What is a Slot?

A slot is a narrow notch, groove, or opening, such as a keyway in a piece of machinery or a slit for a coin in a vending machine. A slot can also refer to a position in a group, series, sequence, or set: a job, a time slot, an air-traffic slot, and so on.

In casinos, a slot is a position on a gambling machine where players place wagers. A player can insert cash or, on “ticket-in, ticket-out” machines, a paper ticket with a barcode into the slot to activate a spin. When a winning combination of symbols appears, the machine awards credits based on its paytable. Some slots have progressive jackpots, while others offer bonus levels or other special features.

A slot can also refer to a time slot for a flight, as authorized by an airport or air-traffic control authority. The term can also be used to describe the location of a hole in a target on a shooting range, or to indicate the number of shots required to penetrate a specified target area. In ice hockey, a slot is a position near an opponent’s goal that affords a vantage point for attacking players.