Playing the Dreidel Game

by Contributor

Laura Beth Drilling/Demand Media

"Dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, I made it out of clay." Even if you're not Jewish, odds are this catchy little song has gotten stuck in your head at least once. Even if you are Jewish, you probably weren't aware the word "dreidel" is derived from the German "dreihen," meaning "to spin." The dreidel game originally was a popular Yiddish gambling game.

Assemble a kitty. Distribute the kitty equally among the three, four or more players in the game. Each player puts one of his "tokens" in the center of the table, creating the dreidel "pot."

Have each player spin the dreidel in turn. Each of its four sides is decorated with a different Hebrew letter: nun, gimel, hey and shin.

Collect nothing if you spin a "nun" and yield to the next player. Collect the entire pot if you spin a "gimel." Collect half the pot for "hey." Forfeit a token to the pot if you land a "shin."

Win when you collect the full pot.