Peeping inside Monte Carlo’s legendary marble-and-gold casino is a Monaco essential. The building, open to visitors every morning, including the exclusive salons privés, is Europe's most lavish example of belle époque architecture. Prince Charles III spearheaded the casino's development and in 1866, three years after its inauguration, the name 'Monte Carlo' – Ligurian for 'Mount Charles' in honour of the prince – was coined. To gamble here, visit after 2pm (when a strict over-18s-only admission rule kicks in).
Blackjack, English and European roulette, punto banco (baccarat), Texas hold'em poker and trente et quarante entertain in the main gaming room, Salle Europe, while slot machines prevail in the Salles Renaissance and Amérique, the other two salons ordinaires that open to the general public for gambling. The salons privés, which are accessible only to frequent clients of the casino, offer all of the same table games in a more exclusive setting, without the slot machines. In the salons super-privés, where the James Bondesque pros play, tailor-made games are permitted and the sky is truly the limit.
Trainers (sneakers) are strictly forbidden and a jacket and tie is strongly recommended in the gaming rooms for men in the evening (and is compulsory for the salons privés).