What is a Slot?

A slot is a narrow opening or groove, especially in something like a door, window, or piece of machinery. It can also refer to:

A machine that spins reels and pays out credits based on combinations of symbols that appear on the payline. These machines can be either fixed or flexible, depending on whether they offer the option to choose a specific number of pay lines. Choosing more pay lines increases the chance of a winning combination, but also raises the cost of each spin.

To play a slot, you insert cash or, in “ticket-in, ticket-out” machines, a paper ticket with a barcode into the designated slot and then press a button or lever to activate the machine. The reels then spin and stop to rearrange the symbols, and if a winning combination is made, you earn credits based on the paytable. Many slot games have a theme, and the symbols and bonus features are aligned with that theme.

A slot can also refer to an assigned time or place, such as a berth in an airplane or the position of chief copy editor at a newspaper: She slid the new filter into its slot. A slot is also the name of a narrow notch or other similar opening between the tips of certain bird wings, used to maintain a smooth flow of air over them during flight. It can also refer to an allotted or scheduled time to take off, as authorized by the air-traffic control system: They added 40 more slots for new flights at U.S. airports.