18 April 2018
Two-up is a traditional betting game in which two coins are tossed into the air and onlookers place bets on which sides will land facing up. First gaining popularity among convicts and gold rush prospectors, two-up became a popular form of entertainment among troops during World War I. In honour of this history, ANZAC Day (April 25) is one of the few occasions on which two-up can legally be played in NSW.
Some of Sydney’s biggest two-up tournaments take place in the historic streets of The Rocks. The Glenmore will be filling up early in anticipation of its 12pm coin toss, while the courtyard at The Australian Heritage Hotel will be transformed into the largest outdoor two-up arena in the CBD. Hear the Scots Marching Band perform along Cumberland Street, and head around the corner at 1pm as yet another two-up tournament kicks off at The Argyle.
Not far away, the Paragon Hotel will turn its open-air bar into a two-up arena (with a special appearance from the Manly Warringah Pipe Band), while the Frisco Hotel in Woolloomooloo will host a day of two-up, food trucks, and live entertainment. Head to the oldest bowling club in NSW, Balmain Bowling Club, to participate in Balmain’s biggest game of two-up, or visit the Livingstone Hotel in Lewisham for a game of two-up and a BBQ raising money for veterans and their families. Meanwhile, the Burdekin Hotel’s Bear Bar will welcome a two-up tournament hosted by iconic Sydney drag queen, Felicity Frockaccino.
The terraces and historic pubs of Paddington make an ideal setting for a relaxed afternoon of two-up and beers. Head to the Royal Hotel from 9:30am, where you’ll find the biggest two-up arena in the Eastern Suburbs and live music from dusk, or visit the Paddo Inn to enjoy a game of two-up alongside food specials, DJs, and a tinnie and long neck bar.
Alternatively, start your day at the Coogee Beach dawn service, then head to Coogee Diggers for a $10 breakfast and two-up from 2–6pm. You’ll also find two-up tournaments in a number of nearby venues, including the Coogee Bay Hotel, North Bondi RSL, Bronte RSL and Clovelly Hotel.
Western Sydney contains lots of fantastic venues to place your bets this ANZAC Day. The historic Albion Hotel in Parramatta will host a two-up tournament from 1pm, with a live band performing classic Australian tunes in the courtyard from 2pm. Bring the kids along to Lockies Hotel in Leppington for face painting and a jumping castle alongside two-up and entertainment in the beer garden, or head to Emu Plains for O’Donoghues’ huge car park event; expect food and drink specials, a pop-up cocktail bar, live entertainment and DJs, and courtesy bus running from 12pm.
Not to be outdone, the Collingwood Hotel will host Liverpool’s biggest two-up arena, as well as an all-day barbecue, an outdoor tinnies bar, live music, DJs, and a courtesy bus to drop patrons off from 5pm.