How to Play the Dreidel Game

You will need a dreidel, some gelt (chocolate coins, nuts,. m&m's or gold - wrapped chocolate candy - remember these will be handled before eaten) and a large enough flat surface to spin a dreidel unimpeded.

On the sides of a dreidel used outside of Israel, you will find the Hebrew letters: Nun, Gimel, Hey, and Shin. They stand for Nes Gadol Hayah Sham, which means: "A Great Miracle Happened There!" In the land of Israel, a Pey will replace the Shin and will remind us that "A Great Miracle Happened Here!"

Each player gets an equal amount of gelt to start. Begin by each player putting one piece of gelt in the central collection.

Each turn the player spins the dreidel and puts gelt in or takes them out of central collections as follows:

  • Gimel: Get all that is in the middle ("get")
  • Nun: Does nothing ("none")
  • Shin: Put one in the middle ("share")
  • Hey: Get half of the amount in the middle ("half")

If the central collection becomes empty, each player puts in one gelt and the game continues.

The game ends when one player has won all the gelt (that has not already been eaten). And as this is only a game, that player may choose to share this gelt with all the other players so the game can begin again or no one goes home empty handed.