A slot is an authorization to take off or land at a specific airport during a specified time period. Air traffic control uses slots to help manage congestion and avoid repeated delays when multiple aircraft are trying to take off or land at the same time.

A Slot is also a hockey term for an area of the ice where the offense has the best chance of scoring a goal without deflection, because of the direct line of sight to the net. The slot is a desirable position for centers and wings, who can shoot the puck straight toward the net. On the other hand, defenders make it a point to establish themselves in the slot to prevent opposing players from entering it.

In a slot machine, the player inserts cash or, in “ticket-in, ticket-out” machines, a paper ticket with a barcode that is scanned. The machine then activates the reels to rearrange the symbols. When a winning combination appears, the player earns credits based on the pay table. Most slot games have a theme, and the symbols and other bonus features are aligned with that theme. Adding to the excitement is the fact that modern slot machines are programmed with electronics, which allow them to weight particular symbols and increase their odds of appearing on the payline. This increases the maximum jackpot size as well as the number of possible combinations. In addition, some slot machines have a pay both ways or adjacent pays feature that can further enhance the maximum win potential.