A slot is a narrow opening in something, especially a machine or container. A coin dropped into a slot on the gumball machine caused it to dispense a prize. The slot on the car seat belt fit easily. The word is also a noun meaning the time allocated for an activity, such as a meeting or flight. Many airports and air-traffic control centers have a number of slots available for each plane at specific times.
The slot is the part of the machine where a player inserts cash or, in “ticket-in, ticket-out” machines, a paper ticket with a barcode. The machine then activates reels that rearrange symbols to create combinations and pay credits based on the game’s paytable. Symbols vary, but classic examples include fruits, bells and stylized lucky sevens. Most slot games have a theme, and bonus features usually align with that theme.
The payouts and winning possibilities for a slot game are displayed in its pay table, along with information on the game’s rules and any bonus features it may have. Depending on the game, these may be as simple as a minimum and maximum bet or as complex as detailed instructions on how to trigger a particular feature round. The pay table will also explain the number of paylines a slot has, which are the horizontal lines on the reels where matching symbols need to line up to form a potential win. In some modern online slot games, there are multiple paylines as well as a variety of other exciting features such as sticky wilds, expanding wilds and re-spins.