What is a Slot?


A narrow opening, especially one that allows something to pass through or into it. You might use the term to describe the mail slot in a door, or the interior opening where you insert money or paper tickets with barcodes at a casino or other gambling establishment. In computers, a slot is a place where a processor fits into a motherboard or other computer hardware. The phrase is also used figuratively, to refer to the position or status of an employee, such as “he has the slot” or “she has the slot.”

A slot on a machine may be a symbol, a coin acceptor, a cash box, or some other device for accepting or dispensing items. It can also be a symbol or picture that represents the game’s theme. Most slot machines have a credit meter, a window that displays the player’s remaining credits, which can be exchanged for real cash when the player presses the “cash out” or other button on the machine.

The credit meter is usually in the form of a seven-segment display, although video slot machines use stylized text that matches their particular theme and interface design. A slot also contains a candle, which flashes to indicate that change is needed, hand pay is requested, or there is a technical problem with the machine. The “service” or “help” button on most video slots will illuminate the candle to notify the operator of a problem.

In football, a slot receiver is a wide receiver who lines up in the area between and slightly behind the outside wide receivers, and ahead of the tight ends. These players must be able to run deep routes, which require a combination of speed and agility. They are also tasked with eluding and evading tacklers.

In aviation, a slot is an allocated time for an aircraft to take off or land at a busy airport. It is a way to manage air traffic and prevent delays caused by too many planes trying to fly at the same time. The word is also used figuratively, to describe an open and coveted position or opportunity: “He has the slot as chief copy editor.” In aviation, a slot is also the name of a small notch or other opening between the tips of the primary wings of certain birds, which helps them maintain a constant flow of air over their wings during flight.

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