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Dreidels: Dreidels

A dreidel (Yiddish: דרײדל Hebrew: סביבון‎ Sevivon) is a four-sided spinning top, played with during the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah.

Dreidels on display

                        

             December 10, 2012 - January 11, 2013

        Indiana University East Art Gallery Display Case

                            Whitewater Hall

    

The Dreidel Song

Rules of the game

Each player begins with an equal number of game pieces (usually 10–15). The game pieces can be any object, such as candies, pennies, or raisins.

  • At the beginning of each round, every participant puts one game piece into the center "pot". In addition, every time the pot is empty and sometimes if it has one game piece left, every player puts one in the pot.
  • Each player spins the dreidel once during their turn. Depending on which player side is facing up when it stops spinning, they give or take game pieces from the pot:
    • a) If נ (nun) is facing up, the player does nothing.
    • b) If ג (gimel) is facing up, the player gets everything in the pot.
    • c) If ה (hei) is facing up, the player gets half of the pieces in the pot. (If there are an odd number of pieces in the pot, the player takes the half the pot rounded up to the nearest whole number)
    • d) If ש (shin) or פ (pei) is facing up, the player adds a game piece to the pot. In some game versions a Shin results in adding three game pieces to the pot (one for each stem of the Shin). This alternative version increases the overall fairness of the game.
  • If the player is out of pieces, they are either "out" or may ask another player for a "loan"

 

Virtual dreidel game!: http://www.jewfaq.org/dreidel/index.htm


History of the game:

http://www.chabad.org/library/howto/wizard_cdo/aid/597255/jewish/The-History.htm 

 


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