How to Play Dreidel

Nov 28, 2013

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.

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.

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!

Check out "The Dreidel Song" Below!                                                                                                                 


Have Your Say

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



latest videos


Do you play dreidel during Hanukkah?

  • Yes
  • No

related stories

Hanukkah is almost here! Which means it’s time to get your crafts going so you can bring some che...
The year was about 165 BC. A group of men led by Judah the Maccabee climbed to the top of a mount...
Micro_hanukkah treats_micro
Like most Jewish holidays, Hanukkah has its own yummy food traditions and recipes. Soofganiot (je...
There are a ton of holidays to celebrate in the month of December - that's why it's known as the ...

Random in the forums

Thisgirltho_ posted in General:
Banned because you like Anime.
reply 33 minutes
Well my parents know,sometimes their methods actually works. So thanks!
reply 43 minutes
Algi posted in Say Anything:
I do not know much about Imsomnia myself. But I wish to share my personal opinon here. It is probably wisest to tell your parents, tell a school nurse, tell a school therapist, etc. I think they can help you out a lot! I know Imsomnia is a nasty thing, but hopefully you'll be able to tackle it sucessfully. Good luck!
reply about 1 hour
-skeletonwar posted in New Users:
Hi! I'm Sammie! ∠( ᐛ 」∠)_ I'm ace/aro/agender, or, as my friends jokingly say, a skeleton. (。◑ヮ◑。)ayyyy~ I rly love talking to people tho so, message me! (if you want, of course) °˖✧◝(⁰▿⁰)◜✧˖° I'm also holding a lil Halloween thing called the "Skeleton War", which you can read about more on my profile. (#spon maybe? lol) ☆⌒(●ゝω・)   Nice meeting you all, I hope we can become friends! (´∩ω∩`)
reply about 1 hour
Hi I'm 11 years old and I am suffering from "Insomnia". I need help with dealing with "Insomnia",I closed my eyes for 4 or 5 hours nothing really happened.Most of these days when i don't go to sleep,I take a nap during the afternoons after school. Then i heard if I keep doing this i going to stunted my growth since I'm REALLY short.So I need tips to help me stop my Insomnia. Thank you for your support and your understanding!:)
reply about 1 hour

play online games