What is a Slot?

A slot is a narrow opening, especially in something like a machine or container. You might say, “He dropped the coin into the slot” or, “The car seat belt slotted into place easily.”

In aviation, a time-restricted period during which an aircraft can take off or land at an airport, authorized by air traffic control. See also slat, slot time, and slot definition.


A space on a motherboard, typically reserved for expansion cards. Some slots are IDE (Integrated Drive Electronics), AGP (Accelerated Graphics Port) or ATA (ATAPI). Others, such as the memory slots on a modern computer, are used to expand system memory.


A tall machine that spins reels to display symbols, some of which can align in a winning pattern for a payout. Usually, you insert cash or, in ticket-in, ticket-out machines, a paper ticket with a barcode, and then activate the machine by pressing a lever or button. Depending on the game, you earn credits based on a pay table. Some slots are themed, and the symbols and bonus features are aligned with that theme.


A position in front of an opponent’s goal in ice hockey, affording the attacking player a good vantage point. Also known as the face-off slot.

When playing slot, be aware of how quickly it can become addictive and seek help if you think you have a gambling problem. Also, consider setting limits on the amount of money you’re willing to spend per session and how long you can play.