Playing the Dreidel Game


"Dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, I made it out of clay." Even if you're not Jewish, odds are this catchy little song has gotten stuck in your head at least once. Even if you are Jewish, you probably weren't aware the word "dreidel" is derived from the German "dreihen," meaning "to spin." The dreidel game originally was a popular Yiddish gambling game.

Playing the Dreidel Game
(Laura Beth Drilling/Demand Media)

Things You'll Need

  • Small edible items
Step 1

Assemble a kitty. Distribute the kitty equally among the three, four or more players in the game. Each player puts one of his "tokens" in the center of the table, creating the dreidel "pot."

Laura Beth Drilling/Demand Media
Step 2

Have each player spin the dreidel in turn. Each of its four sides is decorated with a different Hebrew letter: nun, gimel, hey and shin.

Laura Beth Drilling/Demand Media
Step 3

Collect nothing if you spin a "nun" and yield to the next player. Collect the entire pot if you spin a "gimel." Collect half the pot for "hey." Forfeit a token to the pot if you land a "shin."

Laura Beth Drilling/Demand Media
Step 4

Win when you collect the full pot.

Laura Beth Drilling/Demand Media

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