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What is a Slot?

A narrow notch or groove, as in a keyway in a lock, a slit for a coin in a vending machine, or a position in a group, series, or sequence. Also:

a position in the ice of a hockey rink, usually the area directly in front of the goaltender between the face-off circles, known as the low slot.

In a video slot machine, the player inserts cash or, in “ticket-in, ticket-out” machines, a paper ticket with a barcode into a slot, and then activates the machine by pressing a button (physical or virtual). The reels spin and stop to rearrange the symbols, and if a winning combination appears on the pay line, the machine awards credits according to the machine’s payout table. Symbols vary from game to game but classic symbols include fruit, bells, and stylized lucky sevens.

The name of a slot is usually given by its designer and may be related to a particular aesthetic or location. Many slots have a theme, and bonus features are typically aligned with that theme.

The word slot is often used to refer to the slit-like opening in a computer’s motherboard into which a printed circuit board can be inserted, although the term should not be confused with bays, which are sites inside a computer for installing disk drives. In general, emitting a signal that is connected to one or more slots is approximately ten times slower than calling those receivers directly, due to the overhead of checking for compatibility, safely iterating over all connections, and marshalling parameters.