Video poker machines are a relatively modern invention, a merger of sorts between traditional Poker and slot machines. A video poker game is a contest between you and the machine. Many people would wonder about why you would want to play video poker when the real game is just as easily available. It completely depends on the kind of person you are – maybe you don't want to sit at a table and play the game with others and it's also reasonable to assume that if it's you and a computer you have a better chance of winning.
Aside from the significant difference that you are not playing against anyone, you are also trying to achieve the highest hand possible to gain higher payouts. At the computer you will place your bet and be dealt 5 cards. You have the option of holding your hand, discarding any number of cards and replacing them with new cards, or drawing a whole new hand completely.
The hand rankings are exactly the same as table poker i.e. a royal flush is Ace – 10 of the same suit. Your bets are placed using the ‘Bet One' button e.g. if you originally wagered £5 and you hit the ‘bet one' button three times, your new wager would be £8.
Unlike the table, you will not be challenged by the computer i.e. the computer is not going to call you or try to bluff you, you simply have to make the best five card hand to win.
There are a couple of things to note though: many online casinos' offer different types of video poker so the advice is to play for free on a few types to work out which suits you the best. Also note that many do not offer payouts on a pair or even two pairs and the lowest hand you can win with is three of a kind. Some also use more than one deck so you can actually get 5 of a kind which clearly you can't do in a one deck table game.
Video poker is a great game and you are definitely in more control of your hand as you can bin the useless cards and have them re-dealt to up your chances of winning. Play for free here before you go on to the real money tables and you'll not only develop your skill and learn the game but you'll also have great fun!