21 April 2007

ANZAC Day and Two Up

On Wednesday, 25 April, Anzac Day, the people of Australia and New Zealand remember the men and women of the Armed Forces who have sacrified their lives in service overseas, be it in the two World Wars or any other conflict, past and present.

The day starts off with dawn remembrance services all over both countries, held at cenotaphs and Tombs of the Unknown Soldier. Then its a parade of serviceman and/or their immediate descendants, wearing the appropriate medals, through the main streets of outback villages, rural towns and major cities.

It's the only day of the year when the illegal Two Up, the Diggers' gambling game, is allowed to be played and in RSLs throughout Australia the familiar cry of "Come in, Spinner" can be heard. Two coins are placed, tails up, on the paddle. Whoever is in charge of the gambling ring, gives the call as above and the coins are tossed into the air. Two heads, you win; one of each, you toss again; or a pair of tails, you lose.

Punters wave five dollar notes above their heads as they yell for bets.Once they are placed, a recruit from the raucous crowd flips the coins, which must spin above the flipper's head and land within the special demarcated two-up square (the "ring").
Shouts go up as the coins are flung and there's much swearing and cheering as money changes hands.

Organised "schools" mark the coins for easy identification. (From an article on line by the Sydney Morning Herald, 2004.)

Here's the terminology used in the game:
KIP : Piece of wood on which the pennies (coins) are placed for spinning (called "paddle" in some places)
RINGER : Person in charge of the game
SPINNER : Player spinning the coins
COCKATOO : Keeps a lookout for the "Law" aka Police! A very necessary precaution on the other 364 days of the year.

For the whole article of the article on Two up, go to http://www.diggerhistory.info/pages-asstd/two_up.htm

I hope those of you in other parts of the world find this interesting, but I don't advise setting up your own Two Up school to make some quick money! As mentioned above, the only day it can be played legally in Australia is Anzac Day. Although I did hear somewhere that it may be played in casinos, but don't quote me on that.


Peter said...

Interesting post Robyn, must do an ANZAC day one myself.

martie said...

Interesting.....I never before heard of ANZAC day! We in the United States are so unaware of holidays of other countries!

Remiman said...

Well young lady, I'm sorry to hear that you did an unsavory twist to your back. I do hope it's only a strain and not a disc or nerve-y thing. I spent today cleaning house since my traveling wife returns home tonight. Fortunately my back didn't do anything to thwart me.
I'll keep a moment reverence on the 25th to remember the combatants from down under. Thanks for the heads-up.

Gattina said...

Very, very interesting ! I love such stories from the very beginning of Australia ! This coin game reminds me of a game they use to play in Italy and it's also legally not allowed which doesn't bother people very much because they do it anyway. It's played with the fingers (so you don't even have to carry around some game material) and a lot of shouting. You screem a number from 1 to 10 if you screem 7 for example and you stretch 4 fingers and the other 3 then you win. I think so at least because it's so quick that I as a poor watcher am unable to follow. But the shouting and screeming and the excitement is already an experience ! I think it must be like with your coin players ! Is your back a little better ?

Merle said...

Hi Robyn ~~ Good post for Anzac Day.
You needn't feel discriminated against by the rain. We only got 9 mms, nice for the garden, but it has gone again.
Glad you liked the Baby Boomers Hit Parade, it was clever. Can't believe I put that poem on twice - even though it was a great one.
Hope you are feeling better each day.
Take care, Love, Merle.

Peter said...

Hi Robyn, I've linked to this post, hope you don't mind.

Lee said...

Two-Up is played in casinos, Robyn.

Great post, Robyn. :)