I've told a few of my close friends about my new little hobby - how I found online casinos and how much fun I have playing a few rounds of blackjack or video poker online each week. Most of my friends come back at me with the same set of questions - isn't online gambling illegal in the US? Aren't all of those online casino sites just scams? How do you know how to find a reputable online gambling site?

The short answer to those three common questions: no, no, and "Use common sense."Finding the Best RTG Casinos The idea that all forms of Internet wagering online are illegal in the US is totally false, and reputable online casinos exist (and have existed for years) that practice a totally fair and safe business. The trick is to know how to answer that third question - how do you find a good casino?

For me, finding a good casino means looking at their regulation and licensing information, looking into how long they've been doing business, doing a little searching around to see if they're on any online casino blacklists, and taking a look at how they run their business. One reason I turn to RTG casinos again and again is that Real Time Gaming has a solid reputation in the online gambling industry, and any company that does business with them automatically earns a little of that pedigree.

So how do you find the best online casinos? Here's a quick three-step process that will lead you to sites that do honest business, offer great games (that you like), and make sure that you feel comfortable making financial transactions with an online casino.

1. Look Out for Fly-By-Night Casinos

If you have any trust issues when it comes to placing online wagers, the first step is to only do business with sites that are legitimate. Online casinos that have been operating for years and have a loyal client base are naturally safer than those that just opened yesterday. When I want to find a new RTG home for my casino play, I make sure a site has been around for a while.

2. Contact a Casino's Customer Service Department

Once you have your heart set on one or two Internet gambling sites, a wise consumer will get in touch with their customer support team. The easier it is to access a site's customer service department, the more likely they are to respond quickly to questions, concerns, and account changes. Look for sites that offer support in multiple versions: live chat, telephone, email, etc. Contact the site and let them know that you want to open a new account; their response will tell you a ton about the way they do business.

3. Play A Few Free Games at the Site

Even though I'm pretty well familiar with all of RTG's casino game offerings, I still make it a point to poke around at any new site I'm considering. I look at their list of games, the variety of RTG casino titles they offer, and I play a few "free-money" rounds of the games to get a feel for how they run. If I like what I see, I know I'll be comfortable with the site. Choosing an RTG casino for your online bets is important - I move my own online gaming accounts around from time to time myself. Taking a few steps before you make a deposit can save you from getting ripped off by a black-listed site, and will make you more comfortable when it comes time to really set the reels in motion and start gambling.