What is a Slot?

A slot is a narrow opening, especially one in which something fits, such as a hole for coins in a slot machine. It can also refer to a position in a sequence or series, such as the slot for the chief copy editor at the newspaper. The etymology of the word is uncertain; it may be from the same root as “slit,” or it may stem from the verb to slot, which means to put into place snugly, as in “the car seat belt slots easily into the buckle.”

A casino game where players use tokens or, in “ticket-in, ticket-out” machines, paper tickets with barcodes, to activate reels that spin and rearrange symbols in order to create winning combinations. Each spin of the reels costs credits, which are awarded based on the paytable. Bonus features, such as a jackpot or free spins, can also be triggered by landing specific symbols on the reels. Most slot games have a theme, and the symbols used are aligned with that theme.

In computer science, a slot (plural: slots) is a location in the processor into which data can be inserted. This data can be stored in memory or on a disk drive. The term is often confused with bays, which are locations within a computer into which components can be installed, such as a disk drive or an expansion card.

The amount of money that a slot pays out over time is usually measured in terms of a percentage return to the player, or RTP. The higher the RTP, the more likely it is that a slot will be profitable. However, it is important to note that a high RTP does not guarantee that you will win any particular sum of money.

An allocated, scheduled time and place for an aircraft to take off or land, as authorized by an airport or air-traffic authority: 40 more slots were granted to new airlines at U.S. airports. In sports, the unmarked area near an opponent’s goal on an ice hockey rink that affords a vantage point for an attacking player.

The slots of a computer are the operations issue and data path machinery surrounding a set of one or more execution units, which share these resources. It is not uncommon for the same machine to contain multiple types of slots, each corresponding to a different hardware architecture. The term is also sometimes used to describe the same machinery in very long instruction word (VLIW) computers, where the relationship between an operation and its pipeline is explicit. This concept is not to be confused with the notion of a task, which relates an operation to a run queue rather than a scheduler.