Video poker is somewhat similar to slots in that the game that you find online is very similar to that which you have seen in the past in a land-based casino. That actually makes sense, since both of them involve a computer program. The outcomes in video poker, wherever it is played, is based on a Random Number Generator, but everything isn't simply left to chance, as the decisions you make in the game can have a direct bearing on whether you win or lose.
Even some people who have played five-card draw at home maybe a bit intimidated when they see a virtual "machine" that presents the game to them in a different format, and it is very easy to click the wrong buttons, so perhaps a review of the various buttons, which constitute commands, is in order.
Here are some of the buttons you will find in from of you in a standard video poker game:
BET ONE -- If you click on this button once, you'll be placing a bet of one unit. Then you can add a unit with additional single clicks, going as far as you want.
BET MAX -- With one click, you will be wagering the maximum amount of units the game allows.
DEAL -- This is what gets things going. When you click "Deal," you'll get five cards, and they will come out from left to right. Remember that you have to make a bet first.
HOLD -- When you are dealt the initial five-card hand you are then faced with a decision as to which cards you are going to hold onto and which ones you are going to throw out. You'll be using this button not to designate the cards that you want to throw out, but the cards you want to keep.
DRAW -- This comes after you have made the determination on holding and discarding. Here you will "draw" cards, replacing those cards that were thrown out with new ones. There are no further rounds of play; you immediately find out whether you are a winner or loser.
One of the things that will likely be right in front of you is the "pay table," which tells you what the payout is for whatever winning combination you have. It's a good idea to look at the pay table for any one game before you sit down to play. There are variations of video poker that pay winning combos differently.
The amounts for the payouts in Jacks or Better, a very common and popular video poker game, are in this order:
Four of a Kind
Three of a Kind
Jacks or Better
In terms of strategy, what you want to do if you are looking to hit jackpots is discard smaller cards and keep the face cards and aces. But there are obviously a lot of possibilities, so it should be relatively self-explanatory as to the way you may want to approach things if you have a possible Straight Flush, or need just one card to achieve Four of a Kind or a Full House.
If you are unsure of your strategy, you may want to take advantage of an option some video poker games have that is called "AutoHold." When you activate this option, it literally makes the decision on which cards to hold for you. While it is not guaranteed that AutoHold will also afford you the mathematical decision on any one hand, it does make a decision that puts you in a position to win something on the draw, depending, of course, on how that draw comes out.