If you're on this site you'll see allot on Video Poker, But do you know how to play? Have no fear it's easier than you think. Here's some info for you. Basic knowledge and locating the best machines to play Part one. OK, so you've decided you want to try "Video Poker"! You might be a novice, but that doesn't mean you can't win as long as you do a some preparation. "Fortune favors the prepared mind." The first thing you need to know is that Video Poker is not like the poker you played with playing cards in the past. The strategy is vastly different. Many avid poker players think "I know how to play poker, so what's to know?" Well, here's how! There are literally dozens of different types of VP (Video Poker) games but there are only one or two you'll need to know something about to start. The easiest to learn is called "Jacks or Better". Now there are a few types of bonus poker but Jacks or Better is the game of choice for the novice, followed by Bonus Poker, Double Bonus Poker and Double Double Bonus Poker, or "DDB" which is the second most popular game due to the additional bonuses. Jacks or Better is easy to learn and offers more small jackpots that will keep you in the game longer on a smaller buy in. You might even be able to play for up to an hour on $20 bucks, which will get you free drinks while sitting at a machine or at the bar in most casinos. You're required you to have at least $20 in coin in (40 credits minimum) and be playing max coins per play which on a quarter machine is $1.25. (usually 5 coins) to be comped on your drinks of choice. When your cocktail waitress or bartender comes by they'll glance at your coin in to see that you have the minimum credits and are playing maximum coins per play. Then you may order any drink you want for the price of a tip. See, you're winning already! I can't tell you how many times I've walked away with over $100 dollars starting with a $20, and getting a few comped drinks in the process. How do you know it's a Jacks or Better Machine? It should say "Jacks or Better" right on it. But some machines will say "Bonus Poker", and the payout will be the denoting factor in determining the type of game it is. Many machines will offer multiple types of games so you may choose which game you'd like to play, what denomination of coins , quarters, dollars, and sometimes even nickels on rare occasion but the payback on nickels is usually bad for the player as the house advantage is higher. So, what's the best level to play? Quarters as the investment is lower and you can play longer on a moderate bankroll. For new player Quarters will do it unless you have a large bankroll and want to risk it while learning to play. Believe me, you will make some mistakes along the way so keep it simple to start. Do all machines pay back the same? NO! So, how do you find the best machines to play? Each machine by Nevada gaming law is required to post the pay scale right on the machine for all to see. But, knowing how to read it is the key. The devil is in the details so I'll refer you here to another site; "vpFREE2" which spells out the pay scale for each game. Just stay on Jacks or Better aka "JOB" to start. Just click on Video Poker Pay Tables, JOB at the top left. Then look at "Games and Machines" to find the best machines, and select JOB or "Jacks or Better". You don't want to get confused at this point. Make it easy on yourself as there is a plethora of information but you only need to know the pay scale for one or two games which will help you find the best machines to play as the better machines may be mixed in with identical machines with different pay back scales. The casinos do this to maximize their profit on the unsuspecting novice. But not you! Because you have done some research and now have a working knowledge of the game, and when it comes to gambling my friend, Knowledge is power. There are literally thousands of dedicated VP Players. The most knowledgeable Pro and Semi Pro players are known as "Advantage Players" as they find ways to beat the casinos. Yes it can be done but it requires a large ongoing bankroll to win over an extended period of time. But if you're the average part time player just play for fun and a few free cocktails. Just keep it simple to start, and you're guaranteed to have a great time when you hit that jackpot and watch those credits rack up. It's more fun that a barrel of monkeys let me tell Ya! Ok so now you've know how to find the best machines like a pro. Now what? Well, how to play! This is where the fun begins! The first thing you might like to do is obtain some video poker training software to practice at home before you hit those machines. I use Video Poker Strategy Pro. But there are many to choose from as well as some on line for free. You shouldn't need to spend more than around $20 bucks on line plus nominal shipping or find them at your local electronics/video store. They will pay for themselves many times over! Then there are optimal strategy cards, available on many web sites to print out for free, or you can buy them if you like. For each game they tell you which cards to keep and which combination is most likely to get you the highest possible return. You take these with you to play. I still use them every time I play. They have made me literally many hundreds of dollars. JACKS OR BETTER (9/6 MACHINE) For instance, should you keep a high pair as opposed to 4 to a straight flush? You should keep the 4 to a straight flush, even an inside draw. The straight flush pays 250 coins, where three of a kind pays 15, 4 of a kind pays 125 coins, and a straight pays only 20. Most novice players would keep the high pair for a guaranteed 5 coins. Even if you get a like suited card the flush pays 30! Last but not least I recommend setting a win goal and a loss limit. This is a matter of personal preference. Nothing makes me feel worse than having been up a sizeable amount only to put it all back in and then some. It's always better to leave with modest winnings. Especially after a few cocktails! Then you can always come back later for maximum enjoyment, and isn't that whay we do it? Best of luck to you, and many winning returns!