Video poker as it is played in an online casino is very similar to the version that is played in a land-based casino, with an interface that looks almost exactly the same. That is to be expected, since it is an electronic game in either place. And this is where technology meets up with that table game you may have grown up playing.
When you talk about video poker, you are talking about a game with many variations. Yet the fundamentals of the procedure are basically the same. When you click to "Deal" the cards, you'll be dealt five of them, at which point you make the decision as to which ones you are going to keep and which ones you are going to let go. In video poker, you designate the cards you will hold, and accordingly, you click the "Hold" button to make that happen.
Then it is time to click the "Draw" button, and that is when you will get new cards. When those cards come, you will know if you are a winner, and if you are, you will get paid in accordance with the pay table that is available to be seen atop the interface.
The differences from one variation of video poker to another have to do with the rules that are in effect. For example, there are games like Deuces Wild that make a two (2) wild, as it will be able to substitute for another card to complete a winning hand, just like a wild symbol in slots can complete a winning combination. In a game like this, the two is also going to take on a special meaning, when there are four of them in your hand, for instance.
A conservative form of video poker might be Jacks or Better, where you get paid nothing if you don't have a pair of Jacks, or better (hence the name). Then there are games like Joker Poker, with a Joker that is wild, and in this particular variation there are more than 52 cards in a deck.
If you are ever unsure about what the rules are on any video poker game, all you have to do is refer to the pay table and the Help files that accompany that game.
Understanding that there are all kinds of variations to video poker, you may want to concentrate your efforts on one variation and a sound playing strategy you can employ with it.
In your process of playing with a strategy that is wisest, you may wind up doing some things that might appear to be unconventional. For instance, you may have to bust up three of a kind in order to have a chance for something better, if that chance is available.
You are best advised to learn to the point where you can make your playing decisions as quickly as possible. That is because you are looking for big payouts to make your video poker experience profitable. Remember also that some of the software designers can facilitate you playing a hundred hands at a time.
Keep in mind that if you are looking for the best payouts, including that which is produced by a Royal Flush or any progressives, you are going to have to wager the maximum number of coins. There's no way around that. Anything less and you will have to settle for something less.
If you don't have any way of knowing what the correct playing strategy is, you may find some help from the game itself, because an automatic program might be available that could actually play your hands FOR you. Microgaming in particular has an AutoHold option on its video poker games.