Card Games

How to Play the Game Pit

What is the game Pit?

“Pit” is a fast-paced card game that simulates the open outcry bidding system of the stock exchange, perfect for players who enjoy a lively and competitive atmosphere. It’s designed for three to eight players and aims to “corner the market” by collecting all cards of a single commodity.

how to play the game pit

When was the game Pit invented?

Pit was invented in 1903 by Edgar Cayce, who sought to capture the excitement and chaos of the American commodities market in a card game. Since its invention, Pit has been published by several companies, including Parker Brothers and Hasbro, and it has seen multiple editions and variations. Despite its age, the game remains a favorite for its energetic gameplay and the unique way it brings players into the frantic world of trading and speculation.

Pit’s enduring popularity is a testament to its engaging gameplay, which combines strategy, luck, and social interaction. It’s a game that requires quick thinking, keen observation, and a willingness to take risks, making it a thrilling experience for players of all ages. Whether you’re a seasoned trader or new to the stock market concept, Pit offers a lively and enjoyable way to engage with the highs and lows of economic competition.

How to Play Pit


  1. Deck Composition: The game consists of a deck with multiple sets of cards, each set representing a different commodity. The number of sets used depends on the number of players.
  2. Dealing: Shuffle the cards and deal them out evenly to all players. The number of cards each player receives depends on the total number of players.


The goal of Pit is to collect all cards of the same commodity. The first player to do so must ring the bell (if your version of the game includes one) or shout out loud to signal that they’ve “cornered the market.”


  1. Trading: The game begins with all players simultaneously trading cards. There are no turns; everyone plays at the same time. Players offer as many cards as they want from their hand, face down, shouting out the number of cards they wish to trade.
  2. Matching Trades: A trade is only completed when two players agree to exchange the same number of cards. Players cannot see the cards being traded before agreeing to the trade.
  3. No Partial Knowledge: You cannot request or trade specific commodities. Trades are made based on the number of cards only.

Winning the Round

  • As soon as a player collects all nine cards of the same commodity, they must signal their win. Play stops, and points are tallied based on the commodity cornered.


  • Each set of commodities has a different point value, usually indicated on the cards. The player who corners the market receives the total points for that commodity.
  • After a player wins a round, cards are reshuffled, and a new round begins. The game can be played to a predetermined point total, at which point the player with the highest score wins.

Special Cards (In Some Editions)

  • Some versions of Pit include special cards like the Bull and the Bear. The Bull card acts as a wild card, able to represent any commodity. The Bear card is designed to impede players’ progress. The inclusion of these cards adds an extra layer of strategy and unpredictability to the game.

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