What is a Slot?

When you play a slot machine, you put coins into a machine that spins reels and stops them at random positions. When a winning combination is triggered, you win credits according to the pay table for that particular game. The symbols in a slot machine vary, but classics include fruit and bells. Many modern games also have special bonuses that can be triggered by landing on special symbols. These features can add extra excitement and potential for bigger wins.

The most common definition of the word “slot” is a specific time and place authorized by an airport or air-traffic control to take off or land an airplane:

But there are many different types of slots, from the tiny openings in door frames to the unused spaces between the face-off circles on an ice hockey rink. Here are some of the more common colloquial uses of this important word:

To make a place for or fit something in. In poker, a position in a hand that is not occupied by another player’s chips. In aviation, a time and space allocated by an airport or air-traffic control authority for an aircraft to fly, as authorized by a flight plan. In ornithology, a narrow notch or gap in the tips of the primaries of certain birds, which during flight helps to maintain a smooth flow of air over the wings. In sports, the area directly behind and slightly ahead of the wide receivers on an offensive team’s line of scrimmage.

The term is also used to refer to a particular position in a group, series, or sequence of things: The slots of the car’s seats allow it to seat three passengers comfortably. A slot can also be a position in a class, job, or hierarchy: She is hoping to move up to a more prominent position within the company. The company’s new CEO will fill the slot formerly held by her predecessor. The company has allocated forty new slots for its employees to fill this year.

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