A slot is a slit or narrow opening, especially one used for receiving something, such as a coin or letter. A slot can also refer to a position or role, as in “a job for someone with the right skill set.”
A computer processor connection slot, usually found on older computers, is designed to make it easier to upgrade and replace processors. Today, newer computers use sockets instead of slots.
The word slot is also used to refer to a specific kind of slot machine, typically an electromechanical game with three reels and a single pay line. These machines take cash or, in the case of some “ticket-in, ticket-out” machines, a barcoded paper ticket with a magnetic stripe, and then dispense credits according to a paytable. In some machines, the player can choose how many of the available pay lines to bet on. This is sometimes referred to as a ‘flexible slot’, while others offer a fixed number of paylines.
Penny, nickel, and quarter slots are often called cousins because they all have a low limit, meaning they are perfect for people on a budget or who want to try out their luck with a smaller amount of money. Quarter slots in particular have a higher value than nickel and penny slot games and are considered to be less risky as well. Since all slot machines have a negative expected value, however, it is important to play responsibly and within your bankroll.