2-Up and Pokies Became Our Heritage

By Ryan White Updated: May 2023

Gambling is an important part of Australia’s heritage!

If we were to ask you where or what is the gambling capital of the world what would you answer? Las Vegas? The States? You’d be wrong on both counts. We think you would be surprised if we told you it was Australia.

Yep, and the folks Down Under particularly like trying their luck with electronic gaming machines or EGMs, which is a rather fancy way of saying video poker machines. In 2014 Australians spent in excess of $21 billion (AUD) on gambling, and more than half of that was on video poker machines, or “pokies” as they’re affectionately called by the Aussies. Given that Australia has only 52nd largest population it’s even more of a big deal.

You see, gambling isn’t simply a past time in Australia, it is a way of life. It is a part of our DNA, a part of our heritage and goes back as far as the 1850s with 2up.

When did it start?

No one knows the exact origins of the game but it is thought to have spread in the goldfields of Australia in the 1850s. The game quickly gained popularity with diggers, or soldiers who played it during World War I. When the servicemen returned home they continued to play 2up, essentially a complex version of heads or tails, albeit illegally.

Anzac or Australian and New Zealand Army Corps Day commemorations were first held in 1916 on 25 April and was marked by a number of ceremonies and events across Australia, London and Egypt. In the 1920s it was established as a national day of remembrance for the more than 60,000 Australians who died during the war and in 1927 every state observed some form of a public holiday on Anzac Day.  By the mid-1930s all the rituals associated with the day, including two-up games, were entrenched in the Anzac Day celebrations.  

How The 2Up Culture Transferred To Pokies

Pokies in the pubIn the 1950s the popularity of 2up started declining as more sophisticated games were introduced like baccarat and slot machines and by 1973 the legal version of two-up was introduced as a table game at a casino in Hobart. Nowadays if you want to try your hand at it you will find pokie machines at most local pubs across Australia. Or for the real deal, you could try Burswood Entertainment Complex and the Crown Casino and Entertainment Complex in Melbourne.

We think it is fair to say we are a nation who have always embraced gambling. It could be because we are a part of culture where risk and reward has always reigned supreme, or because it’s quite simply a great form of entertainment for the masses, like music concerts and sports events.

While Anzac Day is celebrated on only one day of the year, with 2up as part of the celebrations, Australians can play pokies online every day of the week, all year round.


The Advantages to Playing Pokies Online

True Blue Casinos assists with information around online gambling, with updated articles, reviews and a directory of the best Australian pokies online. In the comfort of your own home you can play online slots every day of the week, any time with a wide variety of slots across all ssotd of themes including classics to fruity, sporty movies and pretty much everything in between.

Playing online slots on your PC or smartphone is a safe way to enjoy one of Australia’s most popular past times, with great sign up and welcome bonuses as well as incentives, a wide assortment of pokies and a choice of playing in fun, practice mode, or for real money. While 2up required some level of skill, online slots don’t and we think that, combined with the bright lights and awesome graphics, is what makes them so appealing.

Never mind the bright lights and flashing fruits, what if we told you you could play free pokies online. And they’re fun with loads of videos, 3D options and a more than enough free rounds and special bonuses.

If you’re looking for a fun way to add a bit of excitement to an evening or weekend we suggest you check our list of trusted casino reviews. Here you’ll find all the information on where to play, free slots, pokies tournaments, slot bonuses and slot news.