As it is played solo, video poker rules differ from table poker. Common etiquette, betting and multiplayer format rules do not apply. What you need to know is the basic hierarchy of poker hands and the rules specific to each machine. These machine specific rules are related to the payout format. There are a plenitude of variations in video poker.
The most common structure is “Jacks or Better.” This game requires that the minimum payout hand, consisting of only a single pair, be a pair of jacks, queens, kings or aces. All lower single pairs will not be rewarded. If you see a game type of “9/6 Jacks or Better” or similar title where “Jacks or Better” is preceded by a number pairing then this is simply telling you what the payout is for a full house and a flush respectively (where the first number is the payout on a full house and the second is the payout on a flush). Another common format is “All-American” were the payout for flushes, straights and straight flushes are increased but the payout is decreased for a full house or two pair providing a payout of 8-8-8-3-1 in that respective order. Sometimes “Tens or Better” can be found which as the name suggests requires single pairs to be tens or better. The most consistent winning action is found in “Deuces Wild” in which all twos are wild, if played correctly this can be the most profitable format.
As you should be able to tell, the payout schedule is really the most important rule to account for in video poker. Also remember that a larger initial wager produces a greater payout when you win.