Learn the rules of the game. This one is obvious. You need to know the rules of the game before you sit down to play.
Learn the different types of payout hands. Different video poker machines offer payouts for different types of hands. Generally, the more wild cards that are used in a game, the better the hand has to be in order to receive a payout. The games which have no wild cards usually offer a payout for a pair of Jacks or better.
Pick the right machine. All video poker machines are not created equal. Find a machine with a full pay pay table. Game selection is huge. If you are playing at a bad game, you will lose money about 10 times faster than a good one.
Always bet the maximum amount when favorable. All the progressive machines and even many of the others offer more favorable payouts when player bet the maximum. Many times the extra payout is for a royal flush.
Learn how to play the hands for maximum profits. This is the hardest part of becoming a skilled video poker player. You have to learn how to make the optimal choice for every hand dealt to you.
Practice online for free. This helps you learning the mechanics of the game.
Get a players card. Anytime you plan on playing for a long time in a casino you should get a players card so you can get comped. But this is especially important when playing a game with a very small edge because the extra can make a huge difference.