What Is a Slot?


A narrow notch or groove, as in the slit for coins in a vending machine or the elongated opening in an envelope that allows it to fit through the slot on a mail sorter.

In computer processing, a space used for an expansion card, especially one that plugs into the motherboard and provides extra functionality such as video display, sound or additional memory. Originally, slots were designed to make upgrading processors easier by only needing to swap out the old card and installing a new one. Now, they are also used to separate logic blocks from the main CPU in order to improve performance and allow for more memory.

An allocated time and place for an aircraft to take off or land, as authorized by the air traffic control system at an airport or other airfield. In a more general sense, the term may refer to a pre-set time when a certain activity is scheduled to occur, such as an advertisement being published in a newspaper or a meeting being held in a conference room.

The slot in a game of slot machines is the small amount paid out to keep a player seated and betting, and may be referred to as “the taste.” While many casinos are keen on keeping players playing by offering comps, the best way to play slots is with a clear understanding of how they work.

Penny slots are designed to be extra appealing with flashing lights, jingling jangling sounds and a profusion of colors. This makes them an easy target for the unwary, and it is important to protect your bankroll at all times. It’s also important to know when enough is enough and to stop before you start to run out of money.

A slot is a device on a game console that can be programmed to display different games and combinations of those games. These can range from simple single-player video games to more complex multi-player games with advanced graphics and features. The slots are usually built into the main body of the console and are easily accessible, but some systems have them built into the controllers or in a separate compartment on the top or bottom of the unit.

Slots are becoming more prevalent in the NFL as teams look for smaller, quicker receivers to stretch the defense vertically off of their speed. Unlike traditional boundary receivers who are limited to going in the direction of the ball carrier, slot receivers can run shorter routes on the route tree such as slants and quick outs. This allows them to gain yards after the catch, and can help balance an offense that is heavily reliant on the short passing game. These players are often compared to wide receivers such as Tyreek Hill and Brandin Cooks. These type of receivers can often create big plays for their team if they are given the opportunity to do so. They are not only extremely fast, but they can also catch the ball with ease and are not afraid of contact.