What is a Slot?


A slot is a narrow opening that you can put something into, such as a coin or a disc. In computers, slots are used to store printed circuit boards. In some cases, they are called expansion slots because they allow you to expand the capabilities of a computer by inserting new board types. Slots are not to be confused with bays, which are sites within a computer where you can install disk drives.

The term “slot” is also used in sports to describe the position of a player on a team’s offensive or defensive line. A player who is positioned in the slot is often known as an outlet receiver because he or she catches passes that are intended for other, deeper-route receivers. Depending on the situation, slot receivers may also have other responsibilities such as blocking or safety duties.

Charles Fey invented the first three-reel slot machine in 1899 and a plaque marks his workshop in San Francisco as a California Historical Landmark. Modern video slot machines display a credit meter that shows the player’s current total and any available bonus credits. The meter has a display that indicates whether or not the machine is paying out, and which symbols are responsible for the win. Some modern machines have up to 200 lines that can be triggered by hitting certain combinations of symbols.

Studies of gambling behavior have found that people who play video slots reach a debilitating level of involvement with the game three times more rapidly than those who play traditional casino games. This rapid increase in engagement may be due to the arousing effects of sound, which have been found to be important reinforcers of gambling behavior.