TWO UP- Australian’s National Game

Anzacbiscuit2 TWO UP  Australian’s National GameTwo up, often considered as the national game of Australia, is a traditional gambling game in which one person throws two coins into the air and other players gamble on whether the coins will fall both heads up, both tails up or with one head and one tail showing. Pennies are generally used because their weight, size and surface design make them ideal for the game. Although Two Up holds a very important place in Australian culture, it is illegal in public places on all days except ANZAC DAY.



Anzac day is a national day of remembrance celebrated on 25th April in both Australia and New Zealand to mark the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during WW1. Although the exact origins of Two Up are unknown, it is believed to have been developed as a pastime by Australian Soldiers during the First World War. It has become a tradition therefore for Australians to meet on this day and play Two Up in memory of these soldiers.

Rules of the Game

The rules of Two Up are quite simple. The Ringer, the person in charge of the game, will invite someone to throw the coins. This person is called the Spinner. The Spinner will use a long thin piece of wood to toss the coins but before this is done the other players will place bets with the Boxer, who keeps an eye on all of the bets. In past times the game would also have someone who kept a lookout for the police, named a Cockatoo.


Why not test your new found knowledge of Two Up with our quiz! Match the questions to the appropriate answers.



  1. What is Two Up?
  2. On which day is Two Up legal?
  3. Where does Two Up originate?
  4. Who looks after the Two Up game?
  5. Who tosses the coins?
  6. Who is in charge of taking the bets?
  7. What is the name of the person who kept a look out for the police in the past?


  1. The boxer
  2. WW1
  3. A gambling gameAnzacbiscuits1 TWO UP  Australian’s National Game
  4. The spinner
  5. The ringer
  6. The cock-a-too
  7. 25th April


What is Two Up? – A gambling game

On which day is Two Up legal? – 25th April

Where does Two Up originate? – WW1

Who looks after the Two Up game? – The ringer

Who tosses the coins? – The spinner

Who is in charge of taking the bets? – The boxer

What is the name of the person who kept a look out for the police in the past? – The cock-a-too


Vocabulary :

Gambling: le jeu d’argent

Heads: face

Tails: pile

To mark : marquer

WW1: première guerre mondiale

To toss : lancer

To keep an eye on: surveiller qqn/qqch

A bet: un pari


Now you that you know the rules of Two Up, why not celebrate this Anzac day 25th April 2012 by playing a game with your friends or family? You can equally celebrate in true Australian style by trying out this month’s recipe for ANZAC biscuits.

Happy playing!

In charged of pedagogy