A true-blue Aussie tradition, the gambling game of two-up is only legal in Melbourne on ANZAC Day. Brought over to Australia as ‘pitch and toss’ by the English and Irish, it was rife through the gold rush days and equally popular with soldiers during World War I. As a result, it’s become synonymous with April 25, during which pubs and RSL clubs across the country host games.
How to play two-up, trad-style
1. Two coins are placed on a paddle (kip) by the ‘spinner’. You and fellow punters will need to surround them and commence bellowing things like “tennahead!” (read: I want to bet $10 on both coins landing heads up).
2. Want to take that bet? Lock eyes and vigorously wave your ten dollars in the head-better's direction, then give them your cash if they accept (heads holds the money).
3. The boxer (referee) yells ‘come in spinner’, to cease bet-making whereupon the coins are flicked in the air. They have to reach higher than the spinner’s head and fall within the circle to count as valid toss. If it's heads, you lost. Tails? You won! One of each? The spinner keeps tossing till there's a result.
4. Celebrate/console yourself with beer. Repeat.
Where to play two-up
The Caulfield RSL is planning a family-friendly day of activities for ANZAC Day, beginning with the ANZAC march from Elsternwick RSL to Caulfield at 6.30am. A gunfire brekky in the rear carpark will follow, with kids' activities including face painting and a magic show beginning at noon. Melbourne's largest local game of two-up will commence in the rear carpark at noon, with live music kicking off at 3pm. Then punters can gear up to watch the Collingwood and Essendon game on the big screen.
This huge pub draws a big crowd every ANZAC Day, including a lot of folk in uniform arriving after the march to the Shrine of Remembrance. Breakfast is available from 7am, and there'll be two-up games from noon.
Young & Jackson's prime Flinders St location makes it the obvious meeting point for march-goers on April 25. Open from 6am, the two-up ring will be in operation from 10am in Chloe's Bar, and there's live music going on into the night.