Rhonda suggested playing the original Pepper, as I had declared that it was far superior to the new Out of the Box game that bears the same name. Kevin, Jim, Robert, Elena, Gail, Rhonda and I played one round, and Sheila jumped in for rounds two and three.
Pepper is a traditional trick-taking game, with the twist being that players are attempting to avoid collecting the peppers. Peppers are the “1” in each of the six suits. If a player collects a pepper in a trick, it is placed face-up in front of him and can subsequently be played again in future tricks. Of course, normal trick-taking rules must be followed. I have always been uncertain as to whether a player can lead a trick with a pepper after having just acquired it, as the rules are silent on this issue.
At the end of a round, players score –2 points for each pepper they have in their possession, and –1 for each card of the same suits of the peppers they have collected. The idea is to avoid collecting peppers.
We played three rounds, with both Kevin and Sheila avoiding the dreaded peppers.
Round-by-round cumulative scores:
Round 1: Kevin 0, Jim 0, Robert 0, Elena 0, Gail –6, Rhoda –7, Greg –8
Round 2: Kevin 0, Elena 0, Sheila 0, Robert –3, Rhonda –7, Gail –8, Greg –10, Jim –17
Round 3: Kevin 0, Sheila 0, Rhonda –7, Gail –8, Greg –10, Jim –17, Elena –27, Robert –28
Ratings: Gail 7.5, Greg 7, Elena 7, Jim 6, Kevin 6, Rhonda 6, Sheila 6, Robert 3