This paper investigates the use of Monte Carlo sampling methods for phase noise estimation on additive white Gaussian noise (AWGN) channels. The main contributions of the paper are (i) the development of a Monte Carlo framework for phase noise estimation, with special attention to sequential importance sampling and Rao-Blackwellization, (ii) the interpretation of existing Monte Carlo solutions within this generic framework, and (iii) the derivation of a novel phase noise estimator. Contrary to the ad hoc phase noise estimators that have been proposed in the past, the estimators considered in this paper are derived from solid probabilistic and performance-determining arguments. Computer simulations demonstrate that, on one hand, the Monte Carlo phase noise estimators outperform the existing estimators and, on the other hand, our newly proposed solution exhibits a lower complexity than the existing Monte Carlo solutions. Copyright (C) 2009 Frederik Simoens et al.