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What Is a Slot?

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A slot is a position within a sequence, series or group. It can also refer to an assignment or job opening.

In slot machine games, a player inserts cash or, in “ticket-in, ticket-out” machines, a paper ticket with a barcode into a designated slot on the machine and activates it by pushing a button or lever. The reels then spin and stop to rearrange symbols, and if the symbols match a winning combination as specified in the machine’s paytable, the player earns credits based on that table. Most slot games have a theme that ties together the symbols, payouts and bonus features.

Among the most important features listed in a slot machine’s pay table is how many pay lines it has. The number of pay lines in a slot game defines how much can be won for landing matching symbols on consecutive reels, from left to right. The paytable will typically display a picture of each symbol and how much can be earned for landing three, four or five matching symbols on a payline.

In ice hockey, a slot is an unmarked area in front of an opponent’s goal that affords a vantage point for an attacking player. The term is also used to describe a time or place in which an aircraft can take off or land, as scheduled by an air-traffic controller. Similarly, the term is sometimes applied to a position in an office hierarchy or administrative structure.

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