Two-up is a brilliant traditional Australian gambling game that has been very popular for quite a while now. It involves a player who is designated the spinner, who then throws the two coins into the air. Players bet on the outcome of the coins with a couple of different betting options. There is the ‘observe’ bet which predicts the fall of both coins coming up heads. There is another betting option to wager on the two coins both coming up tails, which is called ‘reverse’. The third betting possibility is to predict one coin coming up heads and the other tails. This is called ‘ewan’.
2Up has traditionally been a favourite on Anzac Day in Australia, where the game was invented. Played in bars, pubs and cafes throughout Australia. The game of 2Up is rumoured to have been created by diggers many years ago and has become ingrained into Australian traditions and culture. It is indeed an Australian invention and gift to the world. The game was initially played using the old Australian Penny. The coin’s weight, size and clear surfaces make it the perfect coin for such a game. The coin’s dimensions and weight keep it stable and as the Australians say, ‘on the kip’ and easy to spin. Other coins, especially the much smaller decimal coins are not really suitable for playing the game in its traditional form, as they do not ‘fly’ so well. The pre-1939 Australian/British pennies had a sovereign's head on the front, observe side, and they scribbled writing on the reverse of the coin are easy to recognise and see. These days, pennies in Australia are designed differently and have a white cross on the reverse side. These old pennies are brought out on Anzac Day to celebrate the feast in a traditional way using the original penny coins.
Nobody can actually prove the origins of the game of 2Up, as its history is obscured and unclear. Nevertheless, there are indications that point towards it originating and evolving from the game Pitch and Toss. This game involves tossing a coin in the air and betting on the outcome of the fall. 2Up was more popular among Irish citizens and lower class English people during the mid-eighteenth century. Earlier still, around 1798, convicts were noted playing the game by an advocate in New South Wales, Australia. Convicts playing the game were recorded for their lack of skill and their massive debts incurred playing the game while incarcerated. Later on, around 1850, the two-coin version of the game was being played in the goldfields of the eastern Australian colonies. From there it spread across the country like wildfire fuelled by subsequent gold rushes.
2Up started to become very popular and played extensively by Australian soldiers during the first world war. Subsequently, the state turned a blind eye to such gambling games, and they have since become a regular part of Anzac Day celebrations in Australia, for returning soldiers. Strictly speaking, the game remained illegal during other times of the year. This led to illegal gambling halls mushrooming and offering 2Up to their eager clients, and the game’s reputation was cemented in what is now modern day history. Concurrently, specialised 2Up schools started to appear all over the country to the annoyance of the authorities, and the collaboration of corrupt police officers.
The popularity of the 2UP Game started to decline after the 1950s slowly. More sophisticated and elaborate games began to appear on the scene including slot machines which were really popular at the time. Casino games such as the popular baccarat, blackjack, craps, and roulette also started to gain in popularity. Finally, the illegal gaming houses, poker machines and slot machines were legalised in all gambling clubs and land casinos in Australia. 2Up is still offered in its traditional form, at a handful of Australian land casinos such as the Hobart Casino, which has been providing the game since 1973. It is now also offered at the Crown Perth Casino and The Crown Melbourne Casino. The traditional game is even played extensively in Returned Servicemen's League (RSL) clubs, bars and hotels. There are now several new schools of 2Up located in the Outback, which provide coaching and allow the practice of 2Up.
Playing the game is easy, with one person, who is designated the spinner is greeted with shouts of ‘come on spinner! The spinner then proceeds to toss the coin up into the air using the kip until the players win or lose. The spinner is also required to place a bet, which has to be on heads, preceding the first toss or throw of the penny coin. The bet must also be equalled by another player. If the spinner ends up winning the throw, they get to keep the bet amount and also the cover. Alternatively, it could go to the other player who may have covered the bet. The boxer then takes a commission out of the bet. The other players in the group can place side bets, laid out against one another, and wager on whether the spinner will win the toss, or lose it as well as the result of the next throw. Some slight variations revolve around the definitions of the words win and lose concerning the spinner. If the game is played at a land casino, the spinner's bet is always covered by the house, and the side-bets are still wagered by the group of players. In some situations, three coins can be used to beef up the game and open up the betting options. Furthermore, bets can be placed against the spinner. So the variations are making the game even more interesting, engaging and compelling. Make sure to try out this exceptional and traditional Australian game at an online casino near you, and feel the difference!