What Is a Slot?


A slot is a place on a computer motherboard to hold a processor. It is designed to make upgrading the computer processor easier, by allowing users to slide the new one into the existing socket. Slots are not to be confused with the wider family of expansion slots, which connect to other devices such as ISA, AGP, and PCI cards.

The term slot is also used in a number of different ways:

In football, a wide receiver who lines up inside the line of scrimmage and slightly behind the outside wide receivers is referred to as a “slot” receiver. These players are important blockers for running plays, because they are in a position to seal off defensive backs and safety positions. They are especially crucial on sweeps and slants. In addition, slot receivers must be able to run routes that match up with the other wide receivers and create separation.

Many modern slot games feature various types of bonus features that can be triggered by landing specific symbols on the reels. These include everything from board game bonuses and memory-like games to free spins with unique mechanics. Some slots may even feature progressive jackpots that can grow to astronomical levels. However, it is important to keep in mind that slot games have a negative expected value and can cause players to lose money over the long haul.

When playing a slot machine, the pay table is located on the machine’s face and listed above and below the spin button. These tables list the symbols that can appear and how much they will pay out if they line up on a winning combination. They also describe any special symbols that can trigger bonus features and extra awards. The pay table is usually accompanied by a legend that explains the meaning of each symbol.

A slot machine’s credit meter is a large display that shows how many credits the player has. It is typically displayed in a seven-segment display, but on video slot machines it can be presented in a stylized form that suits the game’s theme. It can also indicate that change is needed, a hand pay is requested or that there is a problem with the machine. A candle on top of the slot machine will flash to indicate any of these events. Some mechanical slot machines also had tilt switches, which would change the state of a door switch and cause an alarm to sound. These features are rarely found on modern electromechanical slot machines, but any kind of technical malfunction is still referred to as a “tilt”.