A slot is a place where something can be put. The word comes from the Latin sclandum, meaning “place for a thing.” In a slot machine, when you pull a lever or press a button, the reels spin and the symbols on them line up. The number of matching symbols determines if and how much you win. When playing online slots, it is important to read the pay table to understand how many symbols can match and what the payouts will be. The pay table is usually located above and below the reels or in a pop-up window in a game screen.
The slot is also a term in football, where it refers to the position of a wide receiver in relation to the rest of the team. Slot receivers are close to the center of the field, which makes them susceptible to big hits from opposing defenses. They must be able to run precise routes in order to get open for receptions and make plays down the field.
A slot is also the name of an opening in a computer into which you can insert printed circuit boards to expand its capabilities. A slot is not to be confused with bay, which is a site within a computer into which disk drives can be inserted. The terms also may refer to a notch or other similar opening in the tips of some birds’ primaries, which helps them maintain a smooth flow of air over their wings during flight.