How To Win Dirty Santa

Let’s be frank here, the whole game is very fast paced and a lot depends on chance. It is obvious that there is no sure way to get the gift you want, but that’s not to say that there are no way to increase your odds. Let’s explore some of the ideas that might help with ending up with a better gift in the end. While it’s true that there’s no guarantee, there’s till a chance. All is fair in love, war and Dirty Santa gift exchange!

Here are some of the winning strategies used during Dirty Santa gift exchange. Some of them actually work, others depend on circumstances. Having an idea of what people have tried may give you an idea of your own. If you have a great strategy that you like to use for Christmas gift exchange, let us know!

Half-assed Wrapping

One way to trick your competitors is to not wrap the gift you are bringing to the game very well. Make no mistake, the gift itself has to be fully covered, but you just have to make the wrapping slightly unappealing.

What does this do? It works the reverse psychology of the “smartass” in the group. There will always be a person that thinks they can outsmart everyone else and grab a gift with least appealing packaging expecting something great in it. Boy are they in for a surprise!

Only Something You Would Want

One sure way to steal a gift that no one will steal from you? Bring something only you would want. What would that have to be is up to you, but simply put, once someone opens it you can steal it from them and no one would want to steal it from you. The items itself could be anything, but has to be something only you need. What could it be? What would you bring?

Out Yourself

Lot of Dirty Santa gift exchanges have a rule, where if a gift gets stolen 3 times, the person that steals it last gets the gift. One way to align yourself in that position is to not steal that gift for the first or the second time, because if you do, you have drastically reduced a chance of being the last person to steal it.

Misleading Wrapping

Another trick is to shape a gift as something it’s not and give it a weight of something expensive while it really isn’t. This trick may not directly help, but it does eliminate another person who will be tricked into opening that item, which no one would want to steal.

Have A Strategy?

Do you have a strategy for winning Dirty Santa? Share it with us!

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What Is Dirty Santa?

Dirty Santa is a Christmas gift exchange game where guest swap and steal random gifts.

What is the most important Dirty Santa rule?

If someone steals a gift from you, you can not immediately steal the same one back. Otherwise you'd get stuck in a never ending stealing loop.

What's a good date to hold a party?

It's recommended to run a Dirty Santa in mid December, but the best date is the one majority can attend.

Can only 3 players play?

Yes, 3 players could play it but it works better in larger groups, more the merrier.