What is a Slot?

A slot is a position within a group, series or sequence. The term also can refer to:

A computer inside a slot machine assigns a unique number to every possible combination of symbols on each reel. When the machine receives a signal — anything from a button being pushed to a handle being pulled — it sets that particular combination. Between signals, the random-number generator continues to run through thousands of combinations each minute. That means if you see someone else hit a jackpot that “should have been yours”, don’t fret: The chances of you pressing the exact button in exactly the right split-second to catch that one-of-a-kind combination are astronomical.

In addition to a random-number generator, slot machines have a pay table that displays the regular payouts for symbols and their combinations. In some cases, slots also have bonus features that can add to your winnings if you trigger them in the correct order.

When you’re ready to play a slot, first insert cash or, in “ticket-in, ticket-out” machines, a paper ticket with a barcode. Then, press a spin button to activate the digital reels with symbols. The symbols will stop in a specific arrangement that is determined by the machine’s pay table. Your winnings will be based on the amount of matching symbols in a payline and will depend on the size of your wager. The pay table is typically aligned with the slot’s theme. Just make sure to read the rules carefully before you start playing!