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Play Chanukah Dreidel Chess!

Play Chanukah Dreidel Chess!

Play Chanukah Dreidel Chess!

Celebrate Chanukah with Dreidel Chess, a creative spin on chess that combines the classic Chanukah game of chance with the world's favorite strategy game.


How to Play

Set up for your preferred game of chess—if you and your kids play full games with all pieces, set up for that. If you are still learning, downshift to a simpler game like Pawns vs. Pawns or Queen vs. Pawns. You can find tons of easier variants and mini-games in the Story Time Chess game set and expansion packs.

For this mini-game you’ll also need something to usher in the element of chance. Because it’s almost Chanukah, we highly recommend a dreidel! If you don’t have a dreidel, you can also use a regular six-sided die.

Dreidel spin hierarchy, best to worst:

  • Set up for a regular (or modified for younger players) game of chess.
  • Spin the dreidel (or roll the die) to decide colors. 
    • Dreidel: Gimel or Hei = black, Nun or Shin = white
    • Die: Evens = black, Odds = white
  • Begin your game as normal, but before every turn, each player must announce their intended move and then spin the dreidel (or roll the die).
  • If the dreidel lands on Gimel or Hei, the player may proceed with their intended move.
  • If the dreidel lands on Nun or Shin, the player must make a different move than the one they announced.
  • If a player only has one legal move on a given turn, skip dreidel spinning/die rolling.
    • This also applies to check situations in which a player has only one option to keep their king safe.
  • Play until you have a winner (either checkmate, Capture the King, or a mini-game victory condition).
  • Remember to shake hands and say, “Good game!” no matter who wins, and have a lovely holiday season playing games!