Two-up (also known as swei or swy) is a gambling game, and one of Australia’s many contributions to the world of gambling (another being the totalisator).
Rules of the Game
The game is conducted in a flat circle of approximately 20 feet (6 metres) or larger. The only equipment required (aside from materials for tracking bets) is two coins (by tradition pre-decimal pennies), and a flat piece of wood called the “kip” approximately 8 inches in length which has holes carved in it to fit the coins neatly but loosely enough for the coins to come out when tossed.
The game is run by a “boxer”, who calls the first “spinner” (one of the players around the circle) in to toss the coins. The spinner wagers an amount of their choice on either “heads” or “tails”. Other players around the ring can then also bet on either “heads” or “tails”.
Once all bets are taken, the boxer calls “no more bets”, and the player tosses the coins in the air using the kip. To be a valid throw, they must go above the head height of the spinner, be rotating sufficiently and land entirely in the ring – if they do not the boxer calls “barred” and the throw is retaken. Ideally the call must occur before the coins settle.
If the coins land both on the same face, the round ends and non-spinning player’s bets are paid off, with people who bet on the same face as that landed winning. A new round of non-spinner bets is then taken before the spinner throws again.
If the coins come up with one tail and one head, the spinner spins again. If 5 “odds” come up, all players lose and a new spinner is selected.
If the spinner throws his nominated face three times before either 5 “odds” being thrown in a row, or a spin with both coins being the opposite face, the spinner wins and is paid at 7.5 to 1 (in most modern games).
- Australian gambling – Comparative history and analysis- report published by the Victorian Casino and Gaming Authority