What is a Slot?

A narrow notch, groove, or opening, as a keyway in machinery or a slit for a coin in a vending machine. Also: a position in a group, series, sequence, etc.: He got a slot as chief copy editor.

A gap or hole in a door or window, into which a piece of furniture can be inserted. Also: a slit or slot for receiving money or goods, as in a theater box office. A slot for a coin in a vending machines, a slit or groove in a door, a gap in the side of a ship, or any other device that takes coins and other currency as payment for goods and services.

In computing, a logical storage location (either physical or virtual) for data, programs, or other information. See also disk slot, file system slot, memory slot, and partition. A position in a series, sequence, or set of operations, such as the job of chief copy editor or the place on an airplane’s flight schedule that is reserved for the chief steward: The newspaper was given first-slot priority for the next assignment.

a piece of metal in the top or base of a machine that holds and pays out coins when activated: The coin was dropped into the slot, and the lever was pulled, causing the reels to spin.

An opening in the wing or tail of an airplane that is used to guide high-lift or control devices. In ornithology, the slitlike opening between the tips of the primary feathers of some birds, which helps to maintain a smooth flow of air over the wings during flight.

A small, open area near the goal in ice hockey that affords a vantage point for an attacking player.

An individual machine in a casino or other gambling establishment that accepts paper tickets with barcodes, which are scanned by a machine and stored electronically. Also called a slot machine, a fruit machine, or a poker machine. Charles Fey’s version of the slot machine improved upon the previous inventions of Sittman and Pitt by allowing automatic payouts, a larger display, and different symbols. His slot featured a picture of a horseshoe, diamonds, spades, hearts, and liberty bells, with three aligned Liberty bells being the highest win.

In modern online slots, a pay table is an important tool for keeping track of a game’s symbols, payout amounts, and bonus features. The pay table will usually include a list of all the possible combinations of symbols and their payout values, as well as how to trigger any special features that are included in the game. It is also worth checking a slot’s maximum cashout amount, which will be the highest value that the game will pay out if all symbols are successfully landed on the active reels. This can help prevent players from being disappointed when they miss out on a winning combination. This information is often included on the pay table or in a separate section of the help documentation for the slot.