What Is a Slot?


A slot is a narrow notch, groove or opening, as in a keyway in machinery or a slit for a coin in a vending machine. It may also refer to a position in a group, series, or sequence, such as an open time on a calendar or the area directly in front of and between two face-off circles on an ice hockey rink where speed players can go inside and outside, unlike boundary cornerbacks who cover only their own arcs.

It’s also the name of the narrow space in a revolving door where you put your hand to keep it from falling out. A slot may also refer to the opening in a computer into which data is fed, as when you insert a disk into a drive.

In casinos, slots are a major source of profits. One gambling official estimates that they bring in twice as much revenue as table games. Casino managers make it their business to keep people seated and betting, so they design the machines to pay out small amounts regularly — but enough to keep gamblers coming back for more.

As with any machine game, it’s important to pick machines that appeal to you. Whether you prefer simple ones with just a single payout line or more elaborate machines with bonus features, just have fun. And don’t be fooled by “hot” or “cold” streaks, because luck plays a significant role in any machine’s outcome.