What Is a Slot?

A narrow opening in a machine or container, often used for inserting coins. Also: A time or place scheduled for a flight, as authorized by an airport or air-traffic authority: He was able to book a slot on a plane to London.

An area of the betting floor in a casino, reserved for one game. A casino’s slots are a big draw for gamblers, with poker, blackjack, and craps all boasting dedicated followers.

The number of different ways to win on a slot machine, including scatters, wilds, and other special symbols. Modern video slots, for example, offer hundreds of possible combinations — in addition to bonus rounds and a jackpot.

A percentage figure showing how much cash a slot returns to players, based on the odds and payout schedule. You can find this information in the pay table or help section of a slot game.

Unlike some other casino games, the outcome of a slot spin is completely random. Never waste your time or money chasing a hit that you believe is ‘due’. This is one of the biggest mistakes you can make, as the random number generator controls the results of each spin. Think of a six-sided die: some sides are bigger than others, and will have more chances to be landed on. So, if a particular slot is hot and you’re in a losing streak, move over to another machine. Otherwise, you’ll just be wasting your time while hoping that the previous winner’s machine will turn around and give you a chance to win.