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How to Play Dreidel

Dec 01, 2015

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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Do you play dreidel during Hanukkah?

  • Yes
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Random In The Forums

AlphaT
AlphaT posted in Debating:
Language. 
reply about 3 hours
rainbowpoptart
The fact that this is even a question is sad. What has this godforsaken country come to? Of course not. Violence doesn't stop violence. Never has, never will. I'm totally fine with peacefully protesting (even though I think immediately jumping to the "They're racist, cops are racist!" conclusion without waiting for the details to come out is a bit close minded (not that I'm saying all of these murders were justified, because a few of them weren't)), but this whole burning down communities, wanting to kill all police officers, looting, and shooting innocent people thing is just plain ridiculous. I do hope these rioters will eventually realize that all their actions are doing is causing a circle jerk and [practically] the entire nation to turn against the Black Lives Matter movement. It isn't doing them any good at all.
reply about 6 hours
unicornsrule626
i'm pretty sure there was. i think the story was when the man went to put his hands up, the police thought he was reaching for a weapon and shot him.
reply about 7 hours
AlphaT
AlphaT posted in Debating:
"unicornsrule626" wrote:it would take years to get everyone to stand together. i agree that riots are making the situation worse. but still not all police are doing their job, if they were, why shoot a guy with his hands up, or a teen running away from you? if your a adult how the heck are you scared or a teen running away from you? Has there ever been an instance where a man was shot by police when he had his hands up? 
reply about 7 hours
PunMaster
Chapter 2- To The Moon... Error personally wasn't a fan of Paperjam constantly calling him 'Dad'. It was 'Dad', this and 'Dad', that. Every time the kid talked to him and addressed him in some way, it was always as 'Dad'. But... he supposed there was no stopping the kid. He'd just have to deal with it. Paperjam now basically followed Error everywhere, and anywhere he went.. it was annoying in some manners, because any time he wanted to be alone, suddenly Paperjam was by his side. But, his company wasn't that terrible... he was tolerable. Paperjam was like Ink in some ways. The kid was creative and loved to draw and create... but he got easily frustrated with his own work and sometimes disliked his own creations, destroying them right after or in the middle of his creative process. It was a sort of constant battle there. It was like a mixed personality. Paperjam didn't work to create things as much as Ink had, but he didn't work to destroy either. It was just in the middle. Heh... Ink probably would've loved looking after the little ball of energy. It was tiring to Error, but when Ink was alive, he'd swear that the smaller skeleton had limitless amounts of energy.  Error sat cross legged in the whiteness of the void, his head resting against one of his hands, while the other was held up, strings coming from his fingers, and they guided puppets around that Paperjam was interacting with, since Paperjam had two little puppets stuck on his hands. Error found the best way to distract PJ, (which was now Paperjam's nickname) was to stick some puppets in front of the him. The kid would go at it for hours.  But... Error wanted to try something. The strings vanished, the puppets dropping, and Paperjam stared in confusion, looking a bit upset. "Kid, come over here, and leave the puppets." Error commanded. Paperjam looked at the puppets for a moment, before hesitantly leaving them there, and went to Error, sitting in front of him. "Yes Dad?" Error took a moment to not get annoyed at the name, then continued. "I want to show you something.. but you have to stay with me at all times, understand?" Wouldn't be a problem most likely, but he had to be sure that the kid knew. "Okay!" Paperjam nodded. "Good... now close your eye sockets, and no peeking whatsoever." Paperjam looked confused, but obeyed, closing his eye sockets. Error stood up, and grabbed one of Paperjam's hands, helping him stand up, and a glitching portal opened up in front of them, Error went through the portal, making sure Paperjam didn't trip or fall, and once they were both through, Error covered Paperjam's eye sockets, just to be sure. "Okay.... when I say, you can open your eye sockets, alright?" Paperjam nodded slightly. Error waited until the portal closed. "Open them, now." He felt Paperjam's eye sockets open under his hands, and he slowly pulled away his hands, little by little, so the kid wouldn't be too shocked by the sudden intake of colors and scenery... They were on the little island where Ink and Error had made their wishes, in Outertale.  Paperjam gasped, staring at all the stars and distant planets in astonishment, stumbling forward slightly... Error could tell the kid was blown away by the sight of it all.  "So PJ, what do you think?" Error smirked slightly, sitting himself back down. He'd almost forgotten just how beautiful things could be outside the void... Paperjam bounced slightly. "It's... it's... IT'S AWESOME!!" He shouted. "Thought you might like it." Error chuckled. Error could feel the aching hole in his soul was easing, the pain dulling.. but remembering He'd never get to be here again with his best friend, his brother... it made him feel that pain again... but it was more endurable, because he wasn't alone anymore. He felt himself smile. It was funny how things worked.  Paperjam sat beside Error, and they sat in silence for some time, staring at the stars.. before Error began to talk with Paperjam, and they wouldn't stop talking for hours. 
reply about 8 hours