What is a Slot?

A slit or other narrow opening, especially one for receiving something, such as a coin or letter. Also: a position or location; an assignment or job slot.

In the casino:

A slot is a position in line to receive a ticket, token, or other item. Depending on the machine, a slot can be located anywhere on the reels, on a single horizontal row, or on several rows. Each slot has a different minimum bet and a different maximum amount that can be won. The minimum bet is usually spelled out on the machine, while the maximum winnings are often printed on the top of the machine or its glass enclosure. Many people have misconceptions about how slots work, such as thinking that a machine is fixed and that it will always pay out the same percentage of money. In reality, every slot has its own cycle that is programmed over an extended period to take in a certain amount of coins (coin-in) and then pay out a certain amount in wins. It is very difficult to change a slot’s payout percentage without opening it up and adjusting its mechanical components. This would be a huge time-consuming undertaking for casinos and is very rarely done due to the high cost of maintaining machines.