What is a Slot?

A thin opening or groove in something, such as a door, window, or piece of wood. You can put letters and postcards through a slot in the wall at the post office. A slot is also the name for a type of expansion port on a computer, such as an ISA or PCI slot. See motherboard for a visual example of these slots.

A position or time in which something occurs, especially on a schedule. He scheduled his interview for first thing in the morning.

In football, the slot receiver is a wide receiver who lines up between the tight end and the outside receivers on the line of scrimmage. They usually play on passing downs and are responsible for opening up the outside receivers for longer routes. A great slot receiver is one who can run short routes and move inside or outside as needed to help the team score.

In the early days of slot machines, the number of symbols on each reel was limited to about 22 because the machine had only three reels. Then manufacturers began incorporating microprocessors, which allowed them to assign different probabilities to each symbol on each reel. In this way, it appeared that a winning combination was “so close” but was actually just a matter of luck. Psychologists have found that people playing video slot machines reach a debilitating level of addiction much more rapidly than those who play other types of gambling games.