Welcome to RS Games Dreidel, an accessible, online, multiplayer version of the traditional Dreidel game played during Hanukkah. RS Games Dreidel utilizes the RS Games client, which allows players to play against each other from around the world, via the centralized RS Games server.
To get started, you will need the RS Games client installed. TO get the RS Games client if you don't have it already, go to http://www.rsgames.org. connecting and logging into the server are covered in the RS Games client documentation. Alternatively, you can use the web client, from which you can play by using your web browser. The web client can be found in the "Quick Links" section on the RS Games home page.
This document assumes you have read the RS Games client documentation first, for general concepts and instructions on using the client. If you have not read this document, please read it before continuing.
If you are using the web client, options referred to as keyboard commands in this document will appear as buttons on the web page.
Once you are connected, choose Dreidel from the list of games, and you will be presented with the main menu. From there, you can create a new game, join a game, or see a list of existing games. Choose an option using the up and down arrow keys and the enter key, or by clicking on the option if you are using the web client.
If you choose to create a new game, you will be asked if you want to make the game private. If you choose yes, you can set a password, and only those who know the password will be able to join. Next you will be asked what type of game pieces you want to use, and how many everyone should start with. After you have made your choices, you will be placed in your game. Here, players will be able to join your game.
Bots are computer players who will play against you if there are no other humans around to play with, or if you want to add more players to your game. If you are the creator of the game, you can press B to add a bot, or R to remove a bot.
Once you are ready to start the game, press the Enter key.
To join a game, choose the Join Game option from the main menu. You will be presented with a list of games that are open for players, along with the people playing in each game. Choose a game from the list, and press enter. If the game is private, you will then be asked to enter the password. Once you are in the game, you must wait for the game master to start the game.
A Dreidel (rhymes with Cradle) is a four-sided spinning top played with during Hanukkah. Each of the sides has a Hebrew letter on it. The letters are Nun, Gimel, Hey, and Shin. These letters form a Hebrew acronym which translates to "A great miracle happened there." In Israel, the Shin is replaced with Pey, and the acronym translates to "A great miracle happened here." Jews in Jerusalem before the time of Christ needed to rededicate their temple after it was desecrated by the Greeks. Oil for that purpose was in short supply--only enough for one night's burning. More had to be consecrated, and that required eight days. The oil lasted eight days. The miracle of the single day of oil lasting eight days is represented by the letters on the sides of the dreidel.
Here's one popular story about early use of the dreidel. During the rule of Antiochus before the Maccabees' revolt, soldiers executed any Jews who were caught practicing their religion. When pious Jews gathered to study the Torah, they had the top ready in case they heard soldiers approaching. If the soldiers appeared, they would hide their Torah scrolls and pretend to play with the dreidel.
Dreidel is played with a four-sided spinning top, a center pot, and small game pieces, which can be pennies, nuts, raisins, foil-wrapped chocolate coins called Gelt, or just about anything else small. In this online version, the game master gets to choose what type of pieces to use from several preset choices, or can enter a customized choice.
Two or more players gather around, and each player is given a certain number of game pieces, then everyone puts a piece in the pot. Each player then takes his or her turn spinning the dreidel. In this version, you spin the dreidel by pressing Enter, and the game spins you through the required actions and options. Depending on where the dreidel falls, the following actions are taken:
Additionally, any time the pot is empty or has one piece, everyone adds one of their pieces.
A player is not eliminated if they run out of pieces. Rather, they are eliminated if they have to put a piece in the pot, but don't have any pieces. Example: you land on Shin, and put your last piece in the pot. You're not out unless someone else lands on Gimel, thus taking the entire pot and making everyone put a piece in, or someone lands on Hey and takes enough pieces to require everyone to put one in. If, by some miracle, you get another turn without either of those things happening, you are eliminated if you land on Shin, since you don't have one to put in. On the other hand, you are saved from elimination for now if you land on Gimel and, in most cases, Hey.
The game continues until either all players except one are eliminated, or one player has acquired all the pieces in the game, so the pot is empty and nobody else has any pieces either.
There are several keyboard commands that can be used to get information about your current game. You can always press Ctrl+H to get a quick reminder of these keystrokes.
You can chat with other players at any point during game play by pressing the F2 key, typing your message into the input box and pressing enter. You can also chat at the main menu to other players who are not currently in a game, also by pressing F2.
To change the volume of the background music during the game, use F3 to lower the volume and F4 to raise the volume. You can also adjust the volume of the sound effects with F5 and F6 to lower or raise the volume, respectively.
You can opt to receive a transcript of your game, that is, an email containing the entire text of your game. When you leave a game, you will be asked if you would like to receive a transcript. If you would, choose Yes, and the transcript will be sent to the email address you used when creating your RS Games account. You can also press F11 during the game, rather than wait until you leave the game to decide.
Thanks to the following people for helping to create Dreidel:
If you have any problems using any of the games released by RS Games, or have a question, bug report, suggestion, feature request, or anything else, feel free to contact RS Games by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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