A slot is a narrow depression, perforation, or aperture; especially, one for the reception of a piece fitting or sliding in it.
In computers, a slot, or expansion slot, is an engineered technique for adding capability to a computer. Almost all desktop computers have a set of slots where you can insert an expansion card with circuitry that provides some specialized capability, such as video acceleration, sound, or disk drive control.
A slot also refers to a position within a group, series, sequence, or a sequence of events. For example, the slot in a schedule is a scheduled period of time.
The word is derived from the Old French esclot and the Old Norse slod.
Originally, slot machines had spinning cylinders that dispensed coins and displayed results. But as gambling became more popular, machines became highly computerized.
Today, many slot machines have screens with multiple animated reels. This keeps players engaged and encourages them to play several lines on the machine, thereby increasing their chance of winning.
Bonus modes are also available. These modes allow a slot machine to pay out a fixed number of coins, usually 15 for each spin, until the player runs out of money or stops the game.
While some people enjoy playing these bonus modes, others worry that the machines could be controlled centrally and make them less likely to win. They also feel that players may become addicted to the game, just as they do to video games. Psychologists Robert Breen and Marc Zimmerman found that slot-machine users are more prone to addiction than other types of casino players.