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Pit is a (somewhat surprisingly) old card game of trading and monopolizing grain commodities. That sounds a lot more sophisticated than the game really is. Pit was first designed in 1903 and was given its current theme in 1904.

PitPit is a game for 3 to 10 players that is probably best with about 6 to 8. You are dealt a hand of various grain cards. Each type of grain is worth a different amount of points. When the dealer “opens the market”, you goal is to collect all of the cards of one grain type. Be the first to do so and you can call out, “Corner on the [insert grain name here]!”

Sticking with the theme of a stock market, there is a Bull card and a Bear card in the deck as well. When someone corners the market with all available cards of one type and also has the Bull, he scores double. Otherwise the Bull acts as a simple wildcard. The Bear, on the other hand, is always negative point-wise.

A round of Pit involves trading cards of the same type with other players blindly. You offer one or more cards to everyone and call out how many cards are in your offer. The Bull and the Bear may be combined with any offer.

The decibel value of Pit increases with as the number of players increases. The more, the merrier.

You can play Pit without the Bull and the Bear, which may be a good way to start with younger children, but I strongly recommend inserting them as soon as possible for the strategy they bring to the game.

Some versions of Pit included a desk bell used to signal the end of a round. The version we had when I was growing up didn’t have the bell. Nor does the copy I currently own. It sounds like it would be a lot of fun to ding it though.

Check the price of Pit on Amazon.

Corner the Market down in the Pit