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What Is a Slot?

What Is a Slot?

A narrow notch, groove, or opening, as in a keyway in machinery, a slit for a coin in a vending machine, etc. Also figuratively: a position in a series or sequence; a time-slot.

A slot in a computer is an area where you can insert add-on boards, such as expansion cards. A slot is not to be confused with a bay, which is an area in a computer where you can install disk drives.

Until the 1990s, casino gamblers dropped coins into slots to activate games for each spin. But the machines were soon fitted with bill validators and credit meters that made it easier to think of wagers as “credits,” not cash. In the meantime, software developers have let their imaginations run wild, resulting in creative bonus events like the crime-zone chase on NetEnt’s Cash Noire and outer-space cluster payoffs on ReelPlay’s Cosmic Convoy.

When searching for a new slot to play, read the game description carefully and check the developer’s website for player videos. These videos will give you a sense of how the game plays out, its peaks and valleys, and any lucrative bonuses. Also, look for a game’s volatility rating. A low-volatility slot pays out often, but the wins are small; a high-volatility slot is risky but can yield big prizes. A good rule of thumb is to choose a game with a higher volatility rating and lower maximum bet amount. This will help you avoid a big loss if you hit a dry spell.