What is a Slot?

A narrow notch or opening, such as one in a machine that accepts coins. Also, a position in a group, series, or sequence.

Charles Fey’s invention of the slot machine revolutionized the gambling industry. Fey’s machine used a reel instead of a drum and allowed for automatic payouts. The reels displayed symbols such as diamonds, spades, horseshoes, hearts, and Liberty Bells. When three aligned Liberty Bells appeared on the payline, the player won the jackpot. The popularity of slots continues to grow today, thanks to their simple game mechanics and generous winning potential.

When you play a slot machine, the pay table will describe how the game works and list the regular paying symbols and their payouts. The table will also tell you what the maximum win is and if there is a progressive jackpot. If the game has bonus features, the pay table will also explain how to trigger these and what they entail.

When you play a slot machine, keep in mind that the random number generator assigns a unique combination of numbers to each stop on the reels. Every time the slot receives a signal — from a button being pressed or a handle being pulled, for example — it sets a new combination of numbers and stops on the reels. If you leave a machine only to return and see another player hit the same combination, don’t worry: The odds of hitting that particular combo are so high that anyone who has played the slot would have encountered the same split-second timing as the winner.