Two-up: Oldest gambling game only legal on Anzac Day

TWO-up is one of Australia's oldest gambling games and while still illegal it is played to commemorate Anzac Day.

In Queensland, the laws around the game changed in 2012, allowing any venue to hold two-up on Anzac Day with the written invitation of an RSL sub-branch.

BITS RSL member Max Ricketts collected an early edition write-up of two-up rules that states the game was played among early convicts, even though it was frowned upon by the authorities.

"Probably the most famous two-up schools in Australia have been Tommo's and the Kalgoorlie school in Western Australia," the document reads.

"A rather naive NSW Police Commissioner, who shall remain nameless, stated some years ago that there is no such place as Tommo's. "That is just like saying there is no Harbour Bridge."

It is thought the game originated around 1800 and received its greatest boost in the 1850s gold rush. The 1912 Gaming Acts drove the two-up schools underground but the Anzac troops in the First World War revitalised the game.

"Those days you could bet two shillings," Mr Ricketts said.

"I haven't played since I was a youngster, but wherever you go they have different rules."

BITS RSL has invited Boyne Tannum Bowls Club and Tannum Sands Hotel to host games of two-up after official proceedings.

Any profits collected on the day go to the local RSL sub-branch, which those at Boyne Island-Tannum Sands RSL say is a good idea.

"They do a lot of good things, help out war widows and any members that may be in trouble health wise," Mr Ricketts said.

"It's just a matter of getting together on the day."

TWO-UP TERMS

  •  Kip: Implement used for spinning coins
  •  Heads: Both coins show heads
  •  Tails: Both coins show tails
  •  Odds: One coin heads, one coin tails
  •  Stand off: All bets frozen
  •  Kiss: Coins touch each other

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