What is a Slot Machine?

What is a Slot Machine?


A narrow opening, notch, or slit, especially one for receiving something such as coins or mail. The term is also used to refer to a position within a series or sequence: “That program was slotted for four o’clock.”

A machine designed to be played with cash or paper tickets with barcodes, where the player can press a button or lever to activate a series of reels that spin and rearrange the symbols. When a winning combination of symbols appears, the player is awarded credits according to a pay table.

In video slots, the symbols are shown on a screen and can include traditional casino icons such as fruits and bells or stylized lucky sevens, as well as themed characters and other imagery. Bonus features may involve picking items on a screen or engaging in a mini-game.

When a player inserts cash or, in ticket-in, ticket-out machines, a paper ticket with a barcode, a computer reads the ticket and determines whether and how much to pay out. It also tells the machine how to display the pay table.

The pay table lists how many credits the player can win if a certain combination of symbols appears on a pay line (which can be horizontal, vertical, diagonal, or even zigzag). It also shows what other symbols are associated with the pay line and explains the rules of play. In some slot games, the pay table is listed above and below the area containing the reels; in others, it is displayed in a help menu.