What Is a Slot?


A slot is a place to insert something, such as a card or coin. A slot can also refer to a specific time period in a day when a task is scheduled to be completed. Using slot-based schedules can help teams prioritize work and meet important deadlines.

In a slot machine, players place coins or, in “ticket-in, ticket-out” machines, paper tickets with barcodes into designated slots, which activate the reels and cause them to spin. When symbols line up on a winning payline, the player receives credits according to the machine’s payout table. Symbols vary from one machine to the next, but common ones include bells, stylized lucky sevens, and fruits. A machine’s theme often influences the types of symbols it uses.

The jackpot is the largest prize available on a slot machine. This large prize is a combination of the cumulative amounts that each player contributes to the machine’s pooled jackpot and the total amount contributed by all other players who have played the game at that particular casino. A jackpot can also be won by using a bonus feature, such as free spins or a multiplier.

These examples are from corpora and may reflect the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. They may also reflect current usage.