A slot is a position in a group, series, sequence or appointment. It is also a place in a queue or on a team. It can be a time-based or value-based allocation. The meaning of the word has evolved over the years, but it is now generally considered to be a position or time in which something can take place. Examples of a slot are:
A slot in an airline flight. If you’ve checked in on time, made your way through security and found your gate, you might find yourself waiting around while the captain is trying to find a “slot”. This is because he isn’t allowed to take off until someone has reserved a seat or space for him on the plane.
In electromechanical slot machines, a tilt switch (or a tamper-proof equivalent) was used to detect if a machine had been tampered with or misaligned. This triggered a circuit break, which stopped the reels from spinning and prevented the machine from paying out until it was restored to its original condition. Today, slot machines don’t need a mechanical tilt switch but can still be affected by tampering or misalignment.
A pay table for a slot game lists the prizes you can win by landing certain combinations of symbols on a pay line. It will typically have a picture of each symbol and how much you can win for landing (typically) 3, 4 or 5 of them on a payline. Some slots also feature information about Scatter or Bonus symbols.