Pit Card Game Instructions

By Alan Kirk

"Pit" is a card game played by three to eight players. The game is based on the stock market. Players exchange cards with their opponents in the hope of collecting all of the cards of one type in the game. When he does, he can end the round and receive points. There are two versions of game play: The basic game uses only the commodity cards, while the advanced game also uses the bull and bear cards.


The goal of "Pit" is to be the first player to accumulate 500 points. This is done by collecting cards representing commodities sold on the open market. There are nine cards for each of the seven commodities. To end a round and score points, a player must collect all nine cards for one of the commodities, which is called cornering the market. When a player has cornered the market, he yells, "Corner on!"


All of the cards in "Pit" are dealt at the beginning of the hand. The number of cards used depends on the number of players, with one suit for each player in the game. Once all the cards have been dealt, players can begin trading. Players may only look at their own hands during the game. A player can offer as many or as few cards as she wishes in a trade, but all of the offered cards must be of the same commodity.

Players do not take turns in "Pit." Instead, they announce how many cards they are willing to trade and wait for a trade partner who is willing to exchange the same number of cards. If a player receives cards that are not all in the same commodity, the trade is voided and the two players must exchange the cards involved in the trade. If a player repeatedly breaks this rule, a 20-point penalty can be deducted from her score. Trading continues until a player corners the market.


Once a player corners the market, he must reveal all nine cards of the commodity in his hand. If he is correct, the point value printed on one of the cards is added to his score. If he is incorrect, the game continues. Players should not reveal their cards until it is confirmed that the market has been cornered. After a valid claim is made, the cards are collected and a new hand is dealt. The game ends when a player reaches 500 points.

Advanced Game

The advanced version of "Pit" uses the bull and bear cards. The game is played in the same way, except that the bear card can be used in any trade of three or more cards. All of the cards offered in the trade other than the bear card must match. A player left holding the bear card when another player corners the market loses 20 points.

A player with the bull card can use it as a wild card, so he is only required to have eight cards of the commodity and the bull card to corner the market. If he corners the market with the bull card and nine of the same commodity card, he receives double the score of the face value of the commodity card. Having the bull card when someone else corners the market results in the holder of the card losing 20 points, similar to the bear card.

About the Author

Alan Kirk has been writing for online publications since 2006. He has more than 15 years' experience in catering, management and government relations. Kirk has a bachelor's degree in business management from the University of Maryland.