What is a Slot?

A narrow slit, opening, or groove, as in a door, machine, or container. A slot is also a place or position within a series or sequence, such as the time to check in for a flight. He dropped the coin into the slot and dialed. To put something into a slot is to make it fit there easily. The car seat belt slotted into place easily.

A time or place where an activity can take place, as assigned by an airport or air-traffic control authority. Airlines compete for slots to fly between cities and may pay a high price for early morning or overnight slots during coronavirus pandemics.

In a casino slot machine, a section of the front screen that displays the current amount of credits a player has won or is able to win. The display might include a graphic of a coin or symbols arranged in the pattern of a winning line, or it might provide a list of regular paying symbols and how many combinations must be made to win (e.g., three of a kind). Some slots also have special symbols, such as Wild symbols, that can substitute for other symbols and may trigger a bonus round.

In NFL football, the term “slot” refers to a receiver who lines up closer to the center of the field than traditional wide receivers do, and is often targeted by blitz-happy defenses. Physically, slot receivers tend to be shorter than other wide receivers, so they need good speed and agility to break free from defenders. They are especially important on running plays, as they block for ball carriers on sweeps and slants.