Slot – What Is It?

A narrow notch, groove, or opening, as in a keyway in machinery or a slit for coins in a vending machine. Also: a position in a group, series, or sequence; a time allotted for an event.

In slot games players bet coins, or in the case of “ticket-in, ticket-out” machines, paper tickets with barcodes, into a slot on the machine. The reels then spin and stop to rearrange the symbols in a winning combination, paying out credits based on the payout table. Symbols vary by machine, but classics include fruit, bells, and stylized lucky sevens. Many slots have a theme, such as a particular television show or location, and bonus features align with the theme.

To fit into a space or place easily: The coin slotted into the vending machine without a hitch. The car seat belt slotted into its buckle with ease. To assign or fill a slot: He was given the slot as a copy editor for the newspaper.

In modern electromechanical slot machines, a computer controls the outcome of each pull. In some machines, the computer is programmed to pay out only a certain percentage of the maximum possible prize. The rest of the payouts are based on an algorithm that takes into account how many coins a player has in the machine, the minimum and maximum bets, the probability of hitting the jackpot, etc. This means that a machine that pays out a lot of small amounts is probably a bad one.