What Is a Slot?


When used as a noun, slot refers to the position in a game of chance where a player can place a bet. Players insert cash or, in “ticket-in, ticket-out” machines, paper tickets with barcodes into the designated slot. The reels then spin and, if a winning combination is formed, the player earns credits according to the pay table. Most slots have a theme, with symbols and other bonus features aligned with that theme.

In the early days of slot games, players only had to keep track of a few pay lines and one or two symbol types. Now, with numerous bonus features and a wide variety of different symbol types, it can be challenging to keep track of everything. That’s why most online slot games include information tables known as pay tables that display a machine’s regular symbols, payout values, and how to trigger any bonus features that may be available.

Depending on the game, the pay table may be permanently displayed or, more often with touchscreen displays, a series of images that can be switched between to view all possible wins. The pay table area can also list information on the game’s jackpot amounts and any other game rules that are relevant to the specific machine’s theme.

Another important piece of information included in the pay table is a machine’s POP and RTP statistics. POP (percentage of operating profit) indicates how much a machine is expected to pay out over its lifetime, while RTP (return to player percentage) gives an indication of how well the machine is currently performing in terms of winning combinations.