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What Is a Slot?


In computing, a slot is an opening in a computer into which you can insert printed circuit boards. These slots, also called expansion slots, are used to expand the capabilities of a computer. They may be populated with memory chips or other hardware devices, such as video accelerators or disk drives. They are not to be confused with bays, which are sites in a computer into which disk drives can be installed.

In sports, a player who lines up between and slightly behind the wide receivers is called a slot receiver. These players are often shorter and faster than traditional wide receivers, and they are positioned to receive passes that the defense would be unlikely to anticipate. They are a vital part of the modern offense, and they can be a huge threat to a defense when running routes that require them to cross the line of scrimmage.

On a slot machine, a player inserts cash or paper tickets with barcodes into a slot on the machine and activates it by pressing a button or lever (either physical or virtual). The reels spin and stop to rearrange symbols. When a winning combination appears, the machine awards credits based on its pay table. In older machines, this information was displayed on the machine’s face; on modern electronic devices, a pay table is usually listed in the help menu. In addition to a pay table, some slots offer special symbols that trigger additional bonuses or games.