How to play Two-Up

How to play Two-Up

Two-Up is one of the most quintessential games to the Australian national identity. It is played religiously across pubs, clubs and RSL’s in Australia and New Zealand on ANZAC Day – April 25th. Because of this, Two-Up is made legal in Australia once a year: ANZAC Day. But what is Two-Up? How is it played? What is the history behind it? And most importantly, will it ever be available to play at your favourite online casino?

History of Two-Up

Two-Up has its roots firmly planted among English and Irish peasants who came across as the first convicts. It is believed Two-Up evolved from a popular game called Pitch and Toss in the 18th century, which involved a single coin being tossed and wagered upon.

Two Up - Australian national gameThe convicts began the playing Two-Up to help pass the hard time in Australia’s first prisons, with it first being documented by New South Wales’ first Judge Advocate in 1798.

Two-Up’s popularity exploded across the map of Australia with the advent of the Gold Rush in the 1850’s. With so many gold miners suddenly finding themselves with a little extra disposable income, it is no wonder Two-Up became so widely played.

Australian soldiers could often be found in a circle playing Two-Up in the trenches during World War 1 and World War 2. This was a testament to Aussie’s being a little cheeky and the larakin demeanour, because gambling was technically outlawed among Aussie soldiers. Usually supervisors would just turn a blind eye to some harmless Two-Up playing.

We play Two-Up in honour of our fallen soldier’s favourite past time in the trenches. A game they played to distract themselves from the fact they were knee deep in mud, half a world away from home, fighting for the freedom we enjoy today.

Since then Two-Up has been legalised once a year in honour of our fallen heroes.

How do you play Two-Up?

Two-Up is traditionally played with two pre-1939 Australian pennies and a small plank of wood, known as a kip.

The game can get underway once a “spinner” has been chosen by the “ringie”. The spinner is the person who holds the kip and flips the two coins. Before play can get underway though, the spinner must make a bet against one of the gathered punters. All of the other punters will gather in a circle around the spinner and ringie and can wager among themselves on the outcome, whether the spinner will win or not.

The spinner will then flip the coins, being careful to ensure that the coins go at least ten feet in the air, with only three given outcomes possible on any given game of Two-Up:

  1. Two Heads – spinner wins
  2. Two Tails – spinner loses
  3. One Head one Tail, or an “odd” – spinner throws again.

Is Two-Up coming to online casinos?

The short answer? No.

Online casinos and game developers produce games that need to have a truly international draw. Two-Up is widely unknown outside of Australia and New Zealand so it is unlikely that such a niche game would ever be produced for mass consumption at an online casino.

All the elements of a great online game are there in Two-Up already though, so if it ever were to be made into an online casino game, it would probably follow rules and odds similar to the now defunct bricks and mortar casino version of Two-Up. Odds for casino Two-Up are below:

  • Single Head – 1:1 – 3.125% house edge – a pair of Heads.
  • Single Tail – 1:1 – 3.125% house edge – a pair of Tails.
  • Spinner’s Bet – 15:2 – 3.4% house edge – available to the spinner only. Must spin three of their designated bet: heads or tails.
  • Five odds – 28:1 – 9.375% house edge – spinner throws five “odds” in a row.

Other online gaming options

In the mean time though, there are other games on the market that you can play online. Baccarat is similar to Two-Up in that there are only ever three possible outcomes:

Red Dog, also known as Yablon, is a variance of poker and is a popular form of card game enjoyed at many online casinos. In comparison to traditional poker games, Red Dog is a single-player game, with players competing against the cards rather than each other.

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How to play Red Dog online

All cards in Red Dog are valued the same as in traditional poker. Ace is the highest followed by the King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, and so on. The game is very much one of chance as opposed to skill and is basically a variation of In-Between or Acey-Deucy, both popular card games.

At the start of the game, the player places an initial wager, with the dealer then drawing two cards, face-up. If the two cards in question are of consecutive value, such as a four and a five, then the hand is known as a ‘push’.

If the two cards are of equal value, then a third card is dealt to the player. If the third card is of the same value as the first two cards, then the hand is paid out at 11:1 odds on the player’s initial bet. Otherwise, the hand is also a push.

However, if the two cards dealt initially are not consecutive or of the same value, then the dealer will announce a spread. The spread is the number of cards which fall in-between the two dealt cards, for example for a three and seven the spread would be three.

Once the spread is announced, the player must decide whether they think the next card dealt will fall in-between the values of the first two cards.

If they believe the card will fall within the spread, they can increase their bet up to and including the amount of their initial wager.

Once the player has decided on their bet, the third card is dealt. If the card matches either value of the first two cards all falls outside of the spread, then the player loses the wager.

If the card falls inside the spread they win, with the payout depending on the size of the spread. For example:

  • 1 card spread pays 5:1
  • 2 card spread pays 4:1
  • 3 card spread pays 2:1
  • 4 card spread to 11 card spread pays 1:1

Best tips and strategy for playing online Red Dog

The simplest strategy for succeeding at Red Dog is by following mathematics, with an advantage gained over the house when the spread between the two initial cards is seven or larger.

Therefore, it is recommended to always raise the bet when this occurs and to simply play the hand when the spread is less than seven. By following this tip, the house edge for the game is reduced to around three per cent.

Best online Red Dog games

Play Red Dog by Microgaming online for real moneySoftware giant Microgaming has developed a version of Red Dog which could compete with any land-based casino. Offering both free-play and real-money, the game is very easy to understand, with cards dealt by clicking ‘deal’ in the bottom right hand corner of the screen.

You can then choose to ‘raise’ your bet if you think the third card will fall between the initial two cards, or select ‘call’ if you think it will fall outside of the first two cards.

The graphics are top-notch, with the lack of music and colourful flashing symbols, like you would find playing online pokies, offering a distraction free gaming environment which allows players to focus on the game itself.

The game plays seamlessly, with the cards dealt quickly and, because it is produced by Microgaming, we know it plays fair and is a reputable game.

Betsoft and Net Entertainment also offer versions of Red Dog, with NetEnt’s single deck game also encompassing a progressive betting feature which allows players to keep their winnings on the table for the next hand.

Where can I play Red Dog online?

Now that you know the basics of Red Dog, it’s time to have a crack at it yourself, however finding reputable gaming websites can be a daunting task, especially when you want to play for real-money.

But we have researched the best online casinos offering Red Dog to play, all of which have in place the highest safety measures to ensure your personal and banking details are secure at all times. Additionally, all of our recommended online casinos also offer sign-up bonuses, giving you extra cash to play with upon making your initial deposit.

Our top-rated casinos to play for real-money are listed in the casino table above. Raging Bull Casino is our top-rated casino site for players from United States, which hosts a range of table games, available for instant-play.

  • Banker wins, pays even money.
  • Player wins, pays even money.
  • Tie usually pays 8:1.

Every online casino that offers table games has a wide range of Baccarat games available. Because of the minimal skill and tactic required for Two-Up you could opt to play a game like Casino War online. War is a simple game, all you have to do is beat the dealer’s card. If you have a 5 and they have a 2, you win. High card wins. Simple.

Check any of our favoured online casinos listed in our casino table above for a large selection of instant-play card games, table games, slot games and more. Raging Bull Casino is our top-rated casino site for players from United States, which has some excellent welcome bonuses available for new players, and offers the option of free play in practice mode or real money bets.