What Is a Slot?


A narrow opening or groove in a door, wall, or other surface. Also, the position in a sports team or an organization where a player usually lines up. A slot is the area of a field where a player will line up on offense or defense.

A machine that accepts cash or paper tickets with barcodes (in “ticket-in, ticket-out” machines) and pays out credits according to a pay table when activated by a lever or button. Modern slot machines may have touchscreen displays. Symbols on a slot machine vary, but classic symbols include fruits, bells, and stylized lucky sevens. Most slot games have a theme, and bonus features are aligned with that theme.

The most important component of any slot machine strategy is understanding that you don’t have much control over the results of a spin. Other than deciding how much to wager, pulling the handle or pressing the Spin button, and watching the reels spin, you don’t have any direct influence over the outcome of a particular spin. That’s one reason that many newcomers to gambling find the personal interaction at casino tables intimidating — and why they often prefer to play slots.

An allocation of time or space, as authorized by an airport or air-traffic authority, for a plane to take off or land: “airports compete to sell landing and takeoff slots to airlines.”

In computer networking, a site in a network where other devices can attach. Unlike ports, which connect devices to a central switch or router, slots are designed to accommodate multiple devices. The term is sometimes used to refer to an expansion slot, which is a site in a motherboard into which a printed circuit board can be inserted.

In sports, the slot receiver is a wide receiver who typically lines up pre-snap between the tight end and offensive tackle and the outside linebackers on running plays. He is responsible for blocking (and chipping) nickelbacks and safeties on pass routes and covering outside linebackers on run plays. In addition, the slot receiver must be able to quickly read the defensive coverage and make adjustments.