Because poker is a game played between players, there is virtually no house edge, only a small 'tax' deducted from the pot. A poker player could win the ratio of players as to the initial bankroll. Thus, in an 8-player poker game, you could win as much as 8 times your bring-in.
However, in online video poker, you are playing against the house. The structure is more similar to blackjack than poker, and that means keeping a tight budget is of major concern. Since there is a house edge, you can lose more than you could win, even if you are employing the correct poker strategies.
In order to manage your bankroll, you should start by deciding on how much money you are willing to deposit. Once you have done this, split the money into several clusters, each cluster serving as your budget for a single session. By doing this, you can avoid being bankrupt at an early stage, which is the normal outcome of people who pour in all of their money at a single session.
Choose which game and which variation of online video poker to play. Each variation differs in the payout scheme and amount of initial or required deposit. It is best to choose machines with an inexpensive amount of deposit but has good payout schemes. A machine that would pay even odds for a three of a kind is not good enough, as the percentage of getting three of a kind is just 2.2%.
Once you have done this, remember two things: keep a win goal, and conserve your winnings. As with online slots, you need to refrain from re-betting your winnings. The act might mean you could play more and have a chance to win more, but also remember that re-betting also means that you could lose more.
Keep a win goal by deciding on how much of your initial bankroll you would like to retain. A realistic amount would be somewhere near fifty to sixty percent. Once you have earned this amount through your winnings, you can safely re-bet all additional winnings from then on. You can then repeat the process several times, if you feel much safer with a system in hand.
2. Treating Online Video Poker as Poker
Yet another strain of online video poker players tends to treat this game as simply slots, without regard to the strategic aspect. Such mindset is disastrous, as the choice of which cards to discard and to keep spells losing or winning in online video poker. If a player incorrectly chooses to discard a good card, they are losing deliberately. This is much worse than losing at a slot machine -- at least there's minimal amount of control at slots.
Still, because there are numerous kinds of online video poker games available, we could only provide you with a short list of what and what not to do on three popular variants. These are Jacks-or-Better, Deuce Wild, and Joker Wild poker. If you are a beginner, it's better to start with Jacks-or-Better, as this is the most basic variant available.
Strategy in Jacks-or-Better is easy to understand, as the moves here are only based on obvious logic.
You need to stay on these hands: straight flush, four-of-a-kind, full house, and straight.
Draw one card on these hands: any pattern that has only one component missing, such as an incomplete straight flush, flush, or a straight; a two pair (discard the kicker, as you could be drawing to a full house).
Draw two cards on a three of a kind, as you could get a quads or a full house.
Draw three cards on a pair. Discard all the kickers, since they are not of any value anyway. In that way, you could get a trio, quads, two pair, or even a full house.
Draw four cards if you get no pattern but with a King, Queen, Jack, or Ace.
If your hand is simply a jumble of weak cards, discard them all and draw a fresh hand. However, if you see a possible straight or flush, discard only the unnecessary cards.
b. Deuce Wild
Deuce Wild is a slightly difficult variety of online video poker. Here are some strategies in case you are out to play this variant:
You need to stay on these hands: straight flush, four-of-a-kind, full house, straight, and any hand with deuces.
Draw one card when faced with the following hands: all hands that need only one card to be completed, such as an incomplete straight flush, flush, straight, or deuce straight.
Draw two cards to the following: a royal flush with three cards, a straight flush with three cards, three deuces, and three of a kind.
Draw three cards to any of the following: high cards that are suited (e.g. Queen-King, King-Jack, King-Queen).
Draw four cards to a high card, and discard all cards if you have no possible card combinations.
c. Joker Wild
Joker Wild is one the more difficult variety of online video poker, but it also has the highest payout. In Joker Wild, Kings and Aces are the only cards counted as high. Here's a strategy guide when playing this variant:
Keep the following hands: straight flush, four-of-a-kind, full house, straight, and any hand with deuces.
Always keep a joker, as you can only rarely get this. The frequency of getting a joker is almost one in ten deals.
If you get an inside straight, do not keep it.
Remember, no matter what variant of video poker you are playing, the best strategy is based on normal draw poker, as that is still the principle behind these games.