Social isolation has impacted on how we commemorate Anzac Day. Many families will be Lighting Up The Dawn, remembering all those who served in our defence forces. Many will wear medals and/or rosemary, the emblem of remembrance. Some will lay a wreath or donate the money to RSL welfare. We will listen to the Ode and maybe recite it ourselves, and we can hear the Last Post from the live broadcasts and in some cases a short Anzac Day speech. Families may have made Anzac biscuits with a much better recipe than that used for the WW1 diggers. A Gunfire breakfast can still be on the morning menu. So many of the Anzac Day traditions still remain. However, the march has gone, as has the follow-on and two-up.
Tomorrow is the only day in the year that the traditional Australian gambling game of ‘two-up’ could be played at venues. Bets are placed on how two pennies thrown into the air will fall. The ‘Ringer’ (in charge) explains rules and betting procedures
The game originated from ‘pitch and toss’, a gambling game tossing a single coin into the air and betting on the result. During the 18th century two-up became popular in England and Ireland amongst the poor. It was introduced in the Victorian goldfields during the 1850s and was popular amongst Australian soldiers during World War One. They played the game in trenches and on troopships which is why it has a strong association with Anzac Day.
As un unregulated form of gambling, it is illegal across the country except on select days. Each state has its own regulations. In Broken Hill, it is legal all year round.
How do you play two-up?
A designated ‘spinner’ tosses two (or three) coins into the air off a bit of wood known as a ‘kip’.
The players stand in a circle known as the ‘ring’. They will bet on whether the coins will fall on both heads, both tails or one head and one tail. This is known as odds.
Two heads mean the spinner wins, two tails mean the spinner loses their bet and the right to spin. Odds mean the spinner throws again.
The coins must fly three metres into the air, not touch the roof and have to fall within the ring.
The other members around the ring place side bets against each other on whether the spinner will win or loose and determines the results of the next throw.
This is not an activity that Zoom can handle well!