A slot is a narrow opening, usually on the side of a machine, into which coins are dropped to activate the machine and allow the player to win credits. A slot is also a position on a schedule or program where an event can take place, for example, a time for an appointment. The term can also refer to a space where something fits, such as a CD into a CD player or a seat belt in a car.
A slot receiver is a football player who lines up in the backfield and runs precise routes, typically outside wide or deep. These players have fast feet, good hands and top-notch route running skills, as well as the ability to get open against tight coverage. They also need to be excellent blockers, as they often act as a shield for the quarterback on pitch plays, reverses and end-arounds.
A slot machine is a gambling machine that pays out winnings based on the number of symbols matched in a row on a paytable. The symbols vary by game, but classics include bells, fruit and stylized lucky sevens. Modern slot machines use random number generator (RNG) software to determine how many symbols land, how much is won and whether a jackpot is won. They are calibrated in advance to return a set percentage of the money they receive, usually around 95 per cent. This is how casinos make their profits from the machines, although players can often walk away with more than they put in.