This weeks game is the chaotic commodities bidding game: Pit by Parker Brothers.

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Pit was originally released in 1904 and hasn’t changed much in the last 100 years. The game is set up by dealing out a number of commodity cards equal to the number of players in a number also equal to the number of players (so if there were three players, then a game would be 3 each of oats, wheat, and sugar). Also dealt into the round is a bear card, which is a wild card and sub for any commodity, and the bull card which prevents winning and counts as a 20 point penalty if it’s in your hand at the end of the round.

Once the cards are dealt and the round begins, it’s all open trading. You can trade any commodity in any matched amount to any player for the same number of cards. For instance, you could trade 4 sugar away, or 2 oats, but not 1 oat and 1 sugar. The bear card must be traded with another card, but is considered “wild” only for the purpose of trading (so you could trade 2 oats and a bear, or even 1 sugar and a bear, but not the bear by itself).

The object of the game is to corner a commodity. Specifically, you are trying to get a full hand of any one commodity equal to the number of players (so, in the game with 3 people, 3 wheat is a winning hand). The winner then scores based on the value of the commodity they cornered. As with many games, this game gets more and more fun as you add people. I played a 10 player game of PIT a few months ago and it was pure, delightful chaos.

-Confusion is a state of mind, or is it?

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