Unlike slot machines, video poker requires a degree of skill, at least if one wishes to better his odds. In standard slot machines, there are no decisions the player can make to influence the outcome of the spin. In video poker, as in most table games, the player has a chance to better the odds of ending up with a winning hand.
Most video poker consists of variations on a standard draw game. Betting is usually not a factor, but knowing which cards to hold and discard is. Being aware of the odds of getting a particular hand increases the chances of making smart draw choices and thus winning more hands.
Jacks or Better
There are plenty of books and sites to consult for advice on knowing which cards to hold in video poker, but there is no substitute for experience. Playing hand after hand and learning from the outcomes will quickly turn a novice into a pro. With free video poker, this learning curve need not cost a dime.
The Internet has many online venues for free video poker, so a bus ticket to Atlantic City and a roll of quarters are no longer necessary. Once one gets a few hundred free video poker hands under his belt, he may wish to step up to the version of a game in which real money can be won–and lost. Free video poker makes for a safe place to experiment in an environment in which failure can be a positive learning experience and not a blow to the wallet.