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How to Play Dreidel for Hanukkah

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Dreidel is a traditional Jewish game usually played during Hanukkah. Its name is derived from the four letter letters found on its four-sided top. It is a Hebrew acronym for ‘Nes Gadol Haya Sham’ which means ‘a great miracle happened there,’ when translated to English. Playing Dreidel is easy. Here’s how:

  • Gather some people to play Dreidel with. Any number of players can take part in this game.
  • Distribute an equal number of pieces to each player. You can use nuts, chips, matchsticks or raisins. Most people use choco candy coins known as ‘gelt.’
  • Each person must put a piece into the center “pot.”
  • Each player spins the Dreidel. You either get or give tokens, depending on the outcome. The player should do the following actions based on the letter appearing: Nun (nothing), the player does nothing; Gimmel (everything), the player takes all tokens; Shin (put in), the player must put one more token into the “pot;” Hay (half), the player gets half of the total token.
  • A player wins when he has collected all tokens.

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