What is a Slot?

A slot is a narrow notch, groove, or opening, such as a keyway in machinery or a slit for coins in a vending machine. The word is also a place in a schedule or program, as in “I have an appointment at 3 pm this afternoon.” When you say that someone slots into something, it means they fit well there. A car seat belt, for example, slots easily into a slot in the car’s buckle.

In football, a slot receiver lines up in the middle of the field and is usually a little shorter and faster than outside wide receivers. They need to have excellent route-running skills, and they may even need to act as ball carriers on some running plays like end-arounds or pitch routes. On passing plays, they often need to run precise patterns that match up with other receivers in an effort to confuse the defense.

A slot is also a location in a computer motherboard, where expansion cards such as an ISA card, PCI card, or AGP card can be installed. In the old days, some players tried to cheat slot machines by inserting fake coin heads (known as slugs) into the slots instead of real coins. However, manufacturers designed more secure coin acceptance devices and the practice became obsolete. In modern online casinos, players can track their wins and losses on their mobile phones, without having to worry about pesky casino employees looking over their shoulders.