What is a Slot?

A slot is a narrow opening, often rectangular in shape and used to receive something, such as a coin or a letter. A slot can also refer to a position in a group, series, or sequence. For example, a student may have many different slots at school, each corresponding to a different assignment or project. The word is also used in reference to a position on a board or in a game of chess.

A Slot in a Computer

In computing, a slot is a place for an expansion card (such as an ISA, PCI, or AGP card). A motherboard has several slots that can be used to install these cards. In some cases, a slot is labeled as “auto-sensing” and will detect the type of card that is inserted. This allows the computer to run the appropriate program, without needing to know the exact type of card that is installed.

Slot in a Machine

In the past, slot machines used revolving mechanical reels to display and determine results. Today’s slot machines use a random number generator to produce a series of numbers that correspond with symbols on the reels. When a winning combination is produced, the machine will pay out credits according to a pay table. The pay tables are usually printed on the face of the machine or, in the case of video slot machines, can be accessed from a help menu. Some slots even offer jackpots that can reach millions of dollars!