Dreidel Game Rules and How to Play

How to Play Dreidel

Learn how to play this Hanukkah game by watching the video and reading the written directions below. BytheHebrewword fordreidelissevivon, which, like the Yiddish term fordreidelissevivon, means “to turn about.” Dreidels are decorated with four Hebrew characters, which stand for the phrase “Nes gadol haya sham,” which translates as “A wonderful miracle occurred there.” In Israel, the fourth letterhin is replaced with the letter apeh, resulting in the expressionNes gadol haya po, which means “A wonderful miracle occurred here.” Playing with the dreidel is a traditional Hanukkah game that is played in Jewish families all throughout the world, however the rules may differ from one place to another.

The following is a description of how to play the basic dreidel game: 1.

Each participant begins the game with an equal number of game pieces (about 10-15), which can be anything from coins to almonds to chocolate chips to raisins to matchsticks.

Each player should also put one game piece into the pot once the pot is empty or there is only one game piece remaining after everyone has placed one into it.

  1. Every time it is your turn, you must spin the dreidel one time.
  2. You either give or receive game pieces from the pot, depending on which side it lands on.
  3. If yours does not, you can refer to the image below as a cheat sheet: a)Nun is a slang term for “nisht” or “nothing.” The player does absolutely nothing.
  4. In German, Hey means “half” or “halfway.” Half of the pot is split between the player and the house.
  5. ) d)Shin (outside of Israel) is a Hebrew word that meaning “shtel” or “put in.” In Israel, the word peh can also imply “to put in.” A gaming piece is added to the pot by the player.
  6. 6.
  7. With permission from A Different Light: The Hanukkah Book of Celebration, published by the Shalom Hartman Institute and Devora Publishing, this article is reprinted with permission.

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How to play dreidel

Photograph by 123RF Stock Photo (copyright: tomertu) The dreidel game is one of the most well-known of the many Hanukkah customs. It was established as a means for Jews to study the Torah and learn Hebrew in secret when the Greek King Antiochus IV forbade all Jewish religious observance in 175 BCE, allowing them to continue their religious practice in secret.

Today, we play to commemorate a long and illustrious history while also having a good time with friends and family!

What you’ll need:

  • A group of two or more participants, ages three and older
  • It is a four-sided spinning top made of wood, plastic, or the traditional “clay,” and it is used to represent ante in games like roulette and blackjack. Traditionally, chocolate-covered coins known as gelt were used, but you could use anything you wanted: nuts, marbles, marshmallows, you name it.

Before you begin:

There are four letters from the Hebrew alphabet printed on the dreidel’s four sides, which are as follows: Nun () is a female pronoun. Gimmel ()Hey ()Shin () Gimmel ()Hey ()Shin () The words nun, gimmel, hay, and shin, when used together, mean “a tremendous miracle occurred there.”


1. Distribute the ante evenly across all of the participants. 2. Everyone takes a turn spinning the dreidel, with the first turn going to the person who has the highest spin. Take note that nun is the most important, followed by gimmel, hey, and shin. If there is a tie, the players who tied spin once more. 3. Everyone places one token of the ante into the center of the table (the pot). 4. Once you have spun the dreidel, you will either give or receive tokens from the pot, depending on which side it falls on.

  • Nun: don’t do anything.
  • Take half of the tokens that are now in the pot, says Hay.
  • 5.
  • 6.
  • Seventh, if you run out of tokens, you are either eliminated or you may ask another player for a loan.

Don’t own a dreidel? Make it out of paper!

The PDF template may be downloaded and printed. If you’re going to play dreidel, why not eat a dreidel as well? Make your own edible marshmallow dreidels to give to your pals as a party favor!

How to Play Dreidel – Kveller

Download and print the PDF template if you want to be organized. Consider eating a dreidel while you’re playing dreidel. Make your own edible marshmallow dreidels to give to your pals as a holiday gift.

The Equipment

The dreidel, orsevivon, which means “to turn around” in Hebrew, features a Hebrew letter on each of its four sides, which is a play on the words “to turn about.” It is known as “Nes Gadol Haya Sham” by the thenun, gimmel, hay, andshin, which translates to “a wonderful miracle occurred there.” It goes without saying that “there” refers to Israel, and “the big miracle” refers to the miracle of Hanukkah, as you might expect.

Aside from the dreidel itself, all you need is some form of game component to play with.

It doesn’t matter whatever option you select; you’ll need around 10-15 pieces per person.

This is so inclusive!

The Rules

Here are a few basic rules for the games, adapted from the book A Different Light: Book of Celebrations for the Festival of Hanukkah Every participant places one game piece into the central “pot” at the start of each round. Each player should also put one game piece into the pot once the pot is empty or there is only one game piece remaining after everyone has placed one into it.

2. Every time it is your turn, you must spin the dreidel one time. As a result of the outcome, you either give or receive game pieces from the pot:

Nunmeans “ nisht ” or “nothing” in Yiddish. The player does nothing.
Gimmelmeans “ gantz ” or “everything” in Yiddish. The player gets everything in the pot.
Haymeans “ halb ” or “half” in Yiddish. The player gets half of the pot. (If there is an odd number of pieces in the pot, the player takes half of the total plus one.)
Shinmeans “shtel” or “put in” in Yiddish. The player adds a game piece to the pot.

3. If you discover that you have exhausted your supply of game pieces, you are either “out” or may request a “loan” from a fellow player. 4. When one person has won everything, the game is done for that round.

Hanukkah Party

That’s all there is to it. Consider playing dreidel at your next Hanukkah event, especially since miniature plastic or wooden dreidels seem to appear in droves around this time of year. Aside from the fact that it is a part of Jewish custom, it is also a fun opportunity to put some early math abilities to the test. Giving your children their first experience with gambling has never been more instructive!

How do you Play Dreidel? – How Do You Play It

During the festival of Hanukkah, Jewish youngsters participate in a traditional game called adreidel, which is played with a four-sided top. The history of this simple game is rich and interesting, dating back to the second century BC, when the Seleucid Empire forbade Jews from practicing their religion. Today, the dreidel game is most usually played using chocolate coins, which are referred as asgelt (German for chocolate coins). A Brief Overview of the History of the Dreidel Game Exiled Jews used dreidels to keep their religious studies hidden during the reign of the Seleucid ruler Antiochus III the Great.

In honor of the Jewish state of Israel, traditional dreidels were engraved with four Hebrew letters that symbolized the phrase “a wonderful miracle happened there,” which is a play on the phrase “a great miracle happened there.” For for over two thousand years, these letters have remained constant.

Over the decades, the rules of the dreidel were affected by various gambling games, such as the teetotum game, which originated in the seventeenth century.

Game of Dreidel RulesThe rules for the game of dreidel are rather straightforward, and the game may accommodate any number of participants.

  1. First and foremost, the game pieces are evenly distributed among all of the participants. In order to begin a game, each participant puts one piece of money to the “pot.” Each participant takes a turn spinning the dreidel. The following actions are dependent on which Hebrew letter is dealt face-up:
  • Nun: Don’t do anything. Gimmel: Take home the full pot. Win half of the pot, says Hay. In Hebrew, Shin (or Pey for Israeli dreidels) means “add another piece to the pot.”
  1. If one player wins the whole pot, everyone other is required to give one piece to re-build the pot. When a player has no more pieces in their possession, they are eliminated. When a single player has won all of the pieces in the game, the game is ended.

Dreidel Game Rules and How to Play

If you are Jewish, it is probable that you are familiar with the name Dreidel. However, even if you aren’t, it’s possible that you already know what a Dreidel is. However, not everyone will be familiar with the rules of the Dreidel game. It’s possible that you won’t even know that you’re playing a game at all!

The Dreidel game is entertaining and informative at the same time. It’s a terrific game for youngsters to play together, but it’s also a great game for the whole family. If you’re searching for something different from card games or board games, give Dreidel a go!

What is Dreidel?

TheDreidel game is called for one of its most important components. A Dreidel is a four-sided spinning top that may be found in a variety of various patterns and color combinations. However, they all have a fairly similar form, which distinguishes them from a typical spinning top in a noticeable way. Each side of a Dreidel is imprinted with a letter or symbol from the Hebrew alphabet, and the Dreidel is a traditional Jewish game. Some experts believe that these symbols signify words or phrases that have anything to do with gambling, and there is a long history associated with them.

  1. When it comes to the Dreidel game regulations, we do know what each sign means, so we may proceed with confidence.
  2. It is thought that the game as we know it now was first played somewhere between the mid-1890s and the late 1890s.
  3. Players just spin the Dreidel, and depending on the symbol it falls on, they will be given certain instructions.
  4. Before we get into more detail about the Dreidel game rules, let’s have a look at what you’ll need to be able to play the game at your house.
  5. Because of its widespread popularity, even outside of Jewish communities, finding a set to play shouldn’t be too difficult to locate.
  6. The rules of several Dreidel games state that each participant must have their own Dreidel to spin.
  7. Due to the fact that no one will be spinning at the same moment.
  8. Dreidels are available in a wide variety of sizes and styles.
  9. It can take some time to figure out what each sign represents, so look for Dreidels that include writing as well, such as this one or these.
  10. Take a look at some of the goods listed below for some inspiration.

The Dreidel

The Dreidel has four sides, each of which is inscribed with a distinct Hebrew sign. Nun, Gimel, Hei, and Shin are the names of the four symbols. After being spun, the Dreidel will come to rest on one of the four symbols shown below. Each of the symbols represents a different result. In the gaming section below, we’ll go into further detail about what each of these characters accomplishes in accordance with conventional Dreidel game regulations.

Game Pieces

In order to play Dreidel, you’ll need some game components. Coins, chocolates, buttons, raisins, and even parts from other games are examples of what may be used as pieces in this game.

It is not uncommon for Dreidel sets to have only one or two pieces due to the nature of the game. So, if you’re having trouble coming up with something, look outside the box. You might just cut off pieces of paper to utilize.

The Dreidel Game Rules and Gameplay

The goal of the Dreidel game is straightforward: be the player who collects all of the game pieces. Alternatively, you can be the last person to have at least one game piece remaining. But it appears to be a simple game, Dreidel is mostly a game of chance, although there is some space for strategy as well.

Setting Up

As few as two players are required to participate in the Dreidel game. However, it is also a fantastic game to play with a bigger number of people. In general, we find that the finest people are between 4 and 6 people. Determine whether or not each participant will be utilizing their own Dreidel before you begin setting up the game. Alternatively, you might decide to share a single one. After then, make sure that everyone has the same amount of game pieces in their possession. According to traditional Dreidel game regulations, it is advised that each player have a total of ten pieces to play with.

Once everyone is ready to play, pick who will be the first to take the field.

Play can continue in either a clockwise or counterclockwise direction.

Spinning The Dreidel

All of the events that go place during your turn will be determined by whatever symbol the Dreidel falls on. In order to make the Dreidel game rules more understandable, please refer to the following list.

  • Nun – You don’t do anything. Gimel – You are to take all of the game pieces that are now in the pot. Hei – You take half of the game pieces out of the pot and place them in the center of the table. It’s best to round an odd number to the next whole number if it’s possible. In the case of Shin, you put one of your game pieces into the pot. Some people alter this rule to include three pieces in the pot instead of two

While this is the fundamental gameplay loop, there are a few of additional things to keep in mind while you play. At the start of the game, each participant will be required to contribute one game piece to the pot of money. Following the conclusion of each round (i.e., after all players have spun the Dreidel), all players should contribute another game piece to the pot. Finally, if the pot is completely depleted, all players must replenish it by placing a game piece into it. If you lose all of your game pieces, you are automatically eliminated from the game.

Dreidel – A Fun, Educational Family Game

So, that’s all there is to know about the Dreidel game’s rules and regulations. This game is simple to play and is certain to provide hours of entertainment. It may not appear to be as in-depth as games such as Monopoly or certain strategic board games. However, the game’s straightforward gameplay loop is certain to be a highlight of any family game night.

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Dreidel Rules

The Dreidel game is a classic Hanukkah activity that has been around for centuries.

Here’s how to play dreidel, as well as the rules and the significance of each symbol on the dreidel. Make sure to read the rest of the pieces in our Holidays Around the World Series as well!


What exactly is a dreidel? A dreidel is a top-like object with four sides that is used to play a game during the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah. The Hebrew characters nun, gimmel, hay, and shin are engraved on the classic four-sided dreidel, which has four sides. Their names are derived from the Hebrew phrases “Nes Gadol Haya Sham,” which literally translates as “A great miracle occurred there.” THE MEANING OF DREIDEL This Jewish game is based on the miracle that occurred over 2000 years ago when Judas Maccabee and a small band of valiant warriors beat the large army of a wicked king who attempted to force the Jewish people to worship idols in order to gain control of the land.

The Jews were the ones who ignited the temple lamp.

As a result, Hanukkah, also known as the “Festival of Lights,” is observed for eight days.


This is a game that many people like playing during Hanukkah. Whether you are Jewish or not, this is a fun Hanukkah activity that anybody can participate in with a group of friends. Bring together your friends and family and include this in your list of favorite holiday party games to play together throughout December. To get started, all you need is adreideland ten pieces of “Hanukkah Gelt” for each participant.

Shop Hanukkah Dreidels here:

  • Pennies, candy coins, dried beans, little stones, and miniature sweets are all examples of small change.


The laws of the dreidel are actually rather simple. Playing the dreidel game is a lot of fun. The rules of Dreidel are as follows:

  1. Starting with a single piece in the center of the table, each player adds another piece until the pot is completely depleted. The game continues until all pieces have been added. A shorter game may be played by having each player place one piece into the pot before each person’s turn
  2. The first player will spin a dreidel
  3. And so on.

Depending on what the first player spins, here’s what you should do:

  • Nun (nothing) appears, and nothing is accomplished. It is now the turn of the following player
  • When a player gimmels (takes everything), it indicates that he or she has completed their turn and that it is now the turn of the next player. Player receives half of the pieces if he or she is hay (half). (If the number of players is an even number, the player takes half plus one.) It is now the turn of the following individual
  • Shin (put in) – a player contributes a piece to the pot, and it is now the turn of the next player

When a gimel dreidel is spun, for example, the player removes all of the pieces from the centre. When one player has won all of the pieces in the game, the game is done. You should now understand how to play the dreidel game.


It’s possible that Dreidel symbols are difficult to recall, therefore we’ve produced this dreidel sides cheat sheet to make things easier for you. Print off this Dreidel instructions printable, which includes the rules for Dreidel, so that everyone can see them while they’re playing the game! You may print out the Dreidel Rules by clicking here. Have a wonderful day celebrating Hanukkah!

Reader Interactions

There is no better way to commemorate and share Hanukkah than by participating in dreidel games with family and friends (and noshing on latkes). If you’re teaching a Hanukkah lesson at school, including this How to Play Dreidel Printable in your present bags, or just want to remind your family how to play, this is the printable for you.

What is a dreidel?

In Jewish tradition, a dreidel is a four-sided top that is used in a game that is played during the festival of Hanukkah. Each side is adorned with a different Hebrew letter: nun, gimel, hey, and shin.

What do the letters on the dreidel mean?

The characters “nes gadol haya sham” stand for the word “nes gadol haya sham.” It literally translates as “a wonderful miracle occurred there.” It serves as a remembrance of the Chanukah miracles of the Macabees’ military triumph and the one day of Temple oil that lasted for eight nights during the festival of lights.

It is customary in Israel to use the letter “pay” as the last letter of the dreidel, rather than the letter “shin,” to signify the statement “a wonderful miracle occurred here.”

How do you play dreidel?

You’ll need one dreidel to play with, or one for each player, as well as a collection of little bits to use in the game. They can be anything from pennies to chocolate coins to M M’s and so on. They should be distributed equitably among the participants. To complete the “pot,” have each player place one piece back into the middle to complete it. Make a circle around the dreidel, taking turns spinning it and following the directions based on where it lands.

How do you win?

If you run out of pieces in the middle of the game, you’re out. The winner is the last person remaining. You can replenish the pot with extra pieces as you go if you want to avoid players being removed too rapidly.

How to Play Dreidel Printable

If you’re new to dreidel, these printable instructions will guide you through the game. They’ll also make a terrific supplement to an elementary school lesson plan. Printable PDF is available as a single sheet or as four sheets on a single page.

Where to Buy Dreidels?

Wooden Dreidels in Bulk– These dreidels are both elegant and traditional in design. Available in quantities of 10, 30, and 100. Bulk Plastic Dreidels– I have a sneaking suspicion that these brightly colored plastic dreidels may truly be the real original. I’m pretty sure everyone had one of these in their house when I was growing up. Once again, they are available in bulk quantities of 10, 30, and 100. Chocolate Hanukkah Gelt (Coins)– Hanukkah gelt is chocolate coins that have been foil wrapped.

  • Flat Glass Marbles– These are my favorite non-edible components for playing dreidel with since they are so versatile.
  • I’ll frequently discover the youngsters playing on their own without my intervention.
  • Please also see myEasySufganiyotRecipe, Hanukkah TV Episodes for Kids, Where to Buy Hanukkah Pajamas, and Hanukkah Gifts from Small Businesses for additional information and resources.
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How to Play Dreidel Infographic

Documentation Download Documentation Download Documentation In Jewish custom, the dreidel is a game of chance that is one of the most widely recognized emblems of Hanukkah. The dreidel is a four-sided top with a distinct Hebrew letter on each side, which is referred to as the top. The game may be traced back to at least the period when the Greek King Antiochus IV (175 BCE) forbade the practice of Jewish religion. Jews who met to study the Torah would use the dreidel to deceive troops into believing they were only gambling, according to legend.

At this point, the game is frequently played to determine who can win the mostgelt points (chocolate coins wrapped in gold foil). You may participate in this festive ritual as well if you have a dreidel and a few tokens on hand. We’ll show you how to do it!

StepsDownload Article

  1. 1 Get yourself a dreidel. The dreidel you will receive will be determined by your geographic location. Outside of Israel, the four letters on the sides of the dreidel are Nun, Gimmel, Hay, and Shin, which stand for “A Great Miracle Happened There,” a reference to the miracle of the oil. In Israel, the four letters are Nun, Gimmel, Hay, and Shin, which stand for “A Great Miracle Happened There.” This miracle occurred in Israel, where the dreidel is engraved with the letters Nun, Gimmel, Hay and Pey, which translate as “A Great Miracle Occurred Here.” 2 Make a group of buddies. If you only have two people, you may still have a good time, but the more the merrier.
  • Distribute the tokens to all of the participants in an equitable distribution. The tokens can be anything little and inconsequential, such as coins, almonds, raisins, matchsticks, and so on. Gelt is widely used by many individuals.
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  • s3 Increase the tempo. In order to build “the pot,” participants must place one token in the center of the circle before each spin.
  • Everyone should deposit a token into the pot if the pot is emptied or there is just one token remaining
  • Else, the game will be void.
  • 4 Have each person take a turn spinning the dreidel. It is your responsibility to spin the dreidel once when it is your time. The letter that appears on the screen once the wheel has stopped spinning determines whether you win, lose, or draw. The player should do the following action in accordance with the letter that appears on the screen:
  • Shin (also known as “shtel” or “put in” in Yiddish) – Add another token to the pot. Nun (also known as “nisht” or “nothing” in Yiddish) – Don’t do anything. All of the tokens from the pot are taken by Gimmel (also known as “gantz” or “everything” in Yiddish). Hay (also known as “halb” or “half” in Yiddish) – Take half of the tokens that are now in the pot. It is customary to round up when an odd number of tokens is present. Alternatively, if you run out of tokens, you are either “out,” or you can ask another player for assistance.
  1. Five players take turns passing the dreidel
  2. Six players pass the dreidel. Continue to play until a winner is determined by collecting all of the tokens. Advertisement

Create a new question

  • Question Suppose I get gimmel and empty the pot, do I have to put a token back in because the pot is completely depleted? ‘Little BeaCommunity’ is a slang term for a small group of people. Answer When all of the tokens in the pot have been gathered, the next player will put in another token into the pot. It is possible that all players will place one of their tokens into the game in some versions of it. Question When the pot is completely depleted, may I put in more than one token? Yes, it is possible
  • Question Do I need to start with a certain number of tokens? Divide the number of tokens you have among the participants in an equitable distribution. Deal it out the same way you would a deck of playing cards
  • Question Is it necessary for the dreidel to be a specific type of dreidel? It simply has to have all four sides, which are the nun, gimmel, hay, and shin, to be considered complete. It’s safe to assume that the dreidel has all of its sides if it has all of its sides. Question Where can I get a dreidel to play with? A dreidel may be purchased at Party City, on eBay, or on Amazon. Question What is the minimum number of players required to play dreidel? It’s best to have at least two people because it’s not pleasant to play alone. Even numbers are preferable
  • Question What is the smallest number of tokens that you can have in your possession? What is the highest number? You’ll need at least three for each person, so if you have five players, you’ll need a total of fifteen. As long as you have lots of time, there is no restriction on the quantity of tokens you may accumulate. All that is required is that the number of tokens be divisible by the number of participants. Question Do players begin with tokens or do they start with cash? Yes, each player begins with a set of tokens. Question What happens after the pit is completely depleted? Each person drops one of their tokens (or whatever you’re using) into the pit or pot when the pit or pot is completely empty. Question When I receive a gimbal and the pot is completely depleted, who is responsible for putting the back in to replace the pieces? You borrow money from the token bank in the form of a “loan.” So, effectively, you just borrow someone else’s token and use it. When this happens, you’re out of luck
  • Nevertheless, it can happen more than time.

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  • The dreidel is known by several other names in Yiddish, including “fargle” and “varfl.” In Israel, the phrase “sevivon” (from the root meaning “turn about or spin”) is used to refer to this phenomenon. In one popular form of the game, any player whose dreidel lands on the letter Nun loses and is eliminated from the competition. If there are no tokens in the pot, everyone puts one in
  • Otherwise, no one puts one in. According to one form of the game, you may match the pot when Shin appears and place one token in the pot when Nun comes. If you want to make it more interesting, use chocolate instead of coins so that you may consume your prizes when the game is over. What if you don’t have a dreidel? Make one for yourself using the pattern available for download. Many websites provide free patterns that you may print out and use to create your own dreidel
  • You can get these patterns on many websites. To avoid being eliminated from the game, a player must either quit the game or borrow tokens from a fellow participant. It is customary in Israel to substitute the lettershin with the letterpeh for the word “poh,” resulting in the sentence “a tremendous miracle happened here.”

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About This Article

The writers of this page have together authored a page that has been read 553,153 times.

Did this article help you?

Learn all you need to know about playing dreidel, including the rules, how to play, and the history of the game. You may make a small profit from some of the links on this site at no additional cost to you because some of them are affiliate links. To access the links, simply click on the photos or blue text in the text box. Thank you very much! A significant Jewish population attends my children’s school; on the 16th of that year, both first grader Johnny and kindergartener Lily’s classes learnt how to play Dreidel, which was the first day of Hanukkah in their respective classrooms.

  • Johnny and Lily had had a great time with the game, so I found a printable dreidel for the kids to make so that we could continue to play at home with them.
  • It turned out that Johnny’s dreidel (far right at the top; Lily’s is in the middle, and Emma’s is on the left) was far more durable than the girls’ dreidels, owing to Emma and Lily’s insistence on having no tape visible from the exterior of the dreidel.
  • If you are unable to locate a dreidel locally, you can get one on Amazon for a reasonable price (affiliate link).
  • Chocolate coins are used as traditional money (gelt).
  • As a result, they replaced glass florist marbles for the m ms and did not consume any of them.
  • Players begin by placing one piece of cash into the pot on their own.
  • According to whatever side of the dreidel you look at, different things happen.

Two separate Jewish friends taught two distinct versions of the game to my children, and it turns out that there are just a handful different ways to play the game. Given the fact that the game has been around for hundreds of years, this is not surprising.

The History of Dreidel

I wanted to incorporate some history into the game, but I couldn’t figure out what the game had to do with Hanukkah until I looked into it further. As it turns out, I had a valid cause to be perplexed in the first place. The game on which the dreidel is based (Teetotum) has nothing to do with the holiday of Hanukkah. This is similar to how some customs that are now linked with Christmas have their roots in non-Christian traditions. I didn’t want my children to identify Hanukkah just with the gifts they received from their friends or with the game of dreidel.

  1. We also discussed how the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah is a time when Jews generally contribute to the impoverished and the less fortunate.
  2. Find out more about Hanukkah traditions in this fantastic piece published by my friend Natalie for the Multicultural Kid Blogs, which you can find here.
  3. Do you have a favorite family ritual that you would want my family to learn about?
  4. If you sign up for my newsletter, you’ll receive weekly email updates with book recommendations, crafts, activities, and parenting advice from me.
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How to Play Dreidel: The Traditional Game, Plus a New Spin

Dreideldreidelסְבִיבוֹן Known as “sevivon” in Hebrew and “spinning top” in Yiddish (both of which are borrowed from German), this toy is utilized in a children’s Hanukkah game. is the traditional game played during the Hanukkah celebrations. During the story of Hanukkah, the letters on the dreidel—nun, gimel, hey, and shin—are interpreted to stand for the first letter of each word in the Hebrew statementNeis gadol hayah sham, which translates as “A great miracle happened there.” This statement refers to the defeat of the Syrian army and the re-dedication of the Temple.

Ashin has been replaced with the letterpey, resulting in the translation of the Hebrew sentence intoNeis gadol hayah po, which translates as “A wonderful miracle occurred here.” Make a candle for each night of Hanukkah, eat latkeslatkes”Pancake” (Yiddish); fried potato pancake commonly eaten on Hanukkah; plural: latkes.and sufganiyotsufganiyots”Jelly doughnuts;” traditionally eaten in Israel during Hanukkah; singular: sufganiyah., exchange gifts, listen to some Hanukkah music, and have a good time You can print off a copy of these instructions by clicking here.

What You’ll Need

  • A set of playing pieces for each player (such as plastic chips, coins, little candies, buttons, peanuts in the shell, or other similar items)
  • A dreidel for everyone’s enjoyment

How to Play

Make sure that each individual receives an equal amount of playing pieces. To begin, have each player place one or two pieces into a communal pot that has been set aside. Take turns spinning the dreidel and doing the tasks dictated by the letter you receive on the other side:

  • Nun: The player receives absolutely nothing. Gimel: The player has complete control. Hey, the player gets half of the prize money. Shin: The player makes a contribution

The individual who gathers all of the playing pieces is declared the winner. You might also try playing the dreidel game with a charity twist: everyone contributes money to a kitty, and the winner gets to select where the money will be donated after the game.

A New Spin for Your Family

Your family could enjoy putting a fresh spin on the traditional dreidel game for a change of pace. You’ll need the following supplies:

  • A total of eight sheets of construction or copy paper
  • And Tools such as scissors, markers, pens or crayons are also required.

Each of the eight pieces of construction paper should have a huge dreidel shape cut out of it. In order for each dreidel to have a distinct topic starter, write one of the following discussion starters (or your own eight discussion starters) on it:

  • We are a family when we are together
  • We are a family when we share
  • And we are a family when we love. We are a family when we share. When we get together as a family, we have a good time.
  • When., celebration is a part of our family’s culture. Mitzvotmitzvahמִצְוָה In the literal sense, “commandment,” it refers to a religious responsibility. According to Jewish tradition, the Torah includes 613 commandments. Mitzvot are religious and ethical requirements that must be fulfilled. When you become a member of our family. When it comes to our family, learning is a given. When it comes to our family, tradition is important when.

Create eight blank lines below each conversation starter to serve as a guideline. Then, on the first night of Hanukkah, come up with eight responses for one of the conversation starters that you and your family came up with together. Select one member of the family to be in charge of keeping track of the answers on the dreidel. Finish by attaching the dreidel to your Hanukkah decorations once you’ve finished with it. For each of the following nights of the holiday, use a new discussion starter dreidel (as well as a different family member to record the answers) to kick off the debate.

Dreidel – Wikipedia

Adreidel, also known as dreidleordreidl (DRAY -dl;Yiddish:dreydl, plural:dreydlekh;Hebrew:dreydlekh;Romanized:sevivon), is a four-sided spinning top that is traditionally played during the Jewish festival of Hanukkah. It is a Jewish variation of the theteetotum, a gambling device that may be found in many different European civilizations. Each side of the dreidel is adorned with a letter of the Hebrew alphabet: nun (nun), gimel (gimel), hei (hei), and yod (yod) (shin). In Yiddisha, these letters are used to represent the rules of a gambling game derived fromteetotum, which is played with a dreidel:nunstands for the word (nisht, “not,” meaning “nothing”),gimelfor (gants, “entire,” meaning “whole”),heifor (halb, “half”), andshinfor (halb, meaning “half”), andshinfor (halb, meaning “half (shtel arayn, “put in”).

As a result, most dreidels in Israel have the lettershin replaced with the letter (pe), to represent the phrase nes gadól hayá po (nes gadól hayá po, “a great miracle happened here”); however, manyHaredicommunities insist that the lettershinshould be used in the Holy Land as well, because the reference to “there” refers to the Holy Temple rather than the Holy Land.

For an hour in space, astronaut Jeffery A. Hoffman spun a dreidel created by Israeli craftsman Gideon Hay with the use of a compass.


An ancient Middle Eastern top in the shape of a dreidel. The dreidel evolved from an Irish or English top that was imported into Germany and became popular during the Christmas season. The ateetotum was popular during the Christmas season and dated back to ancient Greek and Roman times. There were letters etched on the teetotum that represented the Latin words for nothing, everything, half, and “put in.” The letters represented the Latin words for nothing, everything, half, and “put in.” In German, this is referred as as atrendel, and the German letters for the same notions are the same as in English.

  1. The letters acted as a reminder of the game’s rules to anyone who read them.
  2. As a result, Jewish traditions developed to explain what was supposed to be their significance.
  3. A common theory was that the letters represented the phrases nes gadól hayá sham (nes gadól hayá sham, “a tremendous miracle occurred there”), a notion that became associated with dreidels when the game was included into Hanukkah celebrations.
  4. When the Seleucids approached, their Torah scrolls were concealed and replaced with dreidels, according to the tradition.
  5. Zionism changed the name of the dreidel to Sevivon in contemporary Israel, and the letters were changed as well, withshingenerally replaced bype.


Dreidel in three dimensions, created with Blender. The Yiddish worddreydl is derived from the German worddreyen (“to turn”, compare todrehen, meaning the same in German). At the age of five, Itamar Ben-Avi (the son of Eliezer Ben-Yehuda) came up with the idea for the Hebrew term “vivon,” which originates from the Jewish root “SBB” (which means “to turn”). Hayyim Nahman Bialik used a different term, kirkar (derived from the rootKRKR– “to spin”), in his poetry, but this word did not become widely used in spoken Hebrew until recently.

Other names for the dreidel were used in the vocabulary of Ashkenazi Jews from Udmurtia and Tatarstan by local historian A.V. Altyntsev. These includedvolchok (also known as khanuke-volchok),fargl (also known as fargl),varfl (also known as dzihe), and zabavke (also known as zabavke).


Model of a dreidel in three dimensions. This is a shortened version of theYiddishworddreyl (“to turn”, compare todrehen, meaning the same in German). At the age of five, Itamar Ben-Avi (the son of Eliezer Ben-Yehuda) came up with the Hebrew term “vivon,” which originates from the Jewish root SBB (which means “to turn”). The poet Hayyim Nahman Bialik used a different term in his poetry, kirkar (derived from the root KRKR– “to spin”), but this word did not become widely used in spoken Hebrew. Other names for the dreidel were used in the vocabulary of Ashkenazi Jews from Udmurtia and Tatarstan by local historian A.V.

These includedvolchok (also known as khanuke-volchok),fargl (also known as fargl),varfl (also known as dzihe), and zabavke (also known as zabavka).

Rules of the game

Each player starts with an equal number of game pieces (often 10–15), and the game progresses in this manner. Objects that are used as gaming pieces might include anything from chocolate gelt to coins to raisins.

  • Upon initiation of the game, each participant places one game piece into the central “pot.” Additionally, when the pot is completely empty or there is only one game piece in the pot, each player adds one piece to the pot
  • Each person spins the dreidel once during their turn. The player whose turn it is provides or removes game pieces from the pot depending on whether side is facing up after the wheel stops spinning:
  • If the (nun) is face up, the player does nothing
  • Otherwise, the player does anything. If the (gimel) is face up, the player receives the entire pot
  • Otherwise, the player receives nothing. If the player’s (hei) card is face up, he or she receives half of the pieces in the pot. For example, if there are an odd number of pieces in the pot, the player receives half the pot, which is rounded up to the next whole number. A player may add one of their game pieces to the pot if one of their (shin) or (pe) pieces is facing up (sometimes accompanied by the chant “shin, shin, put one in”). In certain game versions, the letter ashin results in the addition of three game pieces to the pot, one for each stem of the lettershin()
  • In other game versions, the letter ashin results in the addition of three game pieces to the pot, one for each stem of the lettershin()
  • The player is either “out” or may ask another player to lend them a piece if they have run out of pieces.

A basic four-sidedteetotum has rules that are similar to these rules, where the letters A (foraufer), D (fordepone) and N (fortotum) create an amnemonic for the rules of the game,aufer(take), depone(put), nihil(nothing) and totum (all). Additionally, the Hebrew characters on a dreidel may be used to help remember the game’s rules in Yiddish by using them as a mnemonic device. There are certain instances whereby the Hebrew letters on the dreidel serve as an English-language mnemonic for the rules: heior “H” represents half; gimelor “G” represents get all; nunor “N” represents nothing; and shinor “S” represents share; however, this is rare in the United States.


Thomas Robinson and Sujith Vijay have demonstrated that the anticipated number of spins in a game of dreidel is O(n 2), where n is the number of game pieces that each player starts with and 2 is the number of spins that each player gets. The inferred constant is proportional to the number of participants in the game. Robert Feinerman has demonstrated that the game of dreidel is “unfair,” in the sense that the first player to spin has a better expected outcome than the second player, and the second player has a better expected outcome than the third player, and so on.


This is a photograph of the world’s most precious dreidel, which is now valued at $70,000. Because of a child’s fascination with dreidels, an adult has developed a developing desire in acquiring more of them. Dreidel collections may be found in Jewish institutions such as the Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership, the Yeshiva University Museum, and Temple Emanu-Elin in New York, as well as museums such as the Spinning Top and Yo-Yo Museum in Burlington, Wisconsin, among other places.

Dreidels made of wood, silver, brass, and lead are examples of this type of craft.

These rare and collectible dreidels from Cochin are made of iron and have a black finish with silver markings that were created using an intricateBidriwarestyle method.

Estate Diamond Jewelry set the Guinness World Record for the Most Valuable Dreidel in November 2019, with a $70,000 value.

The record was set by Estate Diamond Jewelry. The Chrysler Building in New York served as an inspiration for the design of Estate Diamond Jewelry’s dreidel. The previous owners of the title were Chabad of South Palm Beach, who had a dreidel worth $14,000 in their possession.


In North America, the game of dreidel has evolved into a parody competitive sport. Hanukkah dreidel competitions are held by the Major League Dreidel (MLD), which was created in New York City in 2007 and has its headquarters there. In MLD competitions, the winner is determined by the player who has the longest time of spin (TOS). Major League Dreidel is played on a Spinagogue, which is the official spinning stadium of the league. Pamskee was crowned MLD Champion in 2007. The winner of the 2008 MLD Championship was Virtual Dreidel.

An article on Dreidel Renaissance was published by Good Morning America in 2009.

Three new dreidel games have been introduced to the market since 2007, including No Limit Texas Dreidel, which is a hybrid between traditional dreidel and Texas Hold’em poker and was created by a Jewish arts and crafts firm called ModernTribe.

See also

  • I Have a Little Dreidel (The Dreidel Song)
  • Hanukkah music
  • Hanukkah gelt
  • Jewish ritual art
  • I Have a Little Dreidel (The Dreidel Song)
See also:  How to Play Stratego? Rules & Strategies


  1. “DREIDEL’s Definition” is a definition of DREIDEL. “The Dreidel: More Than Just a Game,” which was published on November 27, 2011, was retrieved on November 27, 2011. Archived from the source on January 24, 2021
  2. Brooklyn Man Takes First Place in Dreidel Spinning Contest Archived from the original on May 23, 2013, through theWayback Machine
  3. Jordan Kutzik published an article titled “Our Favorite Hanukkah Toy Was Actually a Non-Jewish Irish Gambling Game.” On December 15, 2017, abRabinowitz, Dan, published an article in the New York Times. “Chanukah Customs and Sources” is a phrase that means “Christmas Customs and sources.” A version of this article appeared in the print edition on December 22, 2017. abRosenberg, Anat. “The Weird Ancient History of the Dreidel.” The original version of this article was published on December 19, 2017. David Golinkin’s abcGolinkin, David. Retrieved on December 19, 2017. “The Surprising Origin of the Dreidel” is the title of this article. Learning about Judaism. abPfeffer, Rabbi Yehoshua
  4. Archived from the original on 2017-12-13
  5. AbPfeffer, Rabbi Yehoshua (2015-12-07). “The Chanukah Dreidel and Its Halachos.” Dinonline.org. “The Chanukah Dreidel and Its Halachos.” Dinonline.org. It was originally published on December 22, 2017, and it was attributed to abcCommon, Adiel lo/Wikimedia. “Our Favorite Hanukkah Toy Was Actually a Non-Jewish Irish Gambling Game.” It’s all about moving forward. “Dreidel Drama” (PDF).yutorah.org. Yeshiva University. “Dreidel Drama” (PDF).yutorah.org. Yeshiva University. “Dreidel Drama” (PDF).yutorah.org. Yeshiva University
  6. , (1918). “Dreidel Drama” (PDF).yutorah.org. Yeshiva University. “Dreidel The original version of this article was published on 7 January 2016. Obtainable on November 27, 2015
  7. Chani Benjaminson explains what a Dreidel is in this article. The original version of this article was published on November 27, 2015. “Ben Yehuda organization: Bialik”, which was retrieved on November 27, 2015. Benyehuda.org. Archived from the original on 2011-07-20. Retrieved 2011-12-23
  8. Altyntsev A.V., “The Concept of Love in Ashkenazim of Udmurtia and Tatarstan,” Nauka Udmurtii, No. 4 (66), p. 130
  9. Altyntsev A.V., “The Concept of Love in Ashkenazim of Udmurtia and Tatarstan,” Nauka U (See e.g., лтнев, “Living with Love: The Experience of Evpeev-Akkenazi Jews in the Diocese of St. Petersburg and the City of St. Petersburg.” аука дмуртии, No. 4, p. 130: Observations.) (See e.g., лтнев, “Living with Love: The Experience of E (in Russian)
  10. Yaakov, Rabbi. “The Secret of the Dreidel.” Yaakov, Rabbi. “The Secret of the Dreidel.” Ohr.org.il. Archived from the original on 2008-05-16. Retrieved 2011-12-23
  11. “How to Play Dreidel”
  12. “How to Play Drei (2001). Isbn 9780028642000
  13. “How to Play”.my Jewish Learning, p. 73.ISBN9780028642000
  14. “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Holiday Crafts.” On December 9, 2011, the original version of this article was published online. Robinson, Thomas, and Sujith Vijay (2006) published “Dreidel Lasts O(n 2) spins”. Fieinerman, Robert
  15. Advances in Applied Mathematics, vol. 36, no. 85–94, doi:10.1016/j.aam.2005.05.004.S2CID119157765
  16. (1976). “An ancient unfair game,” says the narrator. Journal of the American Mathematical Society, vol. 83, no. 8, pp. 623–625, doi: 10.1080/00029890.1976.11994192.JSTOR2319887
  17. Ab”Oh Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel: A popular holiday activity takes center stage.” Forward.com. On June 6, 2011, the original version of this article was archived. Archived from the original on 2011-12-23
  18. “The Dreidel Museum”.dreidelmuseum.com. “Adelaide Dreidels”.adelaidejmuseum.org
  19. “Murro Dreidel”.adelaidejmuseum.org
  20. “Adelaide Dreidels”.adelaidejmuseum.org
  21. ” “New York City jewelers build the world’s most expensive dreidel,” according to Worthpoint. The Guinness Book of World Records published on the 19th of December, 2019. Retrieved2020-01-20
  22. s^ Lubavitch, Chabad. “Chabad Lubavitch Brooklyn New York NY World Headquarters”.lubavitch.com. Lubavitch, Chabad. “Chabad Lubavitch Brooklyn New York NY World Headquarters”. “No Gelt, No Glory: A Dreidel Champion Is Crowned” (No Gelt, No Glory: A Dreidel Champion Is Crowned) was retrieved on January 20, 2020. Npr.org. The original version of this article was archived on January 6, 2012. Archived from the original on 2011-12-23
  23. “Spinagogue.” Moderntribe.com. The original version of this article was published on March 1, 2010. Retrieved2011-12-23
  24. s^ Michael Milberger is the author of this work (2009-12-12). “Dreidel Games Generation” is an abbreviation. Abcnews.go.com. The original version of this article was archived on January 25, 2012. “No Limit Texas Dreidel,” which was published on December 23, 2011, was retrieved on December 23, 2011. Texasdreidel.com. The original version of this article was published on December 8, 2011. Retrieved on 2011-12-23
  25. “JudaicaJewish Gifts for Modern Jewish Living” (JudaicaJewish Gifts for Modern Jewish Living). ModernTribe. The original version of this article was published on April 7, 2018. “Staccabees,” which was retrieved on April 27, 2018. Staccabees. The original version of this article was archived on December 19, 2011. “Battle of the Bees: Two games put a new spin on the popular dreidel game,” which was published on December 23, 2011, was retrieved on December 23, 2011. Jweekly.com published an article on December 3rd, 2009. The original version of this article was archived on September 27, 2012. Retrieved2011-12-23

External links

Look updreidelin Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
  • Dreidel Wizard
  • The History of the Dreidel
  • A computer application that simulates the dreidel game (complete with Java source code)
  • The Origin of the Dreidel Designing a Dreidel
  • Different Types of Dreidels
  • A Dreidel collection (which is a portion of the world’s greatest collection of dice)
  • A collection of dice

Virtual Dreidel – How to Play

Oh, dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, how I love you. We can’t all be in the same place at the same time. But don’t get too worked up over it; tradition still exists on Zoom! A regular year would see us coming together to light candles, eat latkes, and play dreidel to commemorate the festival of lights. This year, we’ll be meeting digitally instead of in person. You can play Virtual Dreidel with your family and friends while you’re on Zoom, a phone call, or a text group conversation with them. A dreidel is a spinning top with four Hebrew letters printed on the sides – nun, gimel, hey, and shin (or pey if you’re playing the Israeli version) – that represent the four directions of rotation.

  • They stand for nes gadol hayah sham, which translates as “a great miracle happened there.” Every player begins with a pile of five gelt (gold coins that, in actual life, are made of chocolate), and the pot located in the center will contain four gelt at the beginning of the game.
  • Take everything out of the saucepan with a spin of the gimel.
  • After that, everyone will chip in to refill the pool of money.
  • Nothing occurs if you spin a nun around.
  • In the event that a player’s gelt pile is completely depleted and they are compelled to place a piece of gelt in the pot, they will be ousted from the game.

The winner is determined by the number of players that remain. Gratz on your success! Thank you very much for participating in this year’s Virtual Dreidel! We’ll be returning for Hanukkah 2022, so mark your calendars!


The Chai Stakes Dreidel Tournament is part of the World Series of Dreidel®. The official rules of the Chai Stakes Dreidel Tournament may be found here. These rules are welcome to be used in conjunction with a charitable or non-profit fundraising event, providing that you notify us in advance of the event and who you are, and that you include the following citation with the rules: From 2003 until 2007, D. Bergman was the host of the World Series of Dreidel. We also recommend that you distribute a set of quick reference rules for the convenience of the players, as well as hold a small tournament with three to four participants prior to holding the actual event, to help you understand the nuances and work out the idiosyncrasies of Tournament Dreidel before the actual event.

Rules are subject to modification.

  1. For the dreidel to be considered authentic, it must be spun for at least three seconds without wobbling, in order to assure that the outcome is completely unpredictable. The validity of a spin that wobbles instantly is called into question. The spin may collide with things on the table, but it must settle on the table without interference from humans in order to be legitimate. Spins that are performed upside-down are permitted as long as they fulfill the other requirements. Valid spins are not subject to any penalties
  2. Nonetheless, the spinner must continue spinning until her spin is valid. If a player finds it impossible to satisfy these conditions, she may choose another individual to spin the roulette wheel on her behalf.
  3. A starting stack of 18 units of gelt is distributed to each participant (represented by poker chips). People begin by sitting five or six to a table, or up to ten if necessary, depending on the number of participants compared to the number of available tables. The servers bring a plate with three dreidels to each table. A spinner may choose from one of the three dreidels that have been offered. In order to maintain fairness, the dreidels will be replaced and swapped around tables at certain points throughout the competition. Determine the first spinner by doing the following: The competition begins at the given time, with any player having the opportunity to spin the dreidel. The first spinner is the person to whom the bottom of the dreidel points once it has stopped spinning. It is necessary to start with one unit of gelt (one poker chip). Each participant contributes to the pot by putting their ante in. An “All Ante” is a term used to describe this situation.
  4. Play:
  1. Selecting a dreidel from a plate of three dreidels and spinning it is the job of the spinner. After the dreidel comes to a complete stop, it will fall on one of the four letters that are shown face up:

I.If the dreidel is turned such that the face of the nun is facing up, the spinner accomplishes nothing. In case the dreidel hasGimelface facing up, the spinner receives the whole pot. 3.If the dreidel has the letter Hey on it, the spinner takes half of the pot, rounding up if there are an odd number of chips in the pot. 4. iv.If the dreidel bears the letter Shin on the face of it, the spinner adds one ante to the pot.

  1. Each player pays another ante (All-Ante) to the pot if the value of the pot is less than or equal to the ante amount. The spinner swaps out the dreidel in the dish for the other dreidels in the dish, and so on. Step (7a) marks the beginning of the turn for the following player on the left. A player who must leave the table will miss her turn to spin, but she will not lose her gelt stack, and she will still be susceptible to All-Antes until she returns. Another player must take chips from All-Antes’ gelt stack on her behalf in order for her to participate.
  1. After her gelt has been emptied or is almost drained, a player has the option to rebuy one or more times, depending on the regulations established for the individual event, only after paying the tournament’s $20 entrance fee and receiving a fresh full stack of 18 units of gelt. The player has the ability to rebuy her way out of the game
  2. She may alternatively choose to risk being eliminated. Rebuying requires the player to be prepared with cash, cheque, or credit card, raise her hand, and yell “Rebuy!” in order to complete the transaction. When she arrives at her table, one of the tournament officials will present her with a stack of chips and take her cash. The term “non-winner” refers to a player who is compelled to deposit a “ante” but cannot afford to do so because to financial constraints. This can occur as part of the table ante or as the result of one of the player’s spins landing on the shin. If she still has a portion of her ante left in her stack, she must give it up to the pot. Example: If she only has one unit of gelt but is obliged to deposit a two-unit ante, she is out and must leave her one unit in the pot. The event continues to run as long as a player can post the requisite ante, regardless of whether she is all-in. In the case when she is needed to post a two-gelt ante but only has two units of gelt in her stack, she can post that ante and continue in the tournament as long she is not forced to post an extra ante.
  1. In order to expedite the elimination process in the tournament, the ante will be increased by one or two units of gelt every three minutes, or more frequently if required to expedite the elimination process. An official timekeeper will keep track of the ante increments and will make the appropriate announcements. The new increment will be applied to the spinner that is immediately following the current spinner at the time of the announcement. In the event that the ante is raised, resulting in the pot being less than the new ante (but larger than the old ante), players are not obligated to pay an All-Ante until the next time an ante is needed.
  1. Table Combining: As players are eliminated from the tournament, they may be transferred to different tables in order to combine the event. It is anticipated that a final table of about six players will be formed. Tournament Championship: The player who has been eliminated the most times will be crowned winner, and she will be awarded the Championship Trophy as well as a reward of her choosing. In the event of a tie, the runner-ups will choose rewards from the prize pool in the order in which they were eliminated. Rules that are amenable to refining include: Should any contradictions or ambiguities arise throughout the course of the competition, the tournament authorities retain the right to revise the regulations in order to ensure fairness. If a rule is revised, it will be published to the whole competition in a public forum.

Optimal Tournament Formats:The following formats may be utilized at the discretion of the tournament administration, and they are advised exclusively for tournaments with at least 12 participants (three tables).

  • A random lottery for eliminated tournament participants is done prior to the gathering of the last eight players in the tournament to determine who will be included in the final table of the event. The winner of the drawing is awarded a ninth seat at the final table, as well as a gelt stack equal to the size of the ante at the moment the final table convenes, as determined by the drawing. As a result, someone who had previously been eliminated has one final, implausible chance to come back and win the event.
  • Celebrity Spins: A celebrity or significant member of the community, such as the Rabbi, agrees to spin dreidels on behalf of players for a charge (such as $10) in order to help the host organization, which is then donated to the organization. “Celebrity” must use the same set of dreidels as are being used at the table and must give an appropriate spin, as described in item 1

It is OK for you to utilize our rules for a charity non-profit fundraising event, subject to our approval; however, please notify us in advance of the event and who you are, as well as include the following citation in your rules: From 2003 through 2009, D. Bergman was the host of the World Series of Dreidel.

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