First of all: Tickets
The Netherlands loves cashless payments, cards, paying with apps, you name it. It's all about keeping it easy and simple for the consumer. The same goes with tickets, you should always, if possible order your tickets online in advance. The main reason why is simply that it greatly increases your chance of getting in. Some clubs in the city center will even sell you skip-the-line tickets. Pay online, download them and show them at the door to be scanned.
Though Amsterdam is not known for a formal going out style, there are some minimums you need to adhere to. Every club will check you and they can all refuse you entry. Places like Escape for instance are not strict but ask their guests to not wear torn clothes, sports outfits and to not bring large backpacks to the inside. Places with a fancier vibe like Nova or Jimmy Woo expect you to dress up a little. And the techno clubs have developed this quasi-berlin-like door policies where you are expected to "look the part".
When does the party start?
Most clubs will open their doors around 23:00 and close at 05:00. There are exceptions of course, some special events can start a little early, and since a couple years back some venues are even 24h licensed. However, only on special events will most venues host true multi-day events.
What kind of place should I go to?
Well anywhere basically, but be sure to pick something that fits you. The city center is known for it's party bar / small club hybrids, which dot Rembrandtplein and Leidseplein. These are usually free entry, expect loud music and a lot of noise. The Reguliersdwaarstraat is known for its LGBTQ-friendly bars and clubs like the Nyx. Outside the city center in West and North you can find the Techno clubs like De Marktkantine. Some clubs, especially the ones in the city center, cater to more than one genre, meaning that you should always check the programming before going. One day you could have house and dance, the other hip-hop and RnB and the next day Dutch folk music. So be sure to check out all the events here on NightGuide.