Time Out Melbourne

After honouring the Diggers at an ANZAC Day service, head to the local ale-house for the fine Aussie tradition of two-up

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 soliders 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

Caulfield RSL

The Caulfield RSL is planning a huge family carnivale for ANZAC Day, beginning with a gunfire brekky at 8am. Two-up goes from noon to 6pm and there's live music, bush dancing, kids' activities and free tours by RSL members. Elsternwick.

Mail Exchange Hotel

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 until 7pm. Melbourne.

Young & Jackson

Young & Jackson's prime Flinders St location makes it the obvious meeting point for march-goers on April 25. The two-up ring will be in operation from 10am to 5pm and there's live music going on into the night. Melbourne.

Prahran RSL

This RSL, one of the oldest in Australia, is always bustling on ANZAC Day and has recently overseen the restoration of the City of Stonnington war memorial. Ease your way through the throng for cheap beer and two-up games. Prahran.

The Palace Hotel

Proceedings kick off at the Palace at 10am, with the two-up ring going strong until 6pm. In the meantime there'll be pub grub, footy and plenty of great craft beers on tap (check out the full list if you don't believe us). South Melbourne.

Oakleigh RSL

The Oakleigh RSL kicks things off with a dawn service followed by brekky. The two-up starts at noon and the day's events will include a sausage sizzle, kids' activities and a footy match featuring the Oakleigh Under 19 ammo's. Oakleigh.

There are plenty more RSL clubs all over the Melbourne 'burbs playing two-up games this ANZAC Day. For the full list, head over to the official website of the RSL Victorian Branch.

Updated on 27 Apr 2015.

By Josh Harris and Jenny Valentish   |  
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