How do you play dreidel?


Quick Answer

The game of dreidel is played by spinning the dreidel and either doing nothing, taking from the game pot, or adding tokens to the pot. Play ends when one player has won everything.

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Full Answer

The game of dreidel requires a dreidel and that each player starts with an equal number of coins or tokens. Dreidel is played by any number of players. Play begins after each player has contributed one coin to the pot. The first player then spins the dreidel, and play proceeds dependent on the letter shown on the dreidel.

The dreidel has four Hebrew letters on it, and each letter corresponds to a game action. A player that spins "Nun" does nothing, and play passes to the next player. "Gimmel" allows the player to take all of the coins in the pot. Afterwards each player places a coin to begin the pot again, and play resumes with the next player. When the dreidel lands on "Hey," the player takes half of the coins in the pot, and "Shin" requires the player to add a coin to the pot.

Play proceeds around the table. If a player loses all of his coins to the pot, he is out of the game unless he is extended a loan from another player. Play ends when all players but one are out of coins. Dreidel can also be played with alternative game pieces such as nuts, matchsticks or chocolates.

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