What Is a Slot?


A slot is a narrow opening, such as in a machine or container, into which something may be inserted. The term is also used to describe a period of time in which an activity can take place, such as when a visitor books a tour or museum visit with a time slot.

The term is also used in computer technology to refer to a specific position on a motherboard, where an expansion card may be plugged in, or for a peripheral device such as a printer or hard disk drive. A motherboard can have many slots.

In a computer, a slot acts as a dynamic placeholder that either waits for content to be filled (a passive slot) or is active and calls out for it. The content for the slot is dictated by a scenario that uses an Add Items to Slot action or by a targeter to fill the slot with content. A slot, along with a scenario and a renderer, work together to deliver content to a Web page.

Some people believe that a slot machine will pay out in cycles, or that it can be predicted when it will pay out next. This is incorrect, as the payouts of a slot machine are random and do not depend on previous spins or any other factors. A machine will never know that it is about to pay out, or when it will do so. It is also important to remember that the payouts of a slot machine are multiplied by the number of coins per spin.