On Tuesday, I celebrated my homeland with St George’s Day, and today I joined Elektra to recognise hers – Australia. April 25th is Anzac (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) Day, a day of remembrance for the countries’ troops.
I met Elektra at The Australian in Midtown West for a bottle of Aussie beer and a game of ‘two-up’, a simple gambling game which is traditionally played on Anzac Day. I rececntly saw ‘two-up’ in the 1971 film Wake in Fright, but didn’t actually know it’s a serious
game sport that is still played today.
The premise couldn’t be simpler: A ‘Spinner’ stands in the middle of a roped-off area and places two coins on a little plank of wood, which is called a kip. The kip has two slots for the coins, which each have a blank side (for heads) and a side with a cross on (for tails).
You bet however much money on ‘heads’ or ‘tails’ with whomever you like, and then the Spinner flips the coins off the kip. If there’s one heads and one tails, you re-flip. If there are two heads, the person who guessed it wins their money back as well as their opponent’s… etc etc.
It can get pretty rowdy, I learned. The place was packed with mouthy Australians, who became louder with every beer. Some of them were handing over fistfuls of cash to strangers. Even though I bellowed pretty loudly with the rest of them, I played it much safer – and lost a massive $1 to Elektra.
I can imagine it’s the sort of game that would be brilliant on a night out with several bevvies in your belly… but hopefully not too many dollars in your wallet to lose.