What is a Slot?


A slot is a position or spot where something can fit. A slot can also refer to a time period when an activity can occur, such as when someone books a flight or appointment. Airline pilots also use the term to describe their scheduled flying assignments, and this concept is often referred to as slots or aircraft scheduling.

In slot machine play, a player inserts cash or, in “ticket-in, ticket-out” machines, a paper ticket with a barcode into a designated slot. The machine then activates, spinning reels that rearrange symbols and pay out credits based on the game’s paytable. Symbols vary from game to game but classics include bells, fruit and stylized lucky sevens. Most slot games have a theme, and bonus features and rules usually align with that theme.

Online slot players can also find the paytable for each game by searching online. Some sites also include target payback percentages for each game, which may differ from the actual return percentages offered by individual casinos.

In football, a slot receiver is the third-string wide receiver who plays on passing downs and can run shorter routes like slants. They are sometimes used to stretch the defense vertically or get involved in trick plays such as end-arounds. A good slot receiver can open up the secondary with his speed, and fast players like Tyreek Hill or Brandin Cooks have become very popular in the NFL.