What is a Slot?


A slot is a narrow opening, especially one for receiving something.

A slot machine is a machine that pays out credits according to a pay table based on the possible combinations of symbols on the reels. The pay tables are usually listed above and below the reels on older machines and in a help menu on video slots. Some games also have a specific theme and include symbols that represent other game elements, such as multipliers.

Traditionally, a player inserts cash or, in “ticket-in, ticket-out” machines, a paper ticket with a barcode into a designated slot on the machine and activates the reels by pushing a button (either physical or on a touchscreen). When a winning combination is displayed, the machine pays out the credits according to the pay table. Depending on the game, symbols vary from traditional objects such as fruits, bells, and stylized lucky sevens to characters, locations, and themes.

Modern slot machines use microprocessors to determine the results of a spin. The computer calculates a sequence of numbers, which it records using the Random Number Generator (RNG) algorithm. The RNG generates thousands of combinations every second. The computer then selects the corresponding symbol on each reel and compares it to the pay table to find out whether to award credit. The probability of a particular symbol appearing on a payline is weighted, so it is more likely to appear than other symbols on the reel. This reduces the frequency of large payouts and jackpots but increases the probability of smaller wins.

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