Recently I played a card game called Pepper, which was a lot of FUN!! ... so I wanted to share it with you
Bid Euchre is similar to Euchre but adds the excitement of bidding for tricks. Pepper is a form of Bid Euchre. There are many versions of Bid Euchre and Pepper. I will describe the rules we used to play one of these versions. It is good if you have six players and can't play regular Euchre. Also if you have 8 players, it's easier to socialize when you are all playing together rather than switching tables as in regular Euchre. If you like playing Euchre, I think you will like Pepper!
How to Play
Pepper can be played with four, six or eight players in teams of two, three or four players respectively. Team members are seated alternately so that each person is seated beside an opponent. The cards used includes the four suits (Spades, Diamonds, Clubs, and Hearts) of each face (Jack, Queen, King, Ace). You need one set of these cards for each pair playing. ie. if 4 people are playing you need 2 sets, if 6 people are playing you need 3 sets and if 8 people are playing you need 4 sets. You may want to use Pinochle card decks. Since we use multiple decks, there are duplicates of each card. All cards are dealt out. Cards are dealt one at a time and each player receives 8 cards. Dealing is clockwise starting with the player to the left of the dealer and ending with the dealer.
At the beginning of each round of play (after the cards are dealt), the players begin a round of bidding for the trump suit and number of tricks. Starting to the left of the dealer, each player may make a bid or pass. Each bid must surpass the previous bids in number of tricks. It can be the same suit or a different suit. If someone has bid 3 tricks, the subsequent players must bid at least 4 or pass. It is possible to bid "Pepper" in a suit or no-trump, which is similar to a "loner" in Euchre. If you bid Pepper, you can discard one card and one of your team members may pass a card to you to replace the discard. You will receive the first card passed by a team member, so they need to be quick to pass a good card if they have it. It is also possible to bid "double-Pepper" in a suit or no-trump. If you bid double-Pepper, you will play your hand as is and do not discard a card. Bidding ends with the dealer.
The player who made the highest bid leads the first trick. Subsequent tricks are led by the person who captured the previous trick. Tricks are captured by playing the highest card on the trick. Suit is important in two ways. First, the lowest trump card is higher than any non-trump card. This means a queen of the trump suit is always higher than the ace of any other suit. Just like in Euchre, the jacks are also special when trump is declared. The jack of the trump suit is the highest card, and is called the Right Bower. The jack of the suit which matches the color of the trump suit (spades/clubs and diamonds/hearts) is called the Left Bower, and is the second highest card. When playing no-trump, there are no bowers, so aces become the high card. The Ace is only highest if it matches the lead card's suit. In other words, if the lead card is the king of clubs, only the ace of clubs is higher. Players must follow the lead card suit if they have it, otherwise they may play as they wish. They are not required to trump if they can't follow the suit. Since we are playing with multiple sets of the same cards, the first played card is always higher than its duplicate. Any trick taken by a team member counts toward the total tricks taken for the team. If you bid Pepper or double-Pepper, you play alone and your team members sit out that hand.
A team scores points by capturing tricks. The bidding team must capture minimally the number of tricks they bid, otherwise they are "euchred". If the bidding team is "euchred", they lose points equal to the number of tricks they bid. If they are not "euchred", they earn points equal to the number of tricks captured. The opposing team always earns points equal to the number of tricks captured. If you call Pepper, you earn 12 points if you take all the tricks and lose 12 points if you don't. If you call double-Pepper, you earn 24 points if you take all the tricks and lose 24 points if you don't.
A team wins by reaching 50 points. Since both teams can earn points, if both teams reach 50 points simultaneously, the winning team is the one who made the bid.
Other Pepper Card Game Variations from WhiteKnuckleCards.com
Give Pepper a try with some of your friends and post a comment to let us know how you liked it!!
Portions of text from http://bideuchre.sourceforge.net/rules.html
Portions of text from http://pepperrules.blogspot.com/
Image from http://amazon.com/