Most games of poker that I’ve played have been boring, because we’ve played for chips. Without anything a stake no one folds. Without anyone folding, you cannot bluff. Because you cannot bluff, it is mostly a game of chance.
Twice in college, I was in games of ‘almost strip poker.’ It seemed like these games should be engaging with something at stake, but they were short and surprising uninteresting. There were more men than women in the games. The men were mostly interested in unlikely possibility of seeing a woman undress. The women insisted on special rules to ensure the game wouldn’t go very far. Obviously, the lack of commitment hurt the game, but beyond that I perceived there was something wrong with the rules we had intuited. If people shed about one article of clothing per hand the game would be over quickly. Players on the fence would bolt quickly.
I asked some friend if they had any insight, but they reacted with ‘gay panic’ as if I had been trying to entice them in to an all guys game (it was the 80′s). The answer came from an old episode of “All In the Family,” in which Gloria and Mike are preparing to go out wearing multiple layers of clothing. The punchline was that they were going to play strip poker. I saw how this could make the game work. If you came to the game with a lot of clothes it could work. You could bet multiple items and win clothes from others. The game wouldn’t go so fast.
At my present age, it seems unlikely that it will ever test this theory in a real game, but it does feed a project idea that I have had for a while. More to come…