Menu Close

What is a Slot?

A slot is a dynamic placeholder that either waits for content (a passive slot) or calls out for it (an active slot). Slots are used in tandem with scenarios to deliver content to a page. Scenarios can use Add Items to Slot or a targeter to fill the slot with content, while renderers specify how that content will be presented.

The number of symbols on a reel that can appear to form a winning combination. Slot machines often have multiple pay lines and may display different numbers of symbols on each line. Some slots have wild symbols that can replace other symbols to complete a winning combination. The pay tables for these machines list the odds of a particular symbol appearing on a given pay line. Some modern machines have a touch-sensitive screen that displays the probability of each individual stop on a reel.

When a machine malfunctions, the term “tilt” is usually used to describe the action of tilting or otherwise improperly positioning the machine. This can cause the machine to misread the sensor that senses the presence of a coin or other object in its slot and change the amount of money paid out. This was a common problem with electromechanical slot machines that used tilt switches that could make or break the machine’s circuits. Modern slot machines no longer have tilt switches, but any kind of technical fault can trigger a malfunction alarm.

A narrow opening into which something else can fit, such as a mail slot in a door or the hole in a piece of furniture where a light bulb is installed. The name of this type of opening is also used for positions in an organization or series of jobs, such as a slot on a team or the slot occupied by a sub-editor on a newspaper. The meaning of slot as a position in a schedule or timetable is attested from 1942.

In football, a position on the defensive backfield that is responsible for covering the slot receiver. The slot corner must have excellent coverage skills and be able to play both press and off-man coverage. This is a difficult task, as the slot receiver is fast and can catch passes all over the field. The best slot corners have speed and agility.

A slot in a computer is a portion of a system’s memory that is reserved for a specific function. Most operating systems allocate a fixed amount of memory to slots, and the amount is based on the size of the system’s disk drives. In addition to the main storage, most modern computers have expansion slots for additional hard drives or memory. The slot can be located in a separate chassis, as in the case of a workstation, or built into the motherboard. The latter is typically called a PCI slot, an AGP slot, or a ISA slot. The term can also refer to a pre-defined position in a program, such as the function that is executed when an instruction is received.