- 74 cards
Object of the Game
The object of Pit is to corner the market on Barley, Corn, Flax, Hay, Oats, Rye and Wheat by trading cards with other players.
Pit can be played by three to seven players. There are nine cards in each suit. If three play, use only three complete suits. If four play, use four complete suits, etc. Use the complete Pit deck for seven players. For larger parties, please refer to "Pit As A Party Game".
To play the basic version, remove the Bull and Bear cards from the deck. Place the trading bell in the center of the table and select one player to shuffle the deck and deal out nine cards to each player.
The Dealer should allow the players 30 seconds to sort their cards and decide mentally on which commodity (Wheat, Rye, Oats. etc). they will attempt to corner. Players should try to corner the commodity of which they hold the most cards.
When the cards have been sorted. the Dealer strikes the bell and announces, "The Exchange is open". Then. any player may begin to trade cards with other players.
To trade, he takes from his hand one to four cards of the same suit, holds the cards up so that the suits do not show and calls out, "Trade One! One! One!" or "Two! Two! Two!" or "Three! Three! Three!" or "Four! Four! Four! " depending on the number of cards being traded.
Players continue calling out their numbers until the cards have been exchanged.
If a player wishes to exchange cards with another player, he must call in return, "One! One! One!", "Two! Two! Two!" ,etc. and trade an equal number of cards of the same suit with that player.
If a player wishes to trade three or four cards and other player s will only exchange lower numbers, he may drop his bid and trade the smaller number of cards.
Trading continues until one player gets nine cards of the same suit. That player must quickly ring the bell and call out, "Corner on Wheat! " (or whatever the commodity may be).
The player then scores the amount marked on the commodity he has cornered (Wheat, 100 points; Oats, 60 points, etc). and records this on the score pad. When a corner is won, all the cards are reshuffled and dealt by the last winner and another comer is played for. The game is won by the first trader to get 500 points.
Pit is a fast-moving game. Put energy into your bidding and trade as quickly as possible. Remember, as soon as the bell sounds every player must begin trading from one to four cards of the same suit.
The Bull and Bear Cards
Three to seven players are necessary to play the game using the Bull and Bear cards. If three play, use three complete suits. For each additional player use an additional suit and discard all other cards.
Add the Bull and Bear cards to the deck, shuffle and deal. If five are playing, three players will receive nine cards each and two players ten cards each.
Players try to get a corner on any nine cards of one suit. However, players should note the values and penalties attached to the Bull and Bear cards.
If a player holds a Bull or Bear card when another player gets a "Corner, " that player loses twenty points from his score or, if he has no score, he is marked minus 20 (-20) for that round. If he has both cards he is penalized 40 points.
Don't forget that it is dangerous to retain the Bear card in your hand. Pass it on in trade to your neighbor as soon as you can.
If a player holds a Bull card, he can call "Corner " if he can get eight other cards (instead of nine) of the same suit. This is called a Bull Corner. If a player gets nine cards of the same suit and the Bull card, he calls out, "Double Bull Corner " which doubles the score of the commodity cornered.
A player may also call "Corner " if he has nine cards of one suit and one card of another suit by simply laying down the nine cards of one suit and discarding the tenth card.
Trading is the same as in the regular game, but if (for example) a player wishes to trade three cards, he would call out, "Three! ' Three! Three!" and when his opponent returns his call he would hand over two cards of the same suit and a Bear card.
If a player is not trading the Bear card, all of the cards on an individual trade must be of the same suit.
Examples For Scoring
If a player gets nine Wheat cards, he has a comer on Wheat, counting 100 points.
If a player gets eight Wheat cards and holds the Bull card, he may call "Bull Comer on Wheat" and get 100 points. (If he has eight Oats cards and the Bull, he makes a "Bull Comer on Oats, " counting 60 points, etc)..
If a player gets all nine Wheat cards and holds the Bull card besides, he calls "Double Bull Comer" and gets 200 points. If he obtains nine Oats cards and the Bull card, he has a "Double Bull Comer on Oats", giving him 120 points.
The Silent Treatment
Once you have mastered the exciting bidding action of the game, you may like to try a version of the silent bidding used at an actual Grain Exchange. After verbal bidding has taken place in the pits, traders often use a series of hand signals to show an increase in their bids.
A trader is buying if he holds up his hand with his palm toward him; he is selling if his palm is away from him. Each individual finger motion indicates a fractional increase in a trader 's bid.
Try using the silent approach to playing Pit by indicating the number of cards you wish to play by using hand signals. For example, if you wish to trade one card, hold up one finger; two cards, two fingers, etc. This approach will be appreciated by your neighbors for late night playing.
Pit as a party Game
This is a novel and exciting party game. Any number of players may take part.
Use one Pit deck and trading bell for every five to seven players seated at a table. The first player to win two comers at one table moves to the next table.
The player with the highest score at that table at the end of the round in progress also moves to another table, so that the high players from each table move to a different table every time a player wins two comers.
Each player keeps his own score and carries it with him from table to table. The first player to get a predetermined number of points wins the game.