Ahh, the gray area of the cyberspace gambling netherworld. What's it all about? It's about as confusing a quagmire of legal, societal, economic and psychological issues that has ever emerged in this great country of ours.

Is it legal? Maybe. It all depends on whom you ask and what time of day it is.

Can you play online without getting into trouble? So far, yes. The government has yet to go after anybody for playing online and probably never will.

Is it good for society? Maybe. Again, it depends on whom you ask (the Baptists don't think so, but the Libertarians do). If you're the kind of guy who likes play poker in your underwear (or less), it's a wonderful thing. If you're the kind of guy who likes to suck down a quart of vodka and see how fast he can burn through his limit on a dozen credit cards, it's probably not such a hot idea.

Honest folks with honest software run most of the games, but sometimes it won’t seem that way. The reason that you'll think that the games are fixed is because of the way that your brain is (properly) hardwired.  Human beings have an amazing ability to recognize patterns (it's how we figured out how to climb down out of the trees and survive in this complex civilization we're living in right now). The problem is that we often see patterns and try to play connect-the-dots when the dots aren't really there.

You're going to have some outrageous bad beats, whether you're playing blackjack, poker or any other game out there. Why? Because the math ensures that you're going to get the impossible losses (such as the dealer drawing out to a six card 21 when you've got your biggest bet on the layout) every now and then. The problem with most (if not all) of us is that we remember the bad beats a lot better than we remember the incredible wins (such as when you win with a 17 and the dealer busts with an ace up).

Online gamblers tend to freak out when they get a blistering butt whippin and they can't see the shuffle or who is dealing the cards.  In reality, there is no shuffle, because the cards are stirred up and spit out by a random number generator (RNG). This tends to make you suspicious and start to believe that there's some evil little gnome watching your every hand and dealing off the bottom of the deck every time you make a big bet and get creamed.

Wise up. If something can happen and you play long enough it will happen. You're going to get some amazing streaks, both good and bad and you've got to keep your wits about you when they happen. The problem with most of us (and that includes you and me) is that we think we know when we're on a streak.

We're wrong.  Sure, streaks happen, but they're all in the past and no one I've ever met has had the ability to determine when they're on a streak.  If anyone could figure out a way to know when they're on a streak, the casinos would have to either bar all of the money management experts (who, by the way, all happen to be frauds) or go broke. However, if you've got a money management system that relies on streaks (both good and bad) and you bet enough, the land based casinos will send you a limo....and the online casinos will send you a lot of bonuses and free play to get you in the cyberspace door.

The good online casinos don't let you win at first and then turn your game over to some malevolent digital fiend to make you lose, but a lot of times it'll seem that way. In fact, the crooked joints usually don't even bother to rig the games. All they'll do is stiff you when you win. To avoid the online con casinos, just follow the links at the bottom for a full list of online casinos that have had problems in the past.  I'm not saying that all of these joints are bad, but other online players do. One of the biggest on the list, Intercasino, is known to be honest, but they've had some problems with customers, which is understandable, since they have millions of customers. I still recommend them. As for the others on this list, all I can say is play at your peril.