Backstage Rally Monte Carlo.

Be it ‘tyre poker’ or in the casino, an ace up your sleeve is a major advantage.

The first rally of the season is far from straightforward. In fact, Rally Monte Carlo represents quite a challenge for the drivers because of its frequent surface changes. A little luck in the ‘tyre poker’ stakes can mean the difference between winning and losing: No other rally features a wider choice of tyres, be it winter tyres, virtually tread-free asphalt tyres for dry conditions or snow tyres with spikes on the edges of the tread for driving on snow-covered surfaces. Sébastien Ogier, Jari-Matti Latvala and Andreas Mikkelsen will be going all in for success in their Polo R WRC vehicles.

Anyone wishing to try their luck in the casino rather than behind the wheel has plenty of opportunity to do so in Monte Carlo: the capital of the Principality of Monaco is well known around the world as a gambling paradise. There is plenty on offer for gamblers in the city’s venerable casino, which has been open since 1856, including the popular ‘Texas hold ’em’ variety of poker. For poker novices, we have laid out the basic rules of the game in the illustration below.