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The Saucy History of Strip Poker

Author: Neha Agrawal

Like many other card games in the world, the history of Strip Poker is shrouded in mystery. However, the only real difference between Strip Poker and regular poker is that instead of coins or chips, bills or IOU’s, players gamble with their clothes; more specifically, the ones they are wearing.

Because the key element of Strip Poker is the game of poker itself, one can imagine that at any point in the history of the game somebody will have thought, “Here’s an idea, I’ll wager you your corset, or tunic, or toga.” As far as we can tell though, Strip Poker appears to have originated in Louisiana over two hundred years ago.

New Orleans in the nineteenth century was a land that had more than its fair share of brothels. The fact that many men would pour into places where prostitutes would play cards for money and shed their clothes at the same time isn’t entirely unbelievable, however, there is no real proof that this is how Strip Poker started, just hearsay.

The first actual recorded use of the term “Strip Poker” instead dates back to the early twentieth century; 1916 to be exact. As one might expect, modern Strip Poker is believed to have originated like most kinky, saucy or flirtatious games do, as a prank on several girls by several boys. You can almost picture it now, as a group of unwitting girls not familiar with poker were duped into playing for their clothes by the young rascals.

There is reason to believe, however, that the game originated as a prank in schools between boys on other boys. The evidence for this comes from a new term introduced in England in the 1930’s, called Mixed Strip-Poker. This implies that prior to that, Strip Poker was played between all male or all female players, but not together.

Again though, it is unlikely that mixed sex groups didn’t get together to play the adult poker game. Since those days, Strip Poker has blossomed with several television shows themed around it (most notably the 2000 version in the United States), and many more computer games have also appeared glorifying Strip Poker.

Strip Poker has appeared on both big and little screens, on popular television shows, and many Hollywood movies, as well as on sports entertainment shows such as WWE wrestling. Strip Poker also made an appearance on Lady Gaga’s music video Poker Face in more recent times.

Strip Poker continues to be a game played mostly among friends at parties, or by lovers alone in their home, however it is also now Strip Poker played online via webcams and is no longer the taboo game that it once was.