What is a Slot?

A position within a group, series or sequence; an allotment of space.

From Middle Low German slot, from Old High German slat, from Dutch sleutje; perhaps influenced by a similar word in German, schloss (“door-bolt”).

A machine that spins a set of printed graphics and pays out money depending on which symbols line up with the payline on the machine’s display window. In addition to the reels, these machines often have a button or lever that activates a random number generator, which is what determines whether you win or lose. Modern slots use microprocessors to generate random numbers that decide which symbols appear on the reels. Early slot machines used a mechanical random number generator.

On the football field, a wide receiver who lines up closer to the middle of the field than other receivers, so that he can block for the ball carrier on sweeps and slants. Also, a position on the field that gives a player the best chance to catch a pass.

In the United States, an air traffic control authorization for a take-off or landing at a specific airport on a certain day during a specified time period. Central flow management is a way to reduce delays and avoid wasting fuel by not flying when there’s too much traffic at one place.

In a casino, a slot is a machine that accepts paper tickets or cash and pays out winning credits according to the payout table. The pay tables are typically listed either on the face of a machine or, in the case of video slots, within a help menu.