Making Salsa with cards and math in Red Hot Silly Peppers!!

Recommended Age:7+
Play Time:15 - 20 minutes
Our Recommended Age:6+ (Any age that can add will be fine_
Artwork By::The Habenero and the Peach art by Grant Wilson
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Red Hot Silly Peppers is another fun game by Rather Dashing Games. You are trying to make Salsa using cards…and math. The goal is to basically get the most cards so the more cards you use in your Salsa the more points you have at the end. There is of course always twists with any good game but I won’t spoil those right away.

Rather Dashing has some really fun games out there and my son usually chooses one of them to play on game nights. Silly Peppers is great because it reinforces addition with numbers like 25, 15, 10 and 5. He can count by 5’s but counting by 5’s when the numbers are 15 and 25 are something new and I love that he wants to learn it better through this game.

 There isn’t much to the game and it is pretty easier to learn and I LOVE the educational value of it! But you knew that about me…

There are literally two parts to this game. Cards and instructions…three if you count the box. The box is a square with a lid that slides up and off…not always easily but mostly. Not too great a risk of tearing but it might be too big for the contents really. It DOES have a nice divider in there so there is only a thin tray like cavity for the cards to be in and the instructions rest on top.

Like I said not much to it at all. Cards are traditional card material but the artwork is great. Each type of card has it’s own “character” representing it. The Peach is from China so it’s card represents that through the character on it. It’s brilliant actually because it made me want to know WHY it looked like it was from China…so I found out thanks to the instruction booklet that actually helps you with a bit of history of the cards. Talk about educational.

2015-07-07 18.12.46 copySet Up: 

Well…you shuffle the cards. Everyone should know this by now right? In this case if you want to play its the ONLY thing you can do really. Each player gets 4 cards face down and they can look at them. Youngest player goes first…that is so unfair sometimes.

The cards are fun. All of the positive number cards are peppers and their points are based on how hot the real pepper is. So Habenero is the highest with +30 and Anaheim is only +5.


The first player spins the Salsa Spinner (I love saying that out loud). You will notice it goes to 100 by counting by 10’s. What it lands on is the number you have to match or come with 5 points of to make your Salsa using your cards. You can only spin this at the beginning of the game before the first player goes, when a Salsa bowl is made so that you can make a new one with a new number OR if someone plays a Salsa Spin cards. That let’s you spin the spinner during your turn.2015-07-07 18.26.32-2 copy

During your turn you draw a card from the pile and should have 5 in your hand. Always draw so you have 5 before you play anything. If you can add up the cards in your hand to match or come within 5 points of the number on the Spinner than you can make a bowl of Salsa. Simply lay your cards face up and declare the number they add up too…or add and subtract too.

You can play negative number cards, the fruit ones, too in order to meet your goal and it in fact does not count against you. Remember the person with the most CARDS wins…not just positive number ones. Also remember that someone can steal your bowl of Salsa if they can use more cards than you to get the number on the spinner or come within 5. There are other cards of course that allow things to happen. I’ve mentioned a Salsa Spin but I’ll explain all the cards.

2015-07-07 18.46.55-1 copySalsa Spin: Play on your turn and you can spin the Salsa Spinner. This helps tremendously if you cannot make a bowl of Salsa with the number given but can with the new number. Of course it is possible to spin another number you can’t do….I know that all too well.

Salsa Swap: Again played on your turn this card allows you to look at another players cards and swap one of theirs for one of yours. They could have the card you need to make your Salsa bowl…or they could have absolutely nothing that helps you at all.

Salsa Swipe: Not played on your turn. It is actually played when another player makes a bowl of Salsa and lets you steal it…thief.

These special cards get discarded and are not part of the Salsa bowl. Now if you can’t play any of these cards or make a bowl of Salsa you must discard a card. Not the worst thing ever actually. You also do not HAVE to play a card if you don’t want to. I like to save some of the special ones in the beginning of the game.2015-07-07 18.24.13-1 copy

I should also mention how someone can steal your bowl of Salsa without using the Salsa Swipe card…because it does happen…my own son… It is called Trumping and I briefly explained it earlier.

If you make a bowl of Salsa using 3 cards another player can Trump you and make a bowl using 4 or more cards. Someone could in turn trump them and so on until one player has used the most cards to steal the bowl of Salsa…meanies.

Keep playing until the deck is gone and then take one more turn to try to make Salsa and then it’s game over. The person with the most cards (not points) wins! My son loses just as much as I do…we don’t let him win and we only help with the math a bit so it is technically all fair…except when we play with my husband who has insane luck wtih card games.

2015-07-07 18.49.11-3 copyThere isn’t really a way to adjust the game for younger players. You could remove the Special Cards and maybe pretend all the numbers are 1  – 10 instead of 10 – 100 so kids who are beginners at math can drop the 0 off the numbers. You could use counters that way too. Then again you could use blocks or those square strips of 10’s to help kids learn how to add and subtract by 10’s or 5’s even.

My 6 year old plays with a little help and of course we have a lot of patience as we wait for him to figure out if he can make a bowl of Salsa with the number on the spinner or not. I always seem to want to rush in and help him but that might be the impatient gamer in me…the mom parts wins and let’s him work it out on his own though…usually.

My daughter is 4 and does not play this game. I think anyone with a grasp of counting by 5’s could play though even if it is to help them learn it or reinforce it. For adults and older kids it can keep you on your toes with math and is always a lot of fun.

Red Hot Silly Peppers is definitely silly, educational and a whole lot of fun. You could even throw the cards in a bag and take them with you for quick games while waiting in doctors offices or while dining out.


Show us your Salsa Bowl! @MyGeeklings #SillyPeppers @Sir_Barnaby

“Children learn as they play. Most importantly, in play children learn how to learn.”
~ O. Fred Donaldson

Author: sandyz

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