What Is a Slot?


In a slot machine, players insert cash or, in “ticket-in, ticket-out” machines, a paper ticket with a barcode into a designated slot. The machine then activates the reels, which can then rearrange symbols to form a winning combination that pays out credits according to the paytable. Symbols vary from game to game but classic symbols include fruits, bells and stylized lucky sevens. A credit meter, displayed on a screen (either on a mechanical or video machine), tracks the player’s total bet and credits earned. The machine also features a candle that flashes to indicate change is needed, hand payout is requested or there’s a problem.

The term slot is also used in ice hockey to refer to the position where a defenseman takes a shot at goal. The area in front of the goaltender and between face-off circles is known as the low slot; the area directly above the circles is called the high slot. The high slot allows a defenseman to rip a blistering slap shot that can easily slip by the goalie.

The term “slot” can also be applied to a type of scheduling process for meetings or other work events. For example, using time slots can help organize important deadlines and support consistency of workflows across teams. Organizing work events into distinct blocks of time can also help improve communication between team members, encourage open collaboration and facilitate prioritization of critical tasks.