What Is a Slot?


In computer science, a slot is a set of bits that represents a single binary digit. Each bit in a computer’s memory is represented by a value within the slot that can be read or written as an integer. For example, the bits 00, 01, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 represent the binary number 125. Slots are used to store data, and can be used for other purposes as well, such as storing addresses. The term “slot” is also used to refer to a position on an aircraft’s wing, as well as an air gap between the wing and an auxiliary airfoil such as a flap or ailerons.

In the game of poker, a “slot” is an area on the table reserved for players who have not yet placed any bets. These slots are usually marked by a different color or some other indication that they are not active bets. This way, other players do not confuse the chips they have already placed on the table with those of newcomers who are still undecided about how much to invest in their game.

A slot is an opening in a machine that accepts cash or paper tickets with barcodes (in “ticket-in, ticket-out” machines). The machine is activated by pressing a button or lever. The reels then spin and, if a winning combination is achieved, the player receives credits according to the paytable. The symbols vary by machine, but classic symbols include fruit, bells, and stylized lucky sevens. Many slot games have a theme, and bonus features often align with that theme.

The “slot” in aviation is an authorization to take off or land at a specific airport on a given day during a specified time period, as managed by air traffic control. The goal is to manage the congestion of highly-trafficked airports, avoiding repeated delays from too many planes trying to take off or land at the same time.

In football, the slot receiver is a wide receiver who lines up between and slightly behind the outside wide receivers, and is typically smaller and faster than traditional wide receivers. A good slot receiver must be able to run all types of routes, but he or she will likely excel at running precise route patterns. The slot receiver must also be able to block, especially on plays like pitch plays and end-arounds when he or she is not the ball carrier.