What is a Slot?


A slot is an opening in the wing or tail surface of an airplane used as a control device. Also, a space in the fuselage of an aircraft that provides for airflow.

Until recently, slot machines had a reputation as all-or-nothing arcade devices that made some old ladies rich, but that image is changing rapidly. Thanks to better computer technology, casinos can now offer games with much higher jackpots and more excitement while still maximizing percentage payback and odds. “The slot machines of today are completely different than the ones that were invented back in the early 1900s,” Schull says. “Because of the new microprocessors, they can now offer up to 200 lines on a video screen — up and down and sideways, with each one having a different probability of hitting.”

The term slot is also used in hockey to refer to an area near the goal line where a defenseman can take a shot without the risk of deflection or a penalty. A well-placed one-timer from the high slot is considered one of the best shots in the game.

The term also is used in football to describe an offensive position, most commonly a wide receiver, but sometimes a tight end or fullback. Slot receivers often line up close to the offensive line, and they may be responsible for blocking defenders that break through the line of scrimmage to try to sack the quarterback. They may also be used as a check-down receiver if other, deeper routes are well-covered by the defense.