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"Come in, spinner!"

Two-up is an Australian gambling game, involving two coins (traditionally pennies) and short piece of wood (called the "kip").

The Game:

Two-up is played in a ring of around 6 meters in diameter, run by a person called a "boxer".

The boxer calls a "spinner" in from the assembled players. The spinner's job is to throw the two coins into the air using the kip. The coins are placed into small indentations in the kip, one showing heads and the other showing tails. The spinner then (keeping hold of the kip) launches the coins into the air.

To be a valid throw the boxer must ensure that the coins leave the kip and go above the spinner's head and that they are spinning in the air a sufficient amount to introduce some degree of randomness to the outcome. The coins must also both land in the ring. If these criteria are not met the boxer calls "barred" and the throw must be retaken.

Bets are placed on both coins landing showing either heads or tails. When this happens, players who bet on the correct result are paid before the spinner spins again.

If the coins differ ("odds") all bets remain and the spinner spins again. If odds happen five times in succession all players lose their wager and a new spinner is chosen.

The spinner also bets on either heads or tails. If he 1 successfully throws their nominated result three times before either five odds are thrown or the opposite face appears once, he is paid at odds of 7.5:1

Culture

Two up was traditionally the game of the Australian troops during the many wars in which they have taken part. Before being legalised, two up was played illegally around the country and was extremely popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Two up is now an ANZAC day tradition, and can be played at any RSL around the country on April 25th2.

Many Australian casinos introduced a two-up ring to their floors. In particular Melbourne's Crown Casino. Two up is a very noisy game, with the participants and the boxer making plenty of noise. It is perhaps for this reason that it is no longer to be found at Crown. I guess it detracts from the quiet monotony of the slot machines...

Two-up is a fantastic and simple way to have fun, and it's an even more fantastic way to lose enormous amounts of money in an extremely short space of time.

1: Two-up was exclusively played by men until recent times
2: Two-up cannot legally be played in Australia outside licensed gaming venues with only this exception.

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