What Is a Slot?

A time slot is a position on the calendar when an activity can be scheduled. Using slots allows for better planning and reduces scheduling conflicts. For example, if you have two meetings in the same room, it’s easy to schedule one meeting around the other so that both people can attend both.

A slot is also the name of an expansion port on a motherboard, used to connect additional devices such as graphics cards or hard drives. The number of slots can vary, depending on the manufacturer and type of motherboard. A slots designation may also be used for ports on other types of computer hardware, such as external hard drives and USB hubs.

In the casino, slots are a favorite game because they are simple to play and offer a quick way to win credits. In most cases, you can simply insert cash or, in ticket-in, ticket-out machines, a paper ticket with a barcode into a designated slot to activate the reels and begin playing. Typically, winning is as easy as lining up identical symbols in a row.

The random-number generators that control modern slots make a thousand mathematical calculations per second. When a signal is received (anything from a button being pushed to the handle being pulled on a mechanical machine) the computer chips record the sequence and finds the corresponding reel locations. The reels then stop at those placements to produce a combination of symbols. The result cannot be predicted, so there’s no such thing as a hot or cold slot.