Pit Card Game Rules

By Alan Kirk

Pit is a card game that gives players the opportunity to feel like they are part of the stock exchange. Each player is competing to try to own all the shares of a single card type, known as a commodity. Players are free to make trades among themselves until one player declares he has all the cards for a commodity and ends the trading.


The Pit Card Game has been around for over a century. It was first introduced in 1904 by Parker Brothers. The game later had an advanced version put out known as Deluxe Pit manufactured and distributed by Winning Moves Games in 1972.

The Basic Cards

The cards in the game of Pit represent commodities that are traded on the stock market. Several of the commodities featured on the cards are wheat, corn, barley, hay, oats and flax. There are also special cards referred to as bull and bear cards. The number of commodities you use is equal to the number of players, as up to seven can play. The bull and bear cards are only used in the advanced version of Pit.


When trading cards in the game of Pit, you never reveal the cards to the player you are trading with until after the trade is made. Instead, you choose a number of cards for the same commodity and offer them up for trade face down. You are waiting for another player looking to trade the same number of cards you are looking to trade, and then you agree to make the trade. There are no turns in Pit; a player can offer cards out loud at any time.

The Goal

The goal in Pit is to "corner the market." This means getting all the commodity cards in play for one commodity. There are nine cards that make up the entire stack of cards for that commodity. Any time a player has nine cards of one commodity, he can then yell that he has cornered the market. That player receives the point value printed on one of the cards in that commodity. The cards are then collected and dealt again to start a new round. The goal is to score 500 points first.

Special Functions Of the Bull and the Bear Cards

The bull and bear cards can be used in the advanced version of Pit. It's good to have a bull card in your hand when you corner the market. It allows you corner the market with eight cards of a commodity, or to double your score if you have all nine cards of the commodity. If you hold the bull card or the bear card when someone else corners the market, however, you lose 20 points. So be careful how long you hold onto it, as you can trade these cards at any time as part of your stack of commodity cards you offer to trade if you don't think you are going to be able to corner the market.

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.