What is a Slot?
A slot is a narrow opening in something. You can slot a coin into a slot machine and pull the lever to spin the reels. You can also slot a file into a computer. A slot is a place in a schedule or program. You can reserve a time slot for an appointment.
Originally, slot machines were based on poker, but they have evolved to incorporate other themes. Today, the modern slot machine is a computerized, mechanized gambling device that accepts paper tickets with barcodes or cash as payment. Some even have high-definition screens to entertain the players. The machines are programmed to take in the maximum amount of coins possible, and a microprocessor determines whether or not the player has won.
In football, the slot receiver is a position on the offensive team that specializes in running short routes (such as slants) that open up deeper coverage for the more talented outside wide receivers on the team. This allows the offense to stretch the defense vertically and create mismatches downfield.
When a player inserts cash or, in ticket-in, ticket-out machines, a paper ticket with a barcode into the designated slot on a machine, the microprocessor calculates the probability that a specific symbol will appear on a particular reel. When the symbols line up, the player is awarded credits based on the amount he bet beforehand. A player can win as little as a penny per spin, or thousands of dollars.