Slot Receiver


A narrow notch or groove, as in a keyway in a piece of machinery or a slit for a coin in a vending machine. The man slotted the coins into the coin slot.

A position on an offensive team, especially one who receives the ball frequently and performs a variety of routes. Slot receivers are often shorter and faster than traditional wide receivers, and they must be precise with their routes to get open on passing plays. They also serve as blockers on running plays, helping to shield the ball carrier from blitzes from linebackers and secondary players.

In conventional mechanical slots, a player inserts cash or, in “ticket-in, ticket-out” machines, a paper ticket with a barcode into a slot on the machine and pulls a lever or button (physical or on a touchscreen) to activate the reels. The symbols on the reels then stop to rearrange themselves and, if the symbols line up on a pay line, the player earns credits according to the machine’s payout table. Modern video slot games, by contrast, use computers to read the results of each spin and determine whether the player has won.

In football, the slot receiver is a position that has become increasingly important to offenses in recent years. Typically shorter and quicker than the other wide receivers on a team, slot receivers are often used as a decoy while the outside receivers run more complex routes. They are also called upon to carry the ball as part of pitch plays, reverses, and end-arounds.