What is a Slot?

In computing, a slot is an element of an execution pipeline. A slot consists of the operation issue and data path machinery surrounding a set of one or more execution units, which are also called functional units. In very long instruction word (VLIW) computers, the term “slot” is often used instead of the more technical term execute pipeline.

When playing a slot machine, players insert cash or, in “ticket-in, ticket-out” machines, barcoded paper tickets with a specific barcode. They then activate the machine by pressing a lever or button, which causes a series of reels to spin and stop at various combinations of symbols. When a winning combination is displayed, the player earns credits based on the pay table. Typical symbols include fruit, bells, and stylized lucky sevens. Most slot games have a theme, and the symbols and bonus features are aligned with that theme.

Many slot tournaments feature countdown timers that display on the machine’s screen. The number of spins completed within the countdown determines a player’s score for that round. The scores for all rounds of play are totaled to form the player’s overall tournament ranking.

A slot is a position on the route tree where a wide receiver runs a shorter, tighter pattern than the rest of the tree. This allows them to stretch the defense vertically off pure speed. Slot receivers are becoming more prevalent in the NFL, and they help teams stretch defenses and increase their chances of scoring on short passes.