Kvitlach: a Chanukah card game

Kvitlach: a Chanukah card game

This year, I bought a deck of the “kvitlach” card game. It is a gambling game played specifically on Chanukah. The kvitlach deck is a modified stack of cards, and the way its played is very similar to blackjack. The thing that makes kvitlach Jewish is that the deck of cards has no pictures. This goes back to Eastern Europe, where Ashkenazi Jews did not want to use cards with idolatry and indecent imagery on it.

(This was still not good enough for my family, who forbade playing. We weren’t told why the game wasn’t kosher, but I suppose it had something to do with gambling being problematic. I played my first game this year and came out $20 bucks ahead. I’m quite satisfied with this game at the moment.)


In the above video, I investigate where this game and deck of cards comes from and hunt down the instructions. You can learn how to play kvitlach here. If you play it, may you win heaps!

Kvitlach Rules


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