What is a Slot?

A slot is an area on a machine that you can insert cash or, in ticket-in, ticket-out machines, a paper ticket with a barcode. Once inserted, the machine activates reels that spin and, if symbols line up in the correct sequence, you win credits according to the pay table displayed on the machine. The symbols vary depending on the theme, but classics include fruits, bells, and stylized lucky sevens. Most slots have a minimum denomination, and some have progressive jackpots that grow over time.

In football, a slot is the position for a fast player who can run with the ball and be matched against a linebacker or defensive back. With teams moving away from power football and using more running games, the slot receiver is beginning to replace the fullback as a key offensive position. Those who excel at the slot can make big plays and give the offense an advantage over the defense.

The term slot also refers to the narrow opening in a container or machine where you can place coins. It’s also used to describe an allocated period of time for an aircraft to land or take off from an airport, as authorized by air traffic controllers. See also slat1 (def 2).

An area in a vehicle that can accommodate a child seat: The car’s rear-facing seat has a wide enough slot to allow the seat to fit, but the side-facing slot is too narrow for an infant carrier.

A position in an organization that is characterized by a particular job, responsibility, or activity: I have a new slot at work and will be doing something different from what I was doing before.

In a video game, a slot is an area on the screen that can be filled with any type of symbol, including wild symbols and bonus symbols. These symbols can then trigger free spins, extra lives, and other features that increase the player’s chances of winning. Many video slots have multiple paylines, too.

A slot is an opening in a computer into which you can insert an expansion board. This expands the capabilities of the computer and increases its performance. The word can also refer to an open area in a door or window, or to the space left between a set of windows on a building. A slot can also mean the amount of money paid to a winner on a slot machine, or the number of credits won by an individual on a machine in a specific time frame. See also bay (def 3) and memory slot (def 4). A slot can also refer to the name of a specific part of the machine, such as a lever or button, or the slot on a coin tray. It can even refer to a physical or virtual opening on a piece of equipment, such as a keyboard or computer monitor. A slot is often a rectangular opening, but can be round or oval, too.