Family Game Nights Pit

The game I’m recommending to you today is an old one, but fortunately, it’s still easy to find.

Family Game Night #26: Pit

family game night: pit

How to Play Pit

Playing Pit is hectic because you don’t have to take turns. Each player has a handful of cards and each player is trying to collect all the cards of some commodity. (In our set these commodities are Wheat, Barley, Coffee, Sugar, Corn, Oats, Soybeans, and Oranges. These may vary depending on when your edition of Pit was published).

This is a trading game but you can’t say WHAT you’re trading, only how many. And what you’re trading has to be the same. So, if you’re trying to collect Barley but you want to trade two Sugar cards you can only say, “Two”. You CANNOT trade mixed lots (for example one sugar and one corn) The only exception to that is the Bear and the Bull cards.

In case your stock market knowledge is lacking, I’ll remind you that Bulls are good, Bears are bad. So the Bull is like a wild card and can earn you extra points. The Bear is always bad and if you get stuck with it you’ll lose points.

If you’ve “cornered the market” on a commodity you ring the bell (if your set of cards comes with the bell). I have to tell you this: children love ringing the bell. You may have to hide this game when you’re not playing because one of your children may not be able to resist the addition of a bell-hop bell in your daily life. (But the novelty wears thin for Mom pretty quickly.)

Pit Variations

You can leave out the Bull and Bear cards. This makes for a simpler game, and if you have children who get discouraged with a negative score this takes away some of the pain of losing.

You can play silent bidding style. This, despite being quieter than the usual game, can get a little crazy. The only thing you’re allowed to do is show the number of cards you wish to trade by holding up that number of fingers.
family game night pit cards

Who Can Play Pit

You can pick up the basic game for less than $10, but go ahead and spend a few dollars more for the set with the bell. The bell is more than half the charm for some kids.

Some reading is required for Pit. The cards do have pictures and numbers to help you identify the cards but reading and reading quickly will give a player an advantage. And don’t be surprised if you have a child who tries to get a certain commodity, even if it’s not what she has in her hand or the product worth the most points. We’ve had kids go for ‘Sugar’ every time. (Hey, it makes sense to them!)

If you have a child who does not like games where you don’t have to take turns, this is probably not the game for them. Likewise, if you have a child who is easily overstimulated, you might avoid this game. It’s loud, it’s hilarious, and things can get a little crazy. But for some families, that’s the ticket for a perfect family game night!

Summary of Pit

Number of Players: 3-8

Recommended Ages: 7 and up. This is what the box says and we’ve found this to be pretty accurate.

Reading Required: yes, but minimal

Have you played Pit?
(P.S. This is just half way through our series. Stay tuned for more Family Game Night suggestions!)

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