There are several different varieties of online casino video poker. Some are "single-draw" games, others are "multi-draw" versions, and still others are "stud" models in which what you get is what you get. The most common form of online video poker is called "jacks or better," since a pair of jacks is the minimum hand that rates a payout.
With jacks or better, there's no centralized pot to which all players contribute. After all, you're playing from home and are probably alone, so it's you versus the computer. There are, however, online head-to-head poker games in which you square off against other live players. These are usually reserved for more seasoned gamblers who have the stakes to lose, not novices just getting their feet wet gambling online.
Scoring Online Casino Video Poker
Most online casino video poker operates with pre-established payouts that correspond with strength of hand. You may only receive a single point for a pair of jacks, while you're rewarded with 100, 500, even 1000 points for a four-of-a-kind or royal flush. If your ante is a lone coin or credit, a pair of jacks pays even money, which essentially entitles you to another round.
After you've been dealt your five cards, you usually have a choice of how many to discard and draw. While standard casino poker allows players to take up to four new cards (provided there's an ace present), online video poker allows for five fresh cards. By the same token, if you already have three of a kind, it may be worth holding them and drawing two more for an outside stab at a four-of-a-kind or full house. At least you know you've already won back your money and then some.