A slot is a slit or other narrow opening, especially one for receiving something. (See also hole, slit, and aperture.) A person or thing that occupies a slot is a position or place: The car occupied the central slot on the road.

In the old days, when people played slots they pulled a lever or button and won or lost. Now computerized machines let players bet on many paylines in a row. These lines may run vertically, horizontally, diagonally, or in a zigzag pattern. The more paylines a player activates, the higher the chances of winning. Symbols vary by game, but classic symbols include fruits, bells, and stylized lucky sevens. Most slot games have a theme, and the symbols and bonuses are aligned with that theme.

Some slot machine manufacturers use a process called plunging, which involves cutting the entire width of a slot using axial cuts. This method reduces tool deflection, vibrations, and heat buildup, but it does not produce a good surface finish. Most of the time, a finishing cut is required using other tools.