Standard video slots have 3 rows and 5 reels, for a total of 15 signs/symbols or icons, whatever you call it. If you get 3 or more identical symbols, you receive the matching win. Wins usually pay from left to right, meaning 3 matching symbols in the first 3 reels is a win, but 3 matching symbols in the last three reels is not.
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Video slots often have many lines of winning arrangements. Lines 1 to 3 are those of the three rows. Line 4 might be a diagonal sequence including reel 1 row 1, reel 2 row 2, reel 3 row 3, reel 4 row 2, and reel 5 row 1. There are 243 potential lines, but it is rare for more than 25 lines to be presented. You can select 1 line, 25 lines, or any number amongst. Each line signifies a separate bet, so a 25-line bet is 25x larger than a 1-line bet, correspondingly.
Most slots are not affected by strategy-related decisions. Simply spin and see if you have won or not. The one and only thing under your control, while playing slots, is the variance. Using two-tier betting started with high variance bets can drastically increase your return when playing with pre-wager bonuses. Two-tier betting makes most pre-wager slot bonuses EV+ and greatly increases the number of worthy bonuses. All you have left to do now is to search which slots offer generous bonuses.
One more aspect to pay attention to is the double game. After a spin is completed, some casino software providers give you the opportunity to double your win in a war-like game. The option usually comes up after a successful spin. The double game is usually of a pure chance, and in case of winning, you can still double sequentially until reaching the maximum win.
The double game can be used to increase or decrease the variance- it depends on a doubling amount. You should never double when the size of the double bet is greater than that the variance per slot spin (square of SD per slot spin). Note that video poker doubles may be restricted in the T&C. The game may not count towards wagering or may be banned altogether when playing a bonus. So check terms and conditions first.
Most online slots pay 94-97% out, resulting in a house edge of 3-6%. This is roughly half the house edge of typical land-based slots.