What is a Slot?


You check-in on time, make it through security, find your gate, queue to get on board and finally settle back into your seat. Then the captain comes on and says, “We’re waiting for a slot.” What is this, and why can’t you take off?

A slot is a narrow opening or groove. It can also refer to a position in a group, series or sequence (e.g., a position on a list or in a job). The word is also used to describe a fixed time for an event or meeting. For example, you might book a meeting with someone for “3pm on Tuesday in the conference room.”

In computerized slot machines, the credit meter is typically displayed on a small display screen. The meter shows the amount of money or credits wagered, and may also indicate whether the machine is ready for hand pay or has a technical problem. Depending on the game’s theme, the display can also include a variety of symbols that match the theme.

A slot is also a type of machined feature in metalworking. It can be cut by axial cutting, such as drilling, or by using a milling cutter that makes radial cuts. In either case, proper chip evacuation is essential to maintain productivity and prevent heat build-up. This is usually accomplished by flushing with coolant or lubricant, or by using special tools that break chips from the cutting zone. If the machine is not properly evacuated, the tool can deflect or vibrate, leading to poor surface finish and higher scrap rates.