What Is a Slot?

A narrow notch, groove, or opening, as in a keyway in a piece of machinery, or a slit for a coin in a vending machine. Also: a position or time in a group, series, sequence, etc.: He has a slot as chief copy editor at the Gazette.

In a casino or online: a machine that accepts cash or paper tickets with barcodes as payment for credits, and displays reels that stop to rearrange symbols. The player activates the machine by pulling a lever or pressing a button (either physical or on a touchscreen). When the symbols match a payline, the player wins credits according to the machine’s payout table. Symbols vary by game, but classics include fruits, bells, and stylized lucky sevens. Most slots have a theme, and bonus features align with that theme.

In a video game: a virtual position in a game’s display area, or an assigned place for a character or object. Slots can be static, moving with the player, or interactive, such as the slot on a vehicle’s dashboard that allows players to select their desired destination. Slots are often used for displaying achievements, and can be customized to reflect the player’s character or style. In some games, slots can also be used to unlock new characters or abilities. For example, in Gangsterz, a new character could appear in the top of the screen if the player gets a three-in-a-row combination on the paylines.