A slot is a narrow opening or position, especially one for receiving something, such as a coin or a letter. It can also refer to a place in a series or sequence, or to an assignment or job: He had the slot as chief copy editor of the Gazette.
A computerized slot machine allows a player to bet on several lines simultaneously, and each line has a different probability of winning. These microprocessors allow manufacturers to assign a weighted probability to each stop on each reel, so that winning symbols appear more often than losing ones. The appearance of a particular symbol can thus seem to be disproportionately close on the screen, whereas in reality it is not.
The credit meter on a slot machine is a display of the total amount of credits the machine has earned based on the paytable. In mechanical slot machines, this is a seven-segment display, while video slots have displays that match the game’s theme. A slot’s tilt can be a technical fault, in the sense that the machine is not in the correct vertical position, or a more serious problem such as a door switch in the wrong state or a lack of paper.
A slot in a schedule or program is an opening for an activity, such as a client appointment. Health care providers, for example, may use time-slot scheduling to help organize urgent appointments and routine check-ups with patients. The practice is also common in aviation, where central flow management has led to huge savings in delays and fuel burn.