What Is a Slot?


A slot is a narrow opening in something. It can be used to hold coins or letters and postcards. In computers, it can mean an expansion slot for memory cards or other devices. A slot can also be a time period that allows someone to schedule meetings or other work events. For example, a consultant may schedule appointments according to time slots on a calendar. Using slot-based scheduling can help teams prioritize important work and establish clear timelines for meeting deadlines and work objectives.

In gambling, a slot machine is a type of casino game in which players can win credits by matching symbols on the pay line. The symbols vary from one machine to the next, but usually include standard card icons such as A, K, Q and J, as well as themed symbols that match the game’s theme. The amount a player wins depends on the combination and strength of the symbols. Some slots have a bonus symbol that triggers extra games or awards other prizes. A slot’s volatility is another factor that can influence the amount a player wins. A low volatility means the slot pays out often but small amounts, while a high volatility means the slot rarely pays out and when it does the winnings are large.

In sports, the term “slot” refers to a specific area on the ice hockey rink that enables speed players to cut quickly between the face-off circles and into the offensive zone. The area in front of the goaltender and between two face-off circles is considered the low slot, while the space above the circles is known as the high slot.