Most video poker machines have coin or bill acceptor units. Some accept vouchers which must be purchased from a casher. Payouts have a variety of options available as well. To start play insert a bill, coin or voucher, and you will receive credits. You may be anywhere from 1 to five credits at a time, if you bet max coin (by pressing the max coin button) 5 credits will be deducted from your account and 5 cards will be dealt automatically. If you bet anything less than max coin you must hit the deal button to receive your five cards.
Video poker allows one re-deal. The next step in the process is to select the cards you want to keep by pressing the hold button on the individual card. Once you hold a card a held message appears above or on the card. If you want to keep all cards press the hold all button. In order to receive the new cards you must press the deal button. The machine will only deal as many cards as are required.
Once you have received you final cards the paytable determines what you will receive for your hand. Video poker pays for hands, you do not have to beat the dealer or other players to win, however there are minimum hand requirements to be paid. The paytables determine all payoffs due and will be discussed in the next section.
The most important strategic decision to make when playing video poker is machine selection. Machines can vary in payout from 90% to 102% - that's right, the theoretical payout is more than what the machine takes in. Because most people do not play properly, the actual payouts favor the casino. A number of casinos advertise the payouts on the machines. Remember these payouts are based on max coin play, and the fact that you are playing the machines correctly.
Jacks are better are usually the best machines to play (highest payout). When playing Jacks or Better look for a machine with a 9/6 payoff. The 9/6 refers to a payoff for a full house (9-1) and a flush (6-1).
Below are some common pay tables. One important thing to note is the payoff for a Royal Flush at max coin (5 credits). Every other payoff is a direct multiple of the credits bet times the 1 credit payoff. On the other hand the royal flush pays off at 4 times more than it should - the equivalent of a slot jackpot. This is why it is necessary to play max coin at all times.