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[Review] Deluxe Pit with Bell

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I had heard of this game but passed it up because (and this is like being racist to games, which I now apologize for because card games can be just as good as board games) it was a card game. I then was browsing the 'geek when I saw that Pit was the second highest game with most session reports (which makes me feel all bright and happy) so I read a few of them. This game sounded like a bunch of people sitting at a table who all of a sudden got rabies. In a word, madness.

History: Yes this game even has history, a 100 year history! The game was first made back in 1904 and has since undergone some major the card design. The game is still played as it was back in the day, and it still amazes me (no I wasn't alive in 1904 silly).

Quick Overview Pit is a card game for 3-8 players, playable in 30 minutes or so. It is so easy you can teach a 7 year old, and they'll still beat you. In Pit there are 8 "suits" which are really commodities, and each com. has 9 cards (9 oranges for example). Each commodity also has a point value up to 100, all suits are worth the same (so all oranges are worth 50). For each player playing you use that many different suits and on each hand deal all the cards out. The dealer than starts the round by hitting the bell that is included with the game (if you don't buy the deluxe version it comes with a "Corner" board instead of a bell, in this case the person just says, "The market is open!"). As if the running of the bulls just started and all of the bulls are on steroids, the players frantically begin trading their cards with other players, but there's a catch. You can only say a number, not what you have. So if you have 2 corn cards that you don't want you can say, "Two! Two! Two!" When two people say an equal number they trade cards face down and continue trading. The only rules to trading are:

You can only trade cards of the same suit (if you say, "Three!" that means you have 3 of one thing like oranges, not 2 corn and 1 orange).

A trade can only involve two people.

Once someone manages to get all 9 of the same commodity, they quickly and swiftly tap the bell, which signals the end of the round (in the non-deluxe version you hit the corner board). That player then scores points equal to the value of that commodity (50 points for oranges). The score is added, the cards are shuffled and the next person deals another hand. Play continues until someone hits 500 points (or another predetermined score).

There are also a few other variations but we didn't use them in our first play.

Initial thoughts: For a card game that comes with a bell, this costs a lot. The cheapest I found it was $16. Also it is supposed to be sold in local Target and Toys R' Us retailers, which I have yet to prove as true. This game is LOUD so if you have people who want peace and quiet, you need to play someplace else. This is and always will be a classic, and I would recommend it for at least 4 players otherwise it is kind of dull.

Pit is fun, but expensive for what it comes with. I give it a 4 out of 5.

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