A dreidel is a four-sided top depicting one Hebrew letter on
each of its four sides.
The letters are the first letters of the phrase Nes Gadol Hayah
Sham which means "A great miracle happened there."
In Israel, the last word is
changed to "here" since it was in Israel that the events of Hanukkah occured. Each
player puts a coin in the "pot" and takes turns spinning the top. If the Hebrew letter
nun lands up, nothing happens. If gimel, the player wins the whole
pot. If hay, the player wins half the pot. If shin, the player loses
one coin to the pot.
The dreidel is the most
popular children's game for Hannukkah.