A narrow opening into which something can be fitted or placed.

A slot is also a place in a sequence or series, or the position of someone or something in relation to others. In computer science, a slot is the logical placement of an expansion card (such as an ISA, PCI, or AGP slot) on a motherboard. See the motherboard definition for more information. The word slot is also a pun on the word “slot” meaning “slit” or “narrow opening,” derived from the Latin verb slitare, to cut into or fit (source of English word slots).

In modern casinos, players insert cash or, in “ticket-in, ticket-out” machines, paper tickets with barcodes, into a slot. The machine then activates by means of a lever or button (physical or virtual) and spins the reels to arrange symbols in combinations that pay out credits according to the machine’s pay table. The symbols vary, but classic symbols include fruits, bells, and stylized lucky sevens. Many slot games have a theme, and bonus features align with that theme.

Despite their popularity, slot machines can be confusing to understand. There are countless myths about slot machines, which people pass along like old wives tales until they become gospel. Some of these myths may be based on real-world observations, but most are simply erroneous. For instance, did you know that slot machines near the entrance of a casino pay out more often? Or that a slot machine’s reinforcement schedule is designed to keep you playing as long as possible?