A slot is a narrow opening in something such as a machine or container. A slot in a schedule or program is a time when an activity can take place.
In a football play, a receiver who can receive short passes from the quarterback is called a slot receiver. This is because they are used in plays designed to get the ball to them.
The slots in a machine are activated by pulling the handle, which triggers a series of spins. Afterwards, symbols on the reels match up with those on a pay table to make a winning line. The payouts on the machines vary from a fraction of the amount inserted to a maximum prize. In addition, some of the machines can be linked together to allow a portion of each inserted coin to go into a super jackpot, which may reach a large sum before it is won. This system has been popular with gamblers and has brought in huge revenues for casinos. But the system has spawned a new generation of players who have figured out how to cheat it. This has made many casino managers reluctant to change long-held operating and marketing strategies.