What is a Slot?


A narrow opening or slit, usually used for receiving something, such as a coin or a letter. Also: (in computing) A space on a disk or other medium in which a particular type of object is stored; a file slot.

The act of sliding or inserting something into a slot. He slotted the letter into the envelope.

In football, the area in front of and slightly behind the wide receivers, on either side of the center. The player in this position is called a “slot receiver.” The term can be applied to any wide receiver, but it is most commonly used to describe those who line up just behind the center and between the two outside wide receivers. A center who lines up in the slot is sometimes known as a “slotback.”

An area in front of and extending toward the goal on an ice hockey rink. A skater may use the slot to gain momentum when passing another skater or to avoid a collision.

A place or position, especially within a sequence or series. The slot on the school calendar for meetings with parents was filled.

b. In a computer, a location on a hard drive or other medium in which a specific type of object is stored. Also: (in computing) A space in memory or on a disk etc. in which a particular type of object is cached; a save slot. The game offers four save slots.

In aviation, an authorization to take off or land at a particular airport on a specified day during a certain time period, as determined by the airport coordinator and issued for the benefit of air traffic control. In this way, slots prevent repeated delays caused by too many planes trying to take off or land at the same time.

A game in which players place bets by inserting cash or, in ticket-in, ticket-out machines, a paper ticket with a barcode into a designated slot on the machine. Once activated, the machine displays reels that stop to rearrange symbols and, if a winning combination is displayed, awards credits according to the paytable. Most slot games have a theme, and the symbols and bonus features are aligned with that theme.

A game in which a machine pays out credits based on a random number sequence. Most slot machines have one to five paylines, but some have as many as 1024 different possible combinations. A slot with low variance has a greater chance of paying out and is typically slower to empty its credits, while a slot with high variance has a lower probability of paying out but pays out larger amounts when it does. This is a key difference between slot and table games, which are often characterized by fixed maximum payouts. These games are played for money or other items of value and have their own set of rules and etiquette. Some slot machines are regulated, while others are not. Some are even rigged.