What Is a Slot?


A slot is a narrow notch, groove, or opening, as in a keyway in machinery or a slit for a coin in a vending machine. It can also refer to a position in a group, series, or sequence. A slot in an airplane’s wing or tail surface, used for a high-lift or control device, is often referred to as a flap. The term is sometimes used for an open area on a hockey rink in front of the goal between the face-off circles.

A slots game is a type of gambling machine that uses spinning reels to display symbols and pay out credits according to the paytable. Players can insert cash or, in some “ticket-in, ticket-out” machines, paper tickets with barcodes into a slot on the machine to activate it. The reels then spin and stop to rearrange the symbols, and if a winning combination is displayed, the player earns credits based on the paytable. The games are often themed around a particular style, location, or character, and the symbols and bonus features vary accordingly.

The term slot is also used in sports to describe a position on a team’s roster, particularly among wide receivers. In recent seasons, teams have increasingly leaned on slot receivers, who are physically smaller and faster than traditional wide receivers. These players are targeted on a greater percentage of passing attempts, and teams typically use multiple defensive formations to account for their speed.

In computing, a slot is a position in a system’s operation issue and data path machinery that surrounds a set of one or more execution units (also called functional units, or FUs). The relationship between an operation in an instruction and the pipeline to execute it is specified by the slot. A slot can be assigned to a specific program or subroutine, or it may be shared across multiple programs.

A slot is also a container for dynamic items on the Service Center portal page that are managed by a slot manager. The contents of a slot are visible to only certain users, depending on their permissions and role. For example, only a slot manager can create and manage new slots, while an administrator can add and edit existing ones. To learn more about creating and managing slots, see the Using Slots chapter of the ATG Personalization Programming Guide.