What is a Slot?

A narrow opening or groove in something, such as a coin slot in a vending machine. Also: A position in a group, series, or sequence; a time slot for an activity. She slipped the letter into its slot in the envelope.

A slot is a narrow opening in a container or machine, usually used for taking coins or paper tickets with barcodes. On a computer, an expansion slot is a place to install circuitry that adds capability, such as video acceleration or disk drive control. Most desktop computers come with a set of expansion slots.

In football, a slot receiver is a wide receiver who lines up pre-snap between the tight end or offensive tackle and the outside receivers. This allows the quarterback to get a better read on the defense and gives the receiver an advantage in route-running because the slot receiver is typically smaller and faster than outside wide receivers. The slot receiver is also an important blocker on running plays and may even play some running back from time to time.

In a casino, a slot is an electronic game in which players insert cash or, in “ticket-in, ticket-out” machines, a paper ticket with a barcode. The machine then displays symbols and pays out credits according to a paytable. Many slot games have a theme, and bonus features and symbols often align with that theme. Some slots allow players to choose the number of paylines, while others have a fixed number.