What Is a Slot?

A narrow notch or groove, as in a keyway in machinery or a slit for a coin in a vending machine. Also, a position or time in a schedule or program (e.g., a visitor’s slot at the museum).

A container for dynamic content on a Web page. Each slot can either wait passively for content (a passive slot) or actively call out to a targeter to provide the content (an active slot). A slot is filled by a scenario (via an Add Items to Slot action or via a targeter that uses a Repository item as its source). A slot is then delivered to the Web page using a renderer.

In a slot, the odds of hitting a particular symbol are determined by the random-number generator in the machine. Each time the machine is activated, the generator sets a number and then the symbols spin and stop in a pattern that corresponds to the number. If the symbols line up on a payline, the player wins credits based on a pay table displayed on the machine.

In older machines, the pay tables are printed above and below the reels. Modern machines use microprocessors to give different weights to the various symbols on each physical reel, so that winning combinations are not necessarily the same on every spin. For generations, players were told that max bets brought the highest payout percentages, but this is no longer true on most slot machines, except for a few that still offer incentives to play maximum coins.

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