A slot is a position on an airport runway used by aircraft to take off or land. A slot is often allocated to airlines on the basis of their capacity or runway availability. Airlines often compete to gain slots at congested airports. This can lead to delays, fuel burn and other issues. Central flow management slots are being increasingly used to help resolve such problems.
In football, a slot receiver is a wide receiver who lines up close to the line of scrimmage. This gives the receiver the ability to run routes up, in and out of formation without getting too far away from the defense. A good slot receiver is able to work with the quarterback to create separation and get open.
Slot is also a term used to describe the amount of space available on a computer for expansion cards such as an ISA, PCI or AGP slot. There are many different types of slots, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Some slots have a dedicated function, such as the expansion bus or memory, while others are more general, such as a disk drive or USB slot.
In the past, all slot machines used revolving mechanical reels to display and determine results. The number of combinations was limited because the physical reels only had about 10 symbols on each, which limited jackpot sizes and a machine’s ability to pay out regularly. As microprocessors became more prevalent, manufacturers programmed the slots to assign different probabilities to each symbol on each reel. This created the illusion that a certain symbol was “due” to appear, when in reality it was just another random chance.