A slot is a position in a group, series, or sequence. From the Latin word for hole, slot means to place or set in a specified way. For example, a slot in a door or a slot in the ground are ways to set something into its proper position. The term also refers to the position of an aircraft or ship on a runway, especially at congested times.
The pay table is the section of a slot that displays how it pays out winning combinations of symbols and explains the game rules. When a slot has bonus features, these are usually explained in the pay table as well. These could include free spins, scatters, wilds or mystery pick games.
In the old days, a slot machine had only 22 stops on each physical reel, which meant there were only 22, or about 10,648 combinations, for each spin. This limited the jackpot size and made it harder to predict which symbols would appear on a given payline. To remedy this, manufacturers began to weigh particular symbols.
In football, a slot receiver is a smaller player who can stretch the defense vertically and catch passes from multiple angles. They run shorter routes on the route tree, such as slants or quick outs, and they need to be quicker than traditional wide receivers. As a result, teams tend to put more emphasis on speed and agility when recruiting slot receivers. They are a key part of many offenses, particularly in the NFL.