What Is a Slot?

A narrow notch, groove, or opening, as a keyway in machinery or a slit for a coin in a slot machine. Also, a position in a group, series, sequence, or hierarchy.

A position in which a part or component fits, especially in an aircraft or automobile. In computer systems, a slot is the logical place for an operation within the pipeline of a given execution unit. The concept is common in very long instruction word (VLIW) computers.

The slot system is designed to keep takeoffs and landings spaced out so that air traffic controllers can safely manage the flow of aircraft. When an airline applies to fly at a particular time and day, the airport authority reviews the request and decides whether or not it has enough available slots.

When you play a slot game, your money is converted into credits or coins that can be worth anywhere from pennies to $100. Each machine has a specific credit value, called the denomination. The denomination is usually indicated by a light at the top of the slot machine, known as a candle or tower light.

The pay table of a slot game shows all the symbols in the game, as well as how much you can win for landing 3, 4 or 5 matching symbols on a payline. The pay table will often be themed to fit the overall look of the slot, and it can be helpful for understanding how the game works before you start playing. Some pay tables also show the slot’s RTP, or return to player percentage, which reflects how much the game is expected to payout over a certain period of time.