How Do You Play the Hanukkah Game Dreidel?


Quick Answer

The only materials you need to play dreidel, other than the dreidel itself, are game pieces. Traditionally, chocolate coins known as "gelt" are used as game pieces, but you can use anything. Dreidel is a game of chance that you can play with any number of people.

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How Do You Play the Hanukkah Game Dreidel?
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Full Answer

Everyone starts with an equal number of game pieces. At the beginning of each round, everyone puts a single piece into the center pot. Additionally, if the pot is emptied, every player must put a piece in. Everyone takes turns spinning the dreidel. When it is your turn, you spin the dreidel once. The dreidel has four sides, each with a different Hebrew letter on it. The Hebrew letter represents an instruction for you to follow.

If you land on ? (Nun), that means you get nothing, and you move on to the next player. If you land on ? (Gimel), that means you get everything in the pot. When you have emptied the pot, everyone, including the person who emptied the pot, must put one piece in.

If you land on ? (He), you take half the pot. If there is an uneven number of pieces, you take half the pot plus one. If you land on ? (Shin), you put one piece into the pot. If you run out of pieces you are out, unless you can get a fellow player to give you a loan. When one person has won all the pieces, the game is over.

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