What is a Slot?


A slot is an opening, or gap, in a machine or container into which a thing can be inserted. It can also refer to an aperture in a computer motherboard that accepts expansion cards, or to any of the holes used to hold screws and other fasteners. A slot can also refer to an individual reed on the side of a musical instrument.

A slot machine is a gambling device that accepts cash or, in the case of “ticket-in, ticket-out” machines, a paper ticket with a barcode. A player activates the machine by pressing a button (either physical or on a touchscreen), which causes the reels to spin and then stop to rearrange the symbols. If the symbols form a winning combination, the player earns credits based on the paytable. The payouts vary by machine and can be substantial.

There are two types of slots: traditional mechanical machines in casinos and online slot games played on computers and mobile devices. Both use a Random Number Generator (RNG) to produce a random sequence of numbers every millisecond. The RNG then finds the corresponding reel locations and causes the reels to stop at those positions. If the resulting symbols match a payline, the player wins. Some online casinos offer provably fair slot games, which use algorithms that can be verified to be fair by the players. These algorithms are usually stored in a cryptographic “shelf” that can be accessed by the player to confirm their authenticity.