What is a Slot?


A slot is a narrow opening, especially one for receiving something, as a coin or a letter. The phrase is also used as a name for a position or assignment: “He was given the slot as chief copy editor.”

In computing, a slot is an area on a motherboard into which you can insert expansion cards such as ISA, PCI, or AGP slots. There may be many slots on a single computer, and they can be arranged in different ways.

The term is derived from electromechanical slot machines, which had tilt switches that would make or break a circuit and triggered an alarm if the machine was tampered with. Modern slot machines do not have these switches, but any kind of mechanical fault (door switch in the wrong state, reel motor failure, paper out) is still called a tilt.

On a slot machine, a symbol that appears in a row on a payline wins credits. A payline is a series of stops or zigzags that run across the reels; it’s not uncommon for a slot game to have 30-100 paylines. The pay table is listed on the face of the machine, and some have an option to show all symbols or a list of the ones that win most often.

In football, a wide receiver who lines up just behind the line of scrimmage and is positioned between the out wide receiver and the offensive tackles. Slot receivers are usually shorter and faster than traditional wide receivers, making them harder for defenses to cover.