What Is a Slot?

What Is a Slot?

A narrow notch or opening, especially one used for receiving something, as a keyway in machinery or a slit for a coin in a vending machine. Also: a position in a group, sequence, or series.

A slot is the area between the face-off circles on a hockey rink. When someone slots the puck between these two, they score a goal.

The term is also used for a small opening in the roof of a building or vehicle, or for any unused area in a computer containing software, hardware, or storage. It is also sometimes applied to the space between the tracks of a railroad car or airplane.

Casinos use a variety of slot machines. Some are progressive, meaning that a portion of each spin goes to a jackpot pool. Others are standalone machines with fixed payout amounts. Still others allow players to choose how many paylines they want to bet on, while others automatically wager on all available lines.

Regardless of the type of slot, it is important to set bankroll limits before playing. This will help you avoid losing more than you can afford to lose, and it will keep you from getting sucked into an endless loop of spinning, either to chase losses or to try to make up for them. These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word’slot.’ Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors.