Winning Strategy For Dirty Santa

Before we start talking about possible strategies for the Dirty Santa game, we must ask ourselves: What is the purpose of Dirty Santa gift exchange? The answer is quite simple: To have a great time, to enjoy spending the evening with people you love (and hate) and of course to have fun and laugh as much as possible.

If you get to have a good time at a Dirty Santa party, you have already won. But let’s be frank here, all of us would want to know if there is a strategy to stealing the best gift.

Is there a way to increase your odds of getting the gift you want?
Is the entire game completely random or can you influence an outcome?

Some will argue that there’s no point in trying to overthink the strategy, but there in fact is a way to increase your chances of stealing the gift you want by carefully observing the game and keeping few things in mind.

Here are a few strategies to employ in order to increase your chances of winning Dirty Santa and going home with the most desirable gift.

Bring Something For Yourself

You can always bring a gift that only you would want. Think of something that would be useful to you but no one else.

Undesirable Wrapping

Add a twist: wrap the gift you bring in an undesirable way. Don’t make it look nice, let the inferior wrapping deter guests from opening it. Usually people think: If they put such poor effort wrapping it, it must be a terrible gift.

But be careful, if you make it too obvious, people will catch on to your trick and notice the reverse psychology. Make the gift not stand out!

Wrapping Trick

Another wrapping trick you can employ is shaping a gift into something it’s not. Think a sock puppet wrapped in a shape of a guitar and weights added to it. Surely someone will want to open it thinking it’s a musical instrument! This wan you get one less competitor for the gift you desire!

Try To Be Last To Steal

If there is a X steals and gift is out (“example: 2 steals and gift is out”) rule in place, don’t be the person to steal it first. Your goal is to (if possible), align your position in a way that you will be the last person to seal a gift and reach the maximum times a gift can be stolen. If you are the first one stealing it, or second, your chances of stealing that gift last is minimal.

Try To Be Most Stolen From

Lot of Dirty Santa rules will incorporate a rule where if you get stolen from X times (usually 3 times) you are out. Sometimes they allow you to do the last steal yourself before you are out. If these two rules are used in the game, you want to be stolen from as many times as possible so that you can reach being stolen from X times and do the final steal of the gift you want.

You can’t immediately steal back the last gift you had, so you might have to settle for the second best gift.

Few Gift Ideas - more

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Dirty Santa Facts

You don't have to stick with regular Dirty Santa gifts and can set a theme as part of the game rules. For example a theme could be "Funny Mugs", "Candles", "Funny Clothing" or just about anything.

When planning a Dirty Santa Party, the organizers must set a maximum amount allowed to be spent on a gift. The most common amount set in rules and spent happens to be 20 dollars.

Unveiling a gift can be as fun as the gift itself, this is why as a trick, people love to wrap a gift many many times to make unwrapping pain in the butt for the recipient. Frustration on the face of the giftee can be priceless.