8 New Uses for Your Dreidel

Categories: Random Ephemera

I had a little dreidel, I made it out of clay, but then I had nothing to do with it except play this fairly boring game.

Breaking out the dreidel on Hanukkah is as much a part of the holiday as frying up the latkes, but that doesn't mean it is very fun. If you've never played the game, the idea is to spin a wooden top (I've never seen a clay one personally), which has four Hebrew symbols painted on it. Each symbol, aside from forming an acronym, represents the rules for game play.

According to Wikipedia, the game is played as follows:

Each player begins with an equal number of game pieces. The game pieces can be any object, such as chocolate gelt, 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 is 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.

And if that didn't help you, playing dreidel is basically gambling with a wooden top.

As a young child growing up in the 1980s, winning pennies was awesome because pennies could still buy things. In 2011, we tend to think kids would scoff at such a concept. Do children today gamble with Facebook friends? Cell phones? Apps? Do children even play dreidel anymore? There must still be a market for dreidels since we saw them at Target the other day, but maybe the dreidel is in need of a makeover. So, we sat down and thought of eight other things you can do with a dreidel.

8. Electrical Outlet Safety Cap

That'll keep them away from the outlet.

Since we are assuming that children have no interest in this game anymore, they won't be tempted to try and pull the dreidel out of the plug and replace it with their fingers. Hopefully, the dreidel doesn't catch fire.

7. Hebrew-Up Your Dungeons & Dragons Game
The dreidel is essentially a d4 that can be used in the same manner as any other DnD dice. Will it assist better in a magic missile or searing light spell? Who knows. Maybe there is a whole new clan of Jewish wizards that are just waiting to be untapped during your next DnD game. The possibilities are as open as your mind, or as much as your Dungeon Master allows.

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