The term “slot” refers to an area of ice in hockey between the faceoff circles. While the term is generally used to describe the area in front of the goaltender, there are actually two distinct areas of the rink where a slot may exist. The low slot is located immediately in front of the goaltender and between the faceoff circles, while the high slot is located in the middle of the ice above these circles.
The earliest use of the word slot dates back to the late 14c., when it referred to a hollow at the base of the throat, above the breastbone. The word is derived from the Old French esclot, of uncertain origin, and the Old Norse slod is also a synonym. The word slot was first recorded in the 1520s as a noun, and its meaning of “deer track” is not until 1888 that it was used to refer to a machine that serves as a receiver.
Slot machines have evolved significantly since the days of mechanical reels and hand-tied reels. Modern slot machines utilize microprocessors to assign different probabilities to each symbol. As a result, the payouts are systematically higher than what is possible with old mechanical reels. A modern slot machine will usually pay out more than one jackpot in a single session. While some machines might give the player a jackpot after only one spin, the payback rate will often be low, and the odds are very low.