What is a Slot?


A narrow aperture or groove in which something can be inserted, as a door-bolt.

A slot can also refer to a position or opportunity. For example, someone may be told that they have been assigned a time to arrive at work and they can ‘slot in’ their preparations accordingly.

On a gambling machine, a slot is a space on the machine into which coins or paper tickets with barcodes are inserted. A lever or button (either physical or on a touchscreen) is then activated, which spins the reels and arranges the symbols. When a winning combination is formed, the player receives credits based on the paytable. Symbols vary between games, but classic objects such as fruits and stylized lucky sevens are common. Most slot games have a theme, and the design of the symbols and layout of the reels is usually aligned with that theme.

Unlike the mechanical machines of the past, modern slot machines are programmed using microprocessors to weigh particular symbols. This means that, while it might look like a certain symbol is just about to land on the payline, its actual probability is much lower.

Online slots offer players the option to choose the number of paylines that they would like to activate for each spin. The number of paylines can be fixed or free, with the latter offering a higher percentage back over time, which is known as return-to-player (RTP). Progressive jackpots are another popular feature found on many online slot games. These increase and randomly pay out, often resulting in life-changing sums.