Oh Dreidel, Draydel, Dreidel

The first night of Channukah is Tuesday night. Time to get out the dreidels. here’s a picture of a dreidel (sometimes spelled draydel):

dreidel.gif

If you wished to, you could make a dreidel out of cardboard. Here’s a pattern, you could print out and use as a guide:

dreidelpattern.gif

There’s only one problem with the game of dreidel — mathematically it is unfair. The traditional rules favor the player who goes first. And the odds successively get worse, so the 2nd player has greater odds than the 3rd, etc.

Here are the instructions, an explanation of why it is unfair, and a variation on the rules to make the odds fair.

Now for the fun part of this entry. Today on the Weird Jews Livejournal community there has been some discussion on a different variant. A variant that would instantly come to mind of any young adult.

Here are 2 sets of the variant rules:

נ* – Nun – Nothing happens

ג – Gimmel – All other players must take off an article of clothing

ה – Hey – One player of your choosing must take off an article of clothing

ש/פ – Shin/Pey – You take off an article of clothing

or

נ – Nun – Nothing happens

ג – Gimmel – All players remove an article of clothing

ה – Hey – One player of your choosing must take off an article of clothing

ש/פ – Shin/Pey – You take off an article of clothing

It should be noted that noone has mentioned about the ‘odds’ in either variation…so if one were to play this version of the game…it might be recommended that you make sure you spin early.

It should also be noted one could easily replace “take off an article of clothing” with “take a drink” and you have a great drinking game.

{Note: Dfferent dreidels have different letters for the fourth letter. The letters are a Hebrew acronym for the phrase “A Great Miracle Happened Here/There”. Depending upon whether the dreidel is an Israeli dreidel or not an Israeli dreidel decides whether it is “here” or “there”.]

*If you see question marks here instead of Hebrew letters, you need to enable unicode on your browser.

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