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What Is a Slot?

What Is a Slot?

A narrow notch, groove or opening, such as a keyway in machinery or a slit for coins in a vending machine. Also, a period of time reserved for an activity: We booked a slot in the daytime.

An area in the offensive zone of a hockey rink that affords a favorable view of the goaltender and provides an opportunity for a wrist shot with the best chance for success without being deflected: The low slot is right in front of the net, while the high slot is in between the face-off circles. Also known as no man’s land.

In airport coordination, a time and place authorization to take off or land at a particular airport for a specific planned aircraft operation, as authorized by air traffic control: It’s critical to get in the slot before the rush hour arrives, so we don’t have to wait around forever.

The horizontal sections of a reel in a slot machine that spin when you press the spin button: Traditional slots have three vertical reels, while modern online slots can have five or more. The goal is to line up matching symbols along pay lines to win. Some slots also keep a percentage of every wager and add it to a jackpot, which can be won by a lucky player.

It’s a myth that you can predict the pattern of a slot’s reels by looking at how they lay after a previous spin: Each new spin creates a new set of data connected to that particular machine, independent of any past luck or patterns of other players. Similarly, it’s unwise to try and forecast the outcome of any individual spin by studying the pattern of previous wins or losses.