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How to Play Dreidel

The dreidel, the small top that's among the most recognizable symbols of the Hanukkah season, is a fun game of chance to play with friends and family.

Instructions

  • Step 1: Divide the tokens Divide the candies, coins, or other betting tokens evenly among the players.
  • TIP: Dole out a minimum of ten tokens per person.
  • Step 2: Ante up Each player antes up one token to begin.
  • Step 3: Spin the dreidel The players take turns spinning the dreidel, which has four sides, each marked with a Hebrew letter.
  • Step 4: Do nothing If the dreidel lands on "nun," which stands for the Yiddish word nisht, or "nothing," do nothing.
  • Step 5: Take everything If the dreidel lands on "gimmel," which stands for the Yiddish word gantz, or "everything," you've hit the jackpot. Take all the tokens.
  • Step 6: Take half If the dreidel lands on "hey," which stands for the Yiddish word halb, or "half," you win half the pot.
  • TIP: If there are an odd number of tokens in the pot, the player rounds up one.
  • Step 7: Put one in If the dreidel lands on "shin," which stands for the Yiddish word shtel, or "put in," you have to put one of your tokens into the pot.
  • Step 8: Fill the pot Whenever the pot is emptied—or gets down to one token—everyone adds a token.
  • Step 9: Ante up again After every player has had a spin, everyone puts in another token and begin another round of spinning.
  • Step 10: Sit out A player is out when he or she runs out of tokens.
  • FACT: A version of the dreidel game has been played in various countries and cultures for at least 500 years.

You Will Need

  • A dreidel
  • At least two players
  • Coins
  • candies
  • or other betting tokens

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