Casinos of the world: Monte Carlo

monte carlo

Whenever I think about glamorous casinos my mind immediately turns to Monte Carlo – the setting for numerous James Bond encounters, this small city in the small country of Monaco became the financial saviour of the ruling Grimaldi family.


The history


It was in 1856 that the first Monte Carlo casino opened combined with a spa and holiday resort. After being relocated several times and then being renovated and extended, it was in the late 1890s that the casino took the shape that we know it today with its distinctive Beaux Arts style of architecture and interior design. One interesting aspect about the Monte Carlo casino is that citizens of Monaco are forbidden to enter the casino’s gaming rooms.

The dress code


Contrary to what you have perhaps seen in the movies, you do not need to be wearing black tie or a tuxedo to bet in the Monte Carlo casino. The general rule is that you must just be dressed appropriately and that means no shorts and no flip flops. If you are gambling in one of the private rooms then a jacket is required and no sport shoes are allowed. Throughout the casino there are no military or religious uniforms allowed.

The casino games


Trente et Quarante – this is also known as Thirty and Forty and sometimes also called Rouge et Noir (Red and Black). It’s a 17th century card game of French origin that is popular in Europe but rarely seen elsewhere. It’s popular because it is simple to play and also offers a good return to players. Six packs of fifty-two cards are used – Aces are worth one, picture cards are counted as ten and all other cards are at face value.


Roulette – one of the most popular and easy to play casino games, one of the appealing things about roulette is that the betting is fairly straightforward. Whether you are simply betting on black or red or feeling lucky enough to nominate a specific number, there is nothing more exciting than watching the ball spinning around and wondering where it will land.

The Monte Carlo casino in popular culture


The Monte Carlo casino has been regularly featured as either the actual setting or used as a fictional setting in movies and television series. From Ocean’s Twelve to Madagascar 3, the Monte Carlo casino has entered the public’s consciousness as one of the world’s greatest casinos, defining international style and luxury. But it is author Ian Fleming and his character James Bond that have done most for establishing Monte Carlo’s international profile in popular culture. used as a fictional setting in the first Bond novel Casino Royale and used as a location in the Bond movies Never Say Never Again and GoldenEye, James Bond is to thank for one of the most popular drink orders at the casino being a dry martini – shaken, not stirred of course.

If ever you fancied trying your hand at a few casino games James Bond style, then the Monte Carlo Casino in Monaco would be the place to aim for. Unless you are a citizen of Monaco that is.


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