What is a Slot?

A slot is an opening or hole in a machine, part, or assembly. The word is also used to describe a position in a sequence or series, as in “the slot in the schedule” or “his appointment at 4 o’clock”. Other meanings include a time of day when a visit can be scheduled (e.g., lunch or coffee), a place where something can be put, or the space between two pieces of equipment (e.g., a gap in a chain or belt).

In a computer, a slot is the site where printed circuit boards can be inserted. These are called expansion slots, and they may be found on the back or front of a computer case. It is important not to confuse slots with bays, which are sites in a computer where disk drives can be installed.

Online slots are one of the most popular forms of gambling. They are easy to play and offer players the chance of a big payout. In addition to the traditional spinning reels, many of these games also include bonus rounds and mini-games. These features can add to the excitement of playing slots and can make them more appealing to a wide range of gamblers.

In football, a slot receiver is a small, fast receiver who can stretch the defense vertically by running shorter routes on the route tree, such as slants and quick outs. Slot receivers are becoming increasingly common in the NFL, and they can be a valuable weapon in any offense. Psychologists have found that people who play video slot machines reach a debilitating level of addiction three times more rapidly than those who play other casino games.