Its Two Up Time – Come in Spinner!


We only (legally) hear that sound once a year & that’s on ANZAC Day, the 25th of April each year. A lot of money passes hands on ANZAC Day as that’s Two Up time

Just in case you’re not an Aussie, here is the run down on ANZAC Day Two Up!

Two-Up is a traditional Australian gambling game played with pennies that get thrown into the air. Players stand in a circle on a small pitch or ring and a spinner is chosen & players gamble on whether the coins will fall with both (obverse) heads up, both (reverse) tails up, or with one coin a head, and one a tail (known as Odds). The spinner calls his bet and if the coins land on both heads the spinner has won. If the result is tails, the spinner loses. If it’s one of each (heads & tails), the spinner throws again. The toss is done with a small wooden paddle called a ‘kip’, which holds two coins.

Pennies are used because their weight, size & design make them perfect for the toss. In comparison the decimal currency are too small & light & cause tosses to fly away.

Two-Up most probably came from a popular game in the 18th Century played by the English & Irish poor folk. Two-Up as we know it is played with 2 coins. The older version was played by tossing a single coin into the air and wagering on the result. By the 1850s, the two-coin throw was being played on the goldfields and then quickly spread across the country.

Illegal Two-Up rings were cropping up all over the place. Crooked cops cast a blind eye to these activities, and often backed them. However, the popularity of Two-Up decreased with the introduction of slot machines post 1950.

During wartime Two-Up was played extensively by the Australian soldiers. After World War I Two-Up became a regular part of Anzac Day celebrations for returned soldiers. Legitimate games are played all over Australia. Brisbane honored ANZAC Day by building their largest Two-Up Ring. My personal favorite is the Goldfields, Western Australia. Kalgoorlie really knows how to put on a Two-Up game. Considering so many miners left from the Goldfields to go to war then returned to them afterwards, its not surprising that they make it an experience!

Two-Up Kip

About the author

Paul Morris

Paul Morris is an entrepreneur, consultant and author. He is an advisor at Xpert Automation, a tech-based business incubator focused on scalable startups, and founder of ContentFy.

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