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How to Play Dreidel

Dec 01, 2016

You probably all know the dreidel song, but have you ever played? Playing dreidel is a traditional Hanukkah pastime, and can be loads of fun. Find out more in How to Play Dreidel.

Dreidel is a traditional Hanukkah gameDreidel is a traditional Hanukkah game

What is a Dreidel?

A dreidel is a four-sided spinning top that is traditionally played during Hanukkah, which is a Jewish holiday that takes place over the course of December. Each side of the dreidel displays a letter from the Hebrew alphabet, allowing for dreidels to be used as a game. The letters (Nun, Shin,Gantz and Hey) stand for these words: Nothing, Put In, All and Half.

Each side has a different Hebrew LetterEach side has a different Hebrew Letter

What You Need

You will need a dreidel (of course!) They can be bought or made and are sometimes made from wood or clay. You also need something to trade, like nuts, chocolate, pennies or candies. Every player needs about 10-15 pieces. You might also need a couple of friends, any number of people can play!

The Rules

Dreidel is essentially a simple gambling game, here’s how you play:

  • Each player starts with an even number of pieces (10-15 pieces of candy, pennies or whatever you choose)
  • At the beginning of each round every player puts a piece in the center (“the pot”)
  • Every time it’s your turn you spin the dreidel once, depending on the outcome you give to or get pieces from the pot. If you get “Nun” (for “Nischt” meaning Nothing) then you do nothing. If you get “Gimmel” (for “Gantz” meaning “Everything”) then you get the entire pot. If you get “Hey” (for “Halb” meaning “Half”) then you get half the pot. If you get “Shin”(for “shtetl”) it means add a piece to the pot.
  • If you have no game pieces left, then you’re out. You can ask another player for a “loan” if you wish.
  • When one person has the entire pot, the game is over!

A dreidel is a four sided spinning topA dreidel is a four sided spinning top

Check out "The Dreidel Song" Below!

 

Have Your Say

Have you played dreidel before? Let us know in the comments section below.

 

23 Comments

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Dreidel poll

Do you play dreidel during Hanukkah?

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Powerslave
Powerslave posted in Random:
Red, white and blue for obvious reasons.
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Viksthedemon
Viksthedemon posted in Random:
...my favorite color? hm. bright, loud, and boisterous pink. because life is too short not to be fabulous, darlings~
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Viksthedemon
Viksthedemon posted in Debating:
hey man i'm just vegetarian cause i don't care about meat lol  ain't none of the other things concerning me
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Viksthedemon
Viksthedemon posted in Debating:
the man-made construct of "time" is a measure of several factors done for societal organization. make no mistake, though. a man-made measure is not insignificant, for "time" is passing. causes and effects. histories. we are constantly moving, and can never go back.  the earth's rotation today is not the same as the one tomorrow. our bodies are growing. our bodies are decaying. things are moving, things are changing, evolving, happening. time, the concept of it, is not an illusion. we will never stop progressing. time is progression.
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Viksthedemon
Viksthedemon posted in Debating:
i have had several friends who have cut themselves. i have almost done it, but more out of curiosity towards how it might feel- for empathic or sympathetic reasons. in a deluded way, i think that it is. a cry for attention. but i don't think that is a bad thing. human beings depend on social interaction. we are social creatures. by cutting, putting a physical show of emotional hurt, it's somewhat of a call for help. it's like crying through blood, something far more serious, much like the pain that leads someone there. cutting itself is very dangerous and terrifying for the people that love the cutter. and this is another reason i think cutting is a cry for help- cutters know that. they know the attention that they'll get, the backlash, the possible hate or obsession others will get over them if their cuts are seen.  but they do it anyway. i think if someone were truly hurting and didn't want anybody to know, they'd just suffer in silence, welling within themselves until they go insane. or show their pain through subtle actions.  y'know. the whole "the saddest people are the happiest" thing.
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