What Is a Slot?


When you’re traveling on an airplane, it’s frustrating when you get all the way through security, queue up to get on board and then settle in your seat, only to hear the captain say, “We’re waiting for a slot.” This means that they’re not taking off yet.

A slot is a narrow opening in a machine or container, for example a hole that you put coins into to make a machine work. It can also be a position in a sequence or timeline.

In casino games, a slot is an electronic machine that spins reels and pays out credits based on combinations of symbols. Many slots have a specific theme and the symbols, overall design, and in-game messages reflect this theme. For instance, a pirate-themed slot might include ship icons, anchors, treasure chests and gold coins.

The return-to-player percentage on a slot machine is calculated by multiplying the number of times the player wins by the house edge. Casinos are reluctant to increase this percentage, as they believe that players can detect high-priced slot machines and will choose another casino.

The low zone on a hockey rink, referred to as the slot, is where centers and wingers have the best chance of scoring a goal because they can shoot straight on without a deflection from opposing players. This makes the slot an important area for teams to establish and defend, as defenders try to prevent offensive players from getting into the slot.