The inspirations were the Chicago Board of Trade (known as 'The Pit') and the US Corn Exchange and it was likely based on the very successful game Gavitt's Stock Exchange, invented in 1903 by Harry E. Gavitt of Topeka, Kansas (and reprinted in 2004 in an authentic "heirloom" edition by Out of the Box Publishing). Versions of the game have been marketed under the names Billionaire, Business, Cambio, Deluxe Pit, Quick 7, and Zaster.
Some decks consist of 74 cards with nine cards each of eight different commodities. The specific commodities have varied over the various editions of the game, but those used in most modern editions are Barley, Corn, Coffee, Oranges, Oats, Soybeans, Sugar and Wheat.
The classic version has seven commodities consisting of; flax, hay, oats, rye, corn, barley, and wheat. Two special cards are also included, the Bull and the Bear; use of these cards is optional.
Versions of pit game starting in the 1970s contained a bell used to start trading. The first player to hold all nine cards of a commodity would ring the bell.
The number of commodities included in each round is equal to the number of players. Each player is dealt nine cards; two players get ten if the Bull and Bear are included.
Pit has no turns, and everyone plays at once. Players trade commodities among one another by each blindly exchanging one to four cards of the same type. The trading process involves calling out the number of cards one wishes to trade until another player holds out an equal number of cards. The two parties then exchange the cards face down.
When a player has nine cards of the same commodity, he or she will call out "Corner on..." the commodity they have obtained, ending the round. (In deluxe editions of the game, a bell is rung instead.) That player then earns points equal to the number value of the commodity they "went out" with.
Alterate names: Ben 10 Pit, Billionaire, Business, Cambio, Classic Pit, Deluxe Pit, Ding!, Gavitt's Stock Exchange, Get Rich Quick, NO AGENDA: the Card Game, Pit: The Greatest of all Party Games, Quick 7, Trading Pitt, Zaster.
Download the pit game rules here (pdf).
What's it worth? Take a look at this Pit Game price guide: sold listings for a value indication.