A narrow opening, as in a machine or container, for receiving something, such as a coin. Also, a position or place in a group, sequence, or program. A slot in a schedule or programme is a time when an activity can take place: He reserved a slot for his meeting at 4:00.
In the past, electromechanical slot machines had a switch that would break a circuit if they were tilted or otherwise tampered with, which was called a ‘tilt’. In modern electronic slot machines, the odds of winning are calculated by a computer programmed to weight symbols based on their probability of appearing on each reel. This allows a much higher number of possible combinations than the three physical reels that mechanical machines used to have, and results in high jackpot payouts.
In the field of sports, a slot receiver is a wide receiver who lines up closer to the center of the field than other receivers, making them a good target for deep passes and slant routes. However, this also puts them at a greater risk for big hits from opposing defensive players. This is why the NFL requires that slot receivers wear padded helmets.