What Is a Slot?

A slot is a position in a queue, list or set. A slot is also a place on a motherboard where an expansion card can be inserted. In computer networking, a slot may also refer to a specific Ethernet port or to an AGP (accelerated graphics port) or PCI (peripheral component interconnect) slot.

In a slot machine, a player inserts cash or, in “ticket-in, ticket-out” machines, a paper ticket with a barcode into a designated slot. The machine then activates a series of reels that spin and stop to rearrange symbols. If the resulting combination matches a winning one listed in the machine’s pay table, the player earns credits based on the amount of the bet. Symbols vary from game to game but are often aligned with the machine’s theme.

Modern slot machines are programmed to produce a variety of possible outcomes with each spin, using random number generators. This technology helps ensure that the odds of hitting a jackpot remain the same for all players.

It’s important to understand how to read a slot’s pay table so you can make the most of your time playing it. In addition to listing the different types of symbols, a pay table will tell you how much you can win for landing 3, 4 or 5 matching symbols on a pay line. A pay table can also include information about side bets, wild symbols and scatters, as well as the game’s RTP (return to player) percentage.