What Is a Slot?

A slot is a slit, groove, or narrow opening for receiving something. It is also the name of a position in a series, sequence, or hierarchy. The term is also used for a specific position in an airplane’s takeoff and landing pattern as assigned by a controller.

Charles Fey is credited with inventing the modern slot machine. Unlike the Sittman and Pitt version, his machine allowed automatic payouts and three reels. Instead of poker symbols, Fey’s machine featured hearts, spades, horseshoes, and liberty bells. Three aligned liberty bells earned the highest jackpot.

Slots are also used to describe the expected percentage of each wager that a machine will produce over time. This is called the slot’s “hold.” The higher the hold, the more likely a casino will earn money from players. Traditionally, casinos’ slot hold has ranged from 5 to 10 percent. However, the hold of some machines has risen substantially. Many industry observers attribute this to the popularity of high-hold penny video slots.

A slot is the space where a particular piece of information or activity fits into a larger system, such as an accounting software application. A slot can be defined by a user-defined criteria, such as a department, client, or project. Alternatively, it can be set by an administrator to match the system’s default allocation of time or resources.

When a slot is filled, the slot’s owner has access to the information or activity in the associated record. The process of filling a slot is called syncing. This can be done in several ways, including importing a spreadsheet or exporting a list of records from another source.

In computer gaming, a slot is a position in a virtual machine. These slots can be used for a variety of purposes, from playing games to managing player accounts. Many slots feature different game mechanics and payouts, as well as different types of bonus features. Some even offer progressive jackpots.

A slit or other narrow opening, especially one in a door, window, or wall. Also: a position or assignment: The slot editor is a great choice for this job.

An allocated, scheduled time for an aircraft to land or take off, as assigned by an airport or air traffic control. Also: a narrow gap between the tips of the primary wings of some birds, which helps maintain a smooth flow of air over the wings during flight.

A slot is a pool of resources that are available to jobs when they run. You can create and purchase slots for projects, folders, or organizations. When you purchase a slot, the associated jobs inherit its assignments. You can also assign slot commitments at a lower level, such as to a reservation, so that test jobs do not compete for the same resources as production workloads. For more information, see capacity-based pricing and on-demand pricing. You can also use a default reservation, which is automatically created as a convenience.