What is a Slot?

What is a Slot?


A narrow notch, groove, or opening, as a keyway in a piece of machinery or a slit for a coin in a vending machine. A position in a group, series, or sequence: He slotted into the job as chief copy editor of the Gazette.

In gambling, a machine that pays out credits based on the appearance of symbols on a pay line. A traditional three-reel slot may have one, three, or five paylines, while a video slot might have 9, 15, 25, or as many as 1024 different paylines. Each line on a slot machine costs a certain number of credits to play, and the more you bet per spin, the greater your chances of winning.

The earliest known slot machines were electromechanical, and were first introduced in America in the late 1920s. They were largely replaced by video games in the 1990s, but are still popular in some casinos. Psychologists have found that people who play slots reach a debilitating level of involvement with gambling at least three times more quickly than people who play other casino games.

In aviation, a scheduled time and place for an aircraft to take off or land as authorized by an air-traffic control agency: We’ll have to wait until our slot opens up at the next airport. In hockey, a vacant area near the opponent’s goal that affords a vantage point for an attacking player.