What is a Slot?


A narrow opening into which something can be fitted, as in a hole through which coins can be dropped in a slot machine. The word can also refer to a position in a schedule or program: Visitors can book time slots a week or more in advance. Also, as a verb, to fit something into a slot: She slotted a new filter into the machine.

From Middle Dutch or Middle Low German slit, from Proto-Germanic *slutila (source also of German slut, Old Frisian sletel, slut, Dutch sluiten, and German Schloss “bolt, bar, lock, castle”), from PIE root *klau- “hook, nail, peg, pin.”

In the beginning, slots were simple. Punters only had to keep track of a couple of paylines and a few symbols, and the various payouts could easily be printed directly on the game glass. Today, however, there’s a lot more going on in most slot games. To make sure players understand the various combinations and winning possibilities, developers have included information tables known as pay tables.

Many of these tables follow a common theme, like ancient figures from Egypt or Greece, and have card numbers from nine thru ace to give the player an idea of what symbol combinations will earn them the biggest prize. The pay table will also tell you what the minimum denomination is and how much you can win by landing three, four or even five of the same symbols. The most important thing to remember about playing a slot is that it’s always best to play the maximum bet.