What is a Slot?


A thin opening, hole, groove, or channel in something. For example, you can put a postcard or letter through the slot in a mailbox.

In a casino, a slot is where you insert your money to activate the game for each spin. Until recently, players dropped coins into slots to make their wagers but this was replaced with bill validators and credit meters in live casinos and advance deposits on online slot machines.

The slot is also a position in football where certain receivers line up just inside the wideout, but outside of the tight end. This allows them to attack three levels of the defense — the tackles, linebackers, and secondary. The slot receiver is a vital piece to any offense because they have the ability to create big plays with their route running and timing skills. Tyreek Hill and Cole Beasley are two of the best examples of this type of receiver in the league today.

In computer science, a slot is a unit of execution that shares the same memory and pipeline as a task. The term was borrowed from electromechanical slot machines that had tilt switches, which would break a circuit and halt the reels. In modern machines, these are no longer necessary but any kind of fault that prevents a machine from paying out – such as a door switch in the wrong state or a paper jam – is still referred to as a “tilt”. The equivalent in a virtualized environment is more often called a function pipe or execute pipeline.