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Playing Video Poker in Monte Carlo

 
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The Casino at Monte Carlo is a 40-minute drive from Cannes. To get there, you pass through the delightful towns of the French Riviera. The casino is located in the Principality of Monaco, where you can witness the changing of the guard at the palace.

The Casino doesn’t open until after lunch, so you can do some sightseeing or shop for souvenirs in the morning. If you take a bus tour, you will be surprised to discover how many celebrities and wealthy people live in this area. Rock stars, movie stars and oil barons all call this resort area home.

The Casino at Monte Carlo was built in 1878. Besides providing casino games, it also houses the opera. It is surrounded by gardens on the outside and decorated with bronze lamps, paintings and sculptures on the inside. It has many gaming rooms that are each used for specific games.

The casino offers many table games such as roulette, American roulette, Blackjack, Craps, Chemin de Fer and Trente-Quarante. However, much of the casino floor is now devoted to slot machines, most of which are video poker.

In the casino’s brochure, the slots are described as one-armed bandits. Even though the table games don’t open until 3:00 or 4:00 in the afternoon, you can start playing the slots at 10:00 A.M. The casino must be responding to the demands of the players, who can’t seem to get enough.

The pay schedules on the machines are very liberal, and you can play 5, 10 or 20 francs. The bonus on royals is available only if you play 20 francs. The exchange rate varies of course, but as of this writing a franc was approximately 20 cents US. So if you play 20 francs, that is about $4.00.

There are about 150 video poker machines at the casino. Most of them are 8/5 progressive or 9/6 jacks or better. There are also many slant-tops, and a few rapid 5-way machines. There is a booklet that is given out to customers to help them understand the linked jackpot games.

However, there are some drawbacks to gambling at this casino. For one thing, no one seems to be able to speak English. If you have questions about the games, it will be difficult to get an answer unless you have someone with you who can speak French.

Another drawback is the admission fee. You actually have to pay 50 francs (about $10) to get into the casino. Then there is the currency problem. The casino will convert your American dollars to Francs so that you can play, but the won’t convert your winnings back to dollars. So you may end up losing money from your winnings when you get the currency converted due to the exchange rate where you exchange the money.

There are two newer casinos in Monte Carlo as well. The one that is directly across the plaza from the old casino does not charge an entry fee and has wall-to-wall video poker machines. There are hundreds of them, and they pay out well.

With the rising popularity of video poker, the old table games are losing their drawing power. Many casinos, even those that are most well-known for catering to the wealthy and high rollers, are being transformed into a place for average working people, due to the popularity of these new games.
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