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How to Play Dreidel

Dreidel is a traditional game of chance and one of the
most well-known symbols of Chanukah.

There are four Hebrew letters on the dreidel. They are:

Together they form a Hebrew sentence:

Nes gadol hayah sham, which means: “A Great Miracle Happened There!”

In Israel, the “Shin” ש is replaced by the letter

which stands for the Hebrew word “Here”:

Nes gadol hayah po, which means, “A Great Miracle Happened Here!”


Each player gets 10 play pieces (these can be pennies, M&Ms, paper clips), and each person puts one of his or her pieces in the middle. Everyone goes around and spins the dreidel. Depending on which letter the dreidel lands determines how many pieces one collects from the middle.

• When the dreidel stops on Nun, everything remains the same.

• When the dreidel lands on Gimmel, you collect the whole pile, and everyone has to put one into the middle again.

• When the dreidel lands on Hey, you get half of the pile.

• Finally, when the dreidel lands on Shin, or if you are playing with an Israeli dreidel and it lands on Pay, you put one in.

The game continues until one person is left with all of the play pieces.

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