What Is a Slot?


A narrow opening in something, as a hole in a door or a slot for coins on a machine. Also, a position in a group, series, or sequence. The catcher’s slot is in the middle of the infield, so he can see most of the field.

A notch, groove, or opening in something, as a keyway in machinery or a slit for a coin on a vending machine. Also, a position in

The catcher’s slot is in the center of the infield, so he can view most of the field. The catcher’s slot is in a good spot to block for the ball carrier on running plays.

In computers, a place for an expansion board, such as an ISA or PCI card. A slots may be referred to as a bay in some cases.

On a slot machine, a person inserts cash or, in ticket-in, ticket-out machines, paper tickets with barcodes to activate the reels and change the symbols. The machine then pays out credits according to the paytable. The symbols vary, but classics include fruits and stylized lucky sevens. The winning combination of symbols depends on the machine’s theme. A computer engineer was able to cheat a slot machine in Nevada by using software to rig the results.

The term “slot” can also mean the time of day when a plane takes off or lands at an airport. Airlines compete to book slots at the most desirable times, such as when traffic is constrained on one runway or at a popular destination. A slot can be very valuable and is coveted by many airline employees.

In football, a player who lines up in the slot is usually short and quick. He has to be able to run precise routes because the defense can hit him from multiple angles. He’s important for running plays, especially sweeps and slants, because he’s close to the ball carrier and can block. He’s also a target on passing plays. In recent years, offenses have started to rely on slot receivers more than in the past. They are often targeted 40 percent of the time on passing plays, and they are also vulnerable to big hits from defensive backs. Because of their short size and speed, they must be good route-runners and have excellent hands. They are often used in conjunction with other wide receivers, as a means of confusing the defense. This is why they often run routes that correspond with each other, as opposed to out-routes. The slot is an important position for any team.

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