Dreidel Game with Instructions and a Video

imageJewish children play the dreidel game for Hanukkah. Dreidels are tops with four Hebrew letters on them – one each side of the dreidel. The letters are nun, gimel, hay, and shin.

Legend has it that dreidels originated from a time when the Jewish people were forbidden to practice their religion.  The game was invented as a secret way of teaching the Hebrew alphabet to children, without attracting the attention of the authorities.

Here’s how to play the dreidel game…

The Dreidel Game

The dreidel game is played with a dreidel and chocolate "coins" wrapped in gold foil. Each player puts a coin in the middle of the players. They then take turns spinning the dreidel. The letter the dreidel lands on will determine what happens next.  Here are the letters with the resulting play…

נ – Nun = nothing happens
ג – Gimel = you get the whole pot
ה – Hay = you take half of the pot
ש- Shin = you put a coin into the pot

When the pot is empty, each player has to add a coin. If someone loses all their coins, they’re out of the game. Whoever gets the most coins in the end wins.

Here’s a video showing how to play the dreidel game…

Enjoy and Happy Hanukkah!

Check out Mama Lisa’s collection of Hanukkah songs and recipes (including latke recipes).

-Mama Lisa

Many thanks to Daria (children’s musician and performer) for sharing her dreidel photo!

This article was posted on Sunday, December 18th, 2011 at 11:40 am and is filed under Countries & Cultures, Dreidel Game, Hanukkah, Holidays Around the World, Israel, USA, YouTube. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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