if you're winning the pot. But if you're out for a twist with adult friends who are pretty, well, close friends, play a game of poker where clothes become the currency: strip poker.

Whether it's winter or summer, pile on the garments—it's like starting a regular poker game with hundreds of chips. You'll have a lot to lose before things get, ah, interesting.

The Cast of Characters

Before you think about adding strip poker to your evening's entertainment, make sure you're with other like-minded adults. This is a game for couples, potential paramours or a group/party of like-minded friends who won't freak out when the clothes come off. This isn't a game that anyone should feel pressured into playing—it won't be any fun for that person or for the other players, either.

In fact, you might want to put the idea on the table before everyone even comes over. This gives everyone an easy out if they're uncomfortable with it—sorry, they can't make it, other plans that night. This is better than waiting until everyone has gathered then springing it on them, when a spotlight will focus on anyone who seems to be a little reluctant or unsure. It can be too easy for other party-goers to lean on them a little.

If you don't pay attention to this detail, you might be very sorry in the morning—sensitivity matters.

The Rules

Instead of playing for cash, you play for clothes in strip poker. Alternatively, you can start out playing for money, then players must offer up articles of clothing to stay in a hand when they run out of chips or cash. If they lose, the clothes get removed one piece at a time.

Strip poker doesn't always closely follow actual poker rules. Sometimes players all get a draw, then they show their cards. All the losers have to take off a previously specified item of clothing while the winner gets to keep everything on.

Strip poker is also often played with one betting round, putting more pieces of clothing at risk if you want to stay in the hand. You can either see that bet, raise it or fold. If a player wants to stay in, he must see or raise that bet, just as in regular poker. If you lose, you lose the garments you bet. If you win you get to keep them on. It's that easy.

Think of pieces of clothing as money and it all makes sense. You can play any variation of poker, although it's best to keep it to simple games with fewer betting rounds, such as five-card draw or one of the five-card draw variations. Basically, everyone is dealt five cards and they can then exchange one or more of them for an equal number of cards from the remaining deck. 

How Much Is Each Article of Clothing Worth?

Another thing you might want to decide before people start shedding clothes is what the clothes are worth. If a sock is worth one bet? Is a shirt worth two? How about underwear? Maybe five...or maybe 10. Decide before you begin what the currency of clothing equals. You'll also want to make sure that everyone starts out with roughly the same amount of clothing to make it fair.

When Is It Over?

You'll know. If someone is down to his skivvies and hugging himself and declaring he's out, it's over. You might even decide to set a "game over" point before you get started.