Playing two-up on Anzac Day? Here's all you need to know

Anzac Day is almost upon us, marking the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during WWI.

Australians recognise April 25 as a day of national remembrance, one of the most solemn days of the year with commemorative services held across the Bega Valley Shire.

These events are followed by social gatherings of veterans, hosted at an RSL club, including a traditional gambling game of two-up.

The game was brought over to Australia by the English and Irish, originally called pitch and toss. It was a popular pastime with soldiers during WWI.

Anzac Day is the biggest day of the year for RSL sub-branches across the country.

Large crowds are expected to gather over a game of two-up, celebrating true Aussie spirit and mateship at pubs and clubs across the Bega Valley Shire.

"Boxer" Simon Owens prepares for the annual two-up festivities at Club Bega following the service with club general manager Dave Mitchell and Kyle Bourke.

"Boxer" Simon Owens prepares for the annual two-up festivities at Club Bega following the service with club general manager Dave Mitchell and Kyle Bourke.

Two-up is a time honoured Australian tradition, says operations manager of Club Bega Kyle Bourke.

Anzac Day is the one day of the year you are able to run two-up legally It is a government regulation even though it is a zero sum game its not legalised to have any organised gambling without licencing.

Mr Bourke reminds everyone to remember the true meaning of Anzac Day and to drink responsibly.

"Anzac Day is a national day that should be viewed as a solemn thing. It is a day to do what is Australian but to remember the fallen," he said.

"We encourage people to drink responsibly and to take on the right message of the day."

For those who look forward to the game, here is everything you need to know.

Definitions

Head the side of the penny opposite to that marked with a white cross.

Heads the two pennies lying on the floor of the ring with the head side uppermost on each.

Kip the wooden bat from which the pennies are thrown.

Ring the area inside boundaries drawn or identified on the Two-Up premises by the ringkeeper.

Boxer/Ringkeeper the person who controls the spinner and the conduct of the game.

Spinner the player who has elected to spin the pennies and has entered the centre of the ring.

Tail the side of the penny marked with a white cross

Tails the two pennies lying on the floor of the ring with the tail side uppermost on each.

Source: NSW liquor & gaming website.

Two-up explained

After having a chat with Club Bega ringkeeper Simon Owens, some tips, tricks and local knowledge was revealed as to how the simple game is played.

Did you know? Traditionally, the game is played with two coins. To create a game that is faster we use three which gets a result almost every time, Mr Owens said.

The spinner holding the kip with three pennies, the tail side of pennies will be marked with a white cross.

The spinner holding the kip with three pennies, the tail side of pennies will be marked with a white cross.

The aim of the game is for the spinner to throw three heads in a row. In the event that the spinner throws tails, the spinner shall lose the total of the moneys in the centre and the right to spin.

If you throw a tail you're out of the ring. If you throw three heads there is a way to keep betting against the house to win the pot, Mr Owens said.

The ringkeeper, or boxer, holds the money and the equivalent amount from the house or a tail bettor to cover the bet. Side bets are then placed around the ring which are made between two people.

The spinner enters the ring, backing themselves that they will throw three heads.

They must place a $10 bet down to enter the ring which is then covered by the house adding up to $20, Mr Owens said.

If you throw heads the house then covers that $20 with another $20 (a total of $40 now lies in the ring).

After the spinner has thrown three consecutive pairs of heads they may withdraw from the centre and collect the total of moneys in the centre as the boxer calls the pot.

Anyone can come in and have a go as spinner. Its not scary and its not hard, you will get enough goes to get it right.

The ringkeeper declares when a spin is invalid by announcing no spin.

A no spin is when:

  1. Either or both pennies land outside the ring.
  2. Either or both pennies hit any person or foreign object inside or outside the area of the ring.
  3. In the opinion of the ringkeeper when the pennies have not been spun at least two metres above the head of the spinner.
Bets being placed outside the ring, head betters generally hold the money before the coin toss.

Bets being placed outside the ring, head betters generally hold the money before the coin toss.

As far as bets go outside the ring, Mr Owens said generally people have a following and choose to back heads all day or tails all day. Some change it up, but traditionally you choose to bet either heads or tails for the day.

It is recommended to start your bets off small, Mr Owens suggests to save around $40 on the day and to begin with $5 bets.

Mostly bets played on the day are between $5-20. Occasionally you will have people wanting to place larger bets of $50 but that is quite rare.

"I wouldn't recommend going in and putting all your money on the first spin. You want to have a few goes because that coin toss is over quite quickly," he said.

"If you have enough to cover 10 losses you should be there for a while, you might make a bit of money unless you get a really bad run."

The atmosphere is described as intense but a tonne of fun. There are usually plenty of experienced punters there on the day to help answer any questions.