How to Play


  1. A valid spin constitutes a spin of the Dreidel that spins for at least 3 seconds without wobbling, in order to ensure a random outcome. A spin that wobbles immediately is not valid. The spin must land on the table without human interference to be valid. Upside-down spins are acceptable provided they meet the other conditions. There is no penalty for invalid spins, but the spinner must re-spin until her spin is valid. If a player has a difficult time meeting these requirements, they may nominate another person to spin on their behalf.
  2. Each player is given an initial stack of 18 units of Gelt. Players begin by sitting ten per table.
  3. Each table is provided with Dreidels. A spinner may spin their choice of the Dreidels provided.
  4. At the specified time, the tournament begins and any player spins the Dreidel. The person to whom the bottom of the Dreidel points after it stops is the first spinner. The turns then proceed clockwise.
  5. The initial ante is one unit of Gelt.
  6. Each player puts the ante into the pot. This is known as an “All Ante.”
  7. Play:
    1. The spinner selects a Dreidel and spins it.
    2. After the Dreidel stops, it will land with one of the following four letters face up:

If the Dreidel has the letter Nun face up, the spinner does nothing.
If the Dreidel has the letter Gimel face up, the spinner takes the entire pot.
If the Dreidel has the letter Hey face up, the spinner takes half the pot, rounding up if there is an odd number of Gelt in the pot.
If the Dreidel has the letter Shin face up, the spinner adds one ante into the pot.

  1. If the value of the pot reaches less than or equal to the ante, each player contributes another ante (All-Ante) into the pot.
  2. The spinner replaces the dreidel in the dish with the other dreidels. Play continues to the next player on the left with step (7a).
  3. If a player needs to leave the table, the player will miss their turn to spin, but must leave their Gelt and will still be subject to All-Antes. Another player must take Gelt for All-Antes from their Gelt on their behalf.
  1. Depleted Gelt:
    1. Whenever a player is required to post an ante – either as a table ante or from a spin that lands with the Shin face up — but cannot afford to do so, the player is out of the tournament and becomes a “non-winner”. If the player has a partial ante left in their stack they must surrender it to the pot. For example, if they have one unit of Gelt but are required to post a two-Gelt ante, the player is out and must leave their one unit in the pot.
    2. As long as a player can post the required ante, they remain in the tournament, even if they are all-in. For example, if they must post a two-Gelt ante and have only two units of Gelt, they can post that ante and remain in the tournament as long as they are not required to post an additional ante.
  1. Increasing Antes:
    1. The ante will increment by one, two or more units of Gelt every three minutes or faster if necessary to speed up eliminations in the tournament, at tournament officials’ discretion. An official timekeeper will track the ante increments and will announce accordingly.
    2. The next spinner after the current spinner at the time of announcement will start with the new increment.
    3. In the case that the ante is increased causing the pot to be less than the new ante (but greater than the previous ante), players need not contribute an All-Ante until the next time an ante is required.
  1. Table Winner: The last player remaining after all others at their table are eliminated will be name a Table Winner and is entitled to the $100.00 table prize.
  2. Tournament Championship: Table winners will join for around one table and continue playing for the grand prize. The last eliminated player will be named champion, and is entitled to the $500.00 grand prize.
  3. Wild Card Raffle: A random drawing for eliminated tournament participants will be held prior to and during the final table tournament. The winner of the drawing is given a place at the final table, and will be endowed with a Gelt stack double the size of the ante at the time they join. This gives someone who was previously eliminated one last chance to come back and win the tournament.
  4. Rules subject to refinement: In the case of inconsistencies or ambiguities, the tournament officials reserve the right to refine the rules during the course of the tournament, with an intent of fairness. In the event a rule is refined, it will be announced publicly to the tournament.