Depending on the type of slot machine, players can insert cash or paper tickets with barcodes into a designated slot. The machine then activates reels that spin and reposition the symbols according to a pay table. When a winning combination appears, the player earns credits based on the paytable. In addition, some slot machines have special features such as scatter and wild symbols.

A slot is a narrow notch, groove or opening, as in a keyway in a lock, a slit for a coin in a machine, or an area on a playing card. The term can also refer to a position in a group, series or sequence.

In computing, a slot is a site within a computer motherboard into which a printed circuit board can be inserted. Unlike bays, which are sites for disk drives, slots are usually on the back side of the motherboard. Using slots to add additional capability to a computer is sometimes referred to as “scaling” it.

Slot can also refer to an allotment of time or space for an aircraft to take off or land, as authorized by air-traffic control. In this sense, it is similar to a lane in highway traffic or a berth on a train or ship. The phrase can also refer to an allotment in a sports game, such as the number of points or goals awarded by a rules official.

The term slot can also refer to a specific role on a football team, particularly the position of wide receiver. Slot receivers typically play closer to the middle of the field than traditional wide receivers, and they must be able to run routes that involve a lot of elusion and evasion. They are also at a greater risk of injury because they are more likely to be hit by opposing defensive tackles.

In the past decade or so, professional football teams have increasingly emphasized the importance of slot receivers. They are often shorter and quicker than traditional wide receivers, and they must have the speed and agility to catch passes from quarterbacks and avoid defenders. They are particularly important on running plays, where they block for the ball carrier and help him to elude and evade defenders.

A slot is a place or position in which something can be placed easily and quickly, as in “He slotted the new filter into the machine.” It can also mean the job or position of someone in a group, series or sequence, as in “He had the slot as chief copy editor at the Gazette.” Also, see slots (definition 1).