NEVER bet against your own family.
That was the unwritten law the Jackson brothers - Kye, Dean and Brent - and their father, Paul, were adhering to playing two-up at Speers Point on Anzac Day.
The family had arrived to Pippi's at the Point for the 10am start of the traditional wartime game, after attending the dawn service nearby.
By 1pm, they were in the centre of the ring tossing coins and celebrating a string of victories among a condensed throng of punters on the hotel's verandah overlooking Lake Macquarie.
"Heads 'em up in the middle," Kye said. "When we're not in the centre, it's tails."
The family were betting the same to ensure they shared the highs or lows of the day's punting.
Their wallets either filled out, or emptied, together as one.
Kye said there was "not a chance" of maintaining the early afternoon hot-streak.
He predicted an "early-exit" for his married brother, Dean, but said as a single man he would likely continue on into the evening.
Despite a raucous crowd riding every flip, the brothers were adamant the gathering would not get too wild.
"This is fairly quiet, last year was bigger," Dean said.
"Everyone here, they just know the game, participate in the game and we're all in the spirit of the game.
Hotel licensee Stephanie Grace said the venue had been packed for most of the day.
"This is the first year we've decided to run two-up out on the deck," she said.
"It's been a really, really good turnout. Definitely a younger crowd this year than previously, but everyone's behaving themselves so far.
"Having that beautiful [war] memorial across the road, hopefully it just reminds everyone to be a little more respectful about what the day's actually about."
Returning punter Michael Wilson, who had been to the Nobbys beach dawn service, said he loved the social aspect of the game.
"The atmosphere; the yelling, the screaming, just carrying on like pork chops," he said.
Asked whether he would be carrying on like a "pork chop", Mr Wilson said "normally, but I've got my girlfriend here today".
The 31-year-old from Cardiff said he would be betting "whatever's needed" to gain a bet.
"A lot of the players that are here are regulars, and they tend to have a regular technique," he said.
"I've got a bit of a strategy."
Oliva Berryman and Sophie McIntyre did not have a strategy outside betting the same as each other.
"We always back each other," Ms McIntyre, of Eleebana, said. "If she's on heads, I'm on heads. If I'm on tails, she'll back tails. We're never against each other, that's our only strategy."
The pair of friends, both 20, said Pippi's was their first stop for the day and they would head into Newcastle to continue the day out.
They said they would likely continue playing two-up at another venue.
"I like my odds to be honest," Ms McIntyre said. "It's fifty-fifty, it's great.
"You talk to so many people throughout the day, it's so fun. It's very social, you meet so many people."