Monte Carlo, located in the Principality of Monaco along the French Riviera, is hailed as one of the most luxurious and exquisite gambling destinations. The small spit of land that is Monte Carlo is home to only a few casinos, but they are world class, nonetheless.
Top International Casinos
Built in 1863 the Casino de Monte Carlo is definitely one of the most ornate and splendid casinos in the entire world. The architect, Charles Gaurnier of Paris Opera House fame, designed the building. Fantastic rooms adorned with almost overdone rococo styling, compared to contemporary tastes, offer varying types of mostly European style gaming. One of the more ornately styled rooms is exclusively reserved for European casino games, the traditional games of Monte Carlo. European and English Roulette, Punta Banco, Chemin de Fer and Banque a Deux Tableaux are typical of the European games offered.
The Salle Blanche, the one room compromised for American gaming, houses the very modern state-of-the-art slot machines. The slots stand in sharp contrast to the lavish rococo details. Visitors to the Casino de Monte Carlo go for the spectacle, the games, and the experience of high European luxury down to the last detail. The Casino charges a significant entrance fee for each Salle.
Sun Casino, built in 1975, is indicative of a shift away from European-style gaming toward the more popular American games. Sun Casino’s interiors have been recently restyled with Circus themes, typical of the early American big top style.
American games are popular in Sun Casino. In fact, this is one of the only casinos in Monte Carlo with poker tables.
The Bay is perhaps the most contemporary casino in Monte Carlo. Constructed in the 2005’s it has been recently renovated to a more ultra-modern, ultra-hip look. The casino with its 145 machines offers a combination of the best of European casino games and the popular American games, too. There are also private gambling salons for the elite.
Styled according to the influence of the Art Deco period of the 1930s, the Café de Paris was originally called Café Divan. The Café boasts exclusive casino games, including more modern video poker and progressive slot machines.
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Monte Carlo Casino Rules
Monte Carlo has been considered one of the most dignified gambling destinations. Designed on the desires of the nineteenth-century European tastes, the location is devoted to luxury, culture and dignified gaming. The casino rules are very European in standard, often in sharp contrast to those exemplified by gambling resorts in locations such as Las Vegas or Atlantic City.
Visitors will not rub elbows with the locals here, at least at the games. What might seem odd to visitors is the fact that locals, called Monegasques, are not allowed to gamble, or even enter the casinos.
Casinos in Monte Carlo expect a fairly formal mode of dress. The formality has been relaxed in the last few years, but visitors ought to educate themselves on the propriety of dress code in the casinos. Monte Carlo retains its allegiance to elite European tastes and behaviours, and visitors are expected to act according to local customs.
Language within the casinos is both French and English. However, for the more European games such as Chermin de Fer, Punto Banco, Trenta e Quarante and Banque a Deux Tableaux, players would be at an advantage to familiarize themselves with the French terms associated with the games as well as their rules.
The casinos typically honour all currencies with accepted exchange rates. And children under the age of eighteen will not be allowed to enter. Because the casinos are off-limits to Monaco’s citizens, casino visitors must carry their passports with them in order to be admitted to any of the casinos.
Hours of Operation
Hours of operation in Monte Carlo are distinctly different from American commercial gambling venues. Most of the casinos open at midday. But visitors ought to check hours ahead of time as hours differ between American gaming rooms and European gaming rooms and from casino to casino. Private gaming rooms do not open until late afternoon and, typically, require formal dress.
At the Casino de Monte Carlo the American slots room opens at 10 a.m., whereas the European rooms do not open until noon. Private salons at the Casino de Monte Carlo open even later in the afternoon and evening and are often reserved for the wealthiest gamblers.
Popular Monte Carlo Casino Games
Monte Carlo has been a bastion of European culture and gaming since the mid-nineteenth century when the first casino, the Casino de Monte Carlo, was built. Since that time there have been a handful of other casinos established. Monte Carlo has traditionally focused its gaming tradition on those games typical of the finest European casinos.
The traditional casino games indicative of the Monte Carlo style of gambling are European and English Roulette, Chemin de Fer, Banque a Deux Tableaux, Punto Banco and Trente et Quarante. Nearly all of the casinos in Monte Carlo offer these games. The Casino de Monte Carlo, the oldest and most traditional, almost exclusively deals in European style games, with the exception of slot machines which are attractive to American-style gamblers.
Though the slot machine is thought to be a distinctly American style of casino game, the truth is that Monte Carlo has been home to some of the world’s finest slot machines since the 1900s.
The popularity of destinations such as Las Vegas and Atlantic City has made some American gaming styles particularly attractive to casinos in Monte Carlo. In order to fulfil the demands of more contemporary and American gambling tastes, a number of the casinos in Monte Carlo now offer an array of American games.
Slot machines have been one of the most popular casino pursuits in America since the inception of Las Vegas casinos in the mid 20th century. Blackjack, a popular American table game, is offered at a number of casinos, as is American Roulette, which is slightly different from its European or English counterpart. Also, Craps and Baccarat are available and only recently has Sun Casino added the distinctly American card game of Stud Poker.
It is debatable whether slot machines have higher popularity among the European gamers or the American, but they are offered for a combined population in Monte Carlo. Slot machines have been a standard among the casinos in Monte Carlo since the early 1900s. Today, Monte Carlo boasts exclusive slot machines with progressive jackpots, chances to win prizes such as fine dinners, expensive bottles of champagne or tickets to the opera, and other slot games not offered anywhere else in the world.
Poker Arrives in Monte Carlo
Monte Carlo remains one of the traditional bastions of European-style gambling. Poker has never been welcomed among the casinos of Monte Carlo, until recently.
The popularity of gambling resorts such as Las Vegas with their distinctively American games and gambling styles attracts many gamblers from across the world. As gambling venues have become more accessible over the years, the demand for alternative forms of gambling has risen. Economically, too, the major gambling resorts of the world must keep pace with the interests of today’s gambler. And one of the most popular games of the day is poker.
In recent years poker has had a rebirth. The well known American card game, indicative of images of the Wild West and seedy, smoky backrooms, has had a facelift, so to speak.
A new audience of poker enthusiasts and players has hit the casino trail. Players come from all over the world to places such as Las Vegas and Atlantic City where casinos there have only recently taken advantage of the poker craze and added upscale poker rooms to their gambling facilities. From venues such as these, some of the world’s most popular Poker tournaments, such as the World Series of Poker, are televised to a worldwide audience. The card game is more akin to a sport these days.
Monte Carlo’s New Game
Until recently, Poker was not a game offered in Monte Carlo. Bowing to its increased demand among gamblers, though, the Principality agreed to host one of the most exclusive, invitation-only poker tournaments in 2004. The Monte Carlo Millions drew thousands of spectators to the small gaming and resort paradise, raking in millions of dollars in local revenue. Hundreds of poker pros from all over the world were invited to participate.
Where to Play Poker in Monte Carlo
Although the Monte Carlo Millions tournament was a smash hit, it did not dictate a trend in Monte Carlo gambling. Currently, the only casino in Monte Carlo to offer poker is Sun Casino. The Sun is one of the newer casinos dedicating its expansive floor space to an equal mix of European and American games. Stud Poker, the original version of the game, is available. Now poker enjoys a promising future amidst the traditional glamour of Monte Carlo games.