Come in Spinner! Tomorrow is the one day a year you can play Two-up, the traditional gambling game that has united Diggers over the decades. The game – where two coins are tossed by a designated ‘spinner’ into the air and players bet on how they fall – is legal only on Anzac Day (depending on which state or territory you’re in).
The game forms a lighter counterpoint to the solemnities of the morning, when people across the country gather at Dawn Services to mark the anniversary of the first major military action fought by the Anzacs during World War I, which took place at Gallipoli. You can see Two-up played at Returned & Services League (RSL) Clubs across Australia, along with other venues. Here’s a selection of places to play Two-up around Australia this Anzac Day.
The Shafston Hotel, Brisbane
Brisbane’s Shafston Hotel dates back to 1853, and is offering Tinnies & Two-up on Anzac Day, along with food trucks and live entertainment from 1pm. Proceeds go to Mates4Mates, which supports wounded, injured or ill current and ex-serving Australian Defence Force personnel.
Where: 3 Lytton Rd, East Brisbane
The Light Brigade Hotel, Sydney
Another oldie, this beautiful, Art Deco pub has been around since 1887. The Two-up arena is set up in the Brigade Bar on the ground level, and a special Anzac Day menu is on offer. You can also watch the traditional Collingwood v Essendon Anzac Day clash.
Where: Cnr Oxford Street & Jersey Road, Woollahra
Mail Exchange Hotel, Melbourne
This inviting CBD watering hole has been around since 1917, and will be open from 7am for breakfast, so drop in for a bite after the Dawn Service. The hotel will host Two-up from midday, and will also offer lunch and dinner. Bookings are a good idea.
Where: 688 Bourke St, Melbourne
The George Harcourt Inn, Canberra
The George has a huge selection of beers on tap, and is pulling out all stops on Anzac Day. Get a hearty cooked breakfast and beer from 7am, try lamb and pork spit roast from 11am, play Two-up from 12 noon around the fire buckets in the outdoor arena, and listen to live music from 6pm. Bookings essential.
Where: 3 Gold Creek Road, Nicholls
Hotel Darwin, Darwin
This 1940 pub on Darwin’s famous Mitchell Street will be open from 6am on Anzac Day, offering a hot buffet breakfast. Two-up will be hosted in the beer garden and the Anzac Day AFL & NRL games will be on view in the sports bar.
Where: 39 Mitchell Street, Darwin
Torrens Parade Ground, Adelaide
Head to the Anzac Day Hub at the Torrens Parade Ground – home of the RSL SA – between 5am and 2pm to enjoy a bacon and egg breakfast or barbecue lunch. There’s Two-up in the Drill Hall from 12 noon to 2pm, plus merchandise, tea and coffee and live entertainment.
Where: Cnr Victoria Drive and King William Road, Adelaide
Crown Perth Casino, Perth
The Crown Perth Casino is reinstating its Two-up ring specifically for Anzac Day. Punters can find it on the main gaming floor, from 12 noon onwards, with part proceeds donated to the RSL. Note: The casino will be closed between 3am and 12 noon on Anzac Day as a mark of respect.
Where: Great Eastern Highway, Burswood