Pay close attention to the all important "hold" button. Some people hit it too fast or not hard enough and a card meant to be held is discarded. Make sure all the video poker cards you want to hold are held before pushing the draw button.
Check each video poker machine you play. Some have hold buttons, others discard buttons. Don't push any buttons before you understand what you're doing.
Always look for video poker machines that pay 9 to 1 for a full house (45 with 5 coins) and 6 to 1 for a flush (30 with 5 coins). However four-of-a-kind bonus video poker machines if paying 7 or 8 to 1 for a full house (35 or 40 with 5 coins) and 5 to 1 for a flush (25 with 5 coins), such as four aces paying 80 to 1 (400 with 5 coins) and four 2s, 3s or 4s paying 40 to 1 (200 with 5 coins), are also acceptable. You need these high video poker payouts to keep you playing, as the real key to hitting a royal is playing a large number of video poker hands. Stay clear of video poker machines that only pay 1 to 1 for two pair or don't pay for jacks or better. Although double bonus and double-double bonus video poker machines can be good if you can get some four-of-a-kinds, otherwise with the two pair 1 to 1 payout, these video poker machines will take your money quickly. Also stay clear of dueces wild video poker machines as the payout is so low that unless you hit four dueces you won't be playing long.
Pick a video poker strategy and stick with it. Are you going for a big money Royal Flush, with the biggest payback but odds of 650,000 to 1? Or do you want to play a long time with the best video poker payback? Conservative video poker players would keep a pair, for instance, while others might break a pair if there was a chance for a Royal Flush.
Never keep a "kicker" -- a high card in addition to a pair. The odds are against this strategy working out for you.
Cash out your video poker credits frequently.
Seek out Jacks or better machines that pay 9 coins for a full house and six coins for a flush.
Always bet the maximum amount of coins on a progressive video poker machine to get the bonus for royal flushes.
If you are a beginner, play on the lowest denomination video poker machine until your level of expertise rises.
Take your time to study every hand. Because you are playing against a machine, no one will intimidate you if your play is too slow.
All hail the Jack! Some players don't realize the ace is not the most important card in the deck, but the Jack is. Holding the Jack over the ace gives you more opportunities of making more lucrative hands than an ace would.