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What is a Slot?


A narrow opening, or the space in which an object fits. For example, a slot in a schedule or program where an activity can take place. A visitor might book a time slot a week in advance.

A slot is also a site within a computer where you can insert printed circuit boards that expand the machine’s capabilities. Slots are not to be confused with bays, which are sites in the front of a computer where you can install disk drives.

In a slot machine, a player inserts cash or, in “ticket-in, ticket-out” machines, a paper ticket with a barcode into a slot on the machine. Then, the machine activates reels that stop to rearrange symbols and award credits based on a pay table. Depending on the game, some symbols are wild and can substitute for other symbols to form winning lines. The game’s theme and bonus features are usually aligned with its overall design.

A slot in a machine is also an allocation of a particular position in a group, series, or sequence; a slot in a queue. From late Middle Dutch sloof, from West Germanic *slutila (source also of Old Frisian sletel, Old High German sluzzil, German Schloss “bolt, bar, lock”), from Proto-Germanic *slutila (“a bolt, door-bolt”). Compare slit.