What Is a Slot?


A narrow opening into which something else can fit; a hole, slit, or vent. He slotted a new filter into the machine.

You checked in, made it through security, found your gate, queued to get on board, struggled with the overhead lockers and settled into your seat — only to be told that you’re still waiting for a slot. What’s a slot? And why can’t you take off as soon as you’re ready?

When slot machines first came out, the game was simple. Punters had to keep track of a few pay lines and one or two symbol types, but as manufacturers began to incorporate electronic devices into their machines, the number of possibilities exploded. Eventually, it was possible to design games with multiple reels and thousands of ways to win, and the number of symbols became so large that each had to be weighted to reflect its frequency on a physical reel.

Bonus rounds are a great way to add another dimension to a slot machine, but players must be careful to understand how they work and what they’re getting in return for their time. Bonus rounds can include things like free spins, a pick-me-style game or a random win multiplier sequence. In addition to this, some bonuses may require the player to activate a mechanical device to initiate the round, such as a secondary spinning wheel or additional reels designed specifically for this purpose.

A pay table is a key piece of information when playing any slot machine, as it will show the regular paying symbols and how much you can win for landing them on a winning combination. It will also display any bonus features that the slot has and how to trigger them.