A narrow notch, groove or opening, such as a keyway in machinery or a slit for a coin in a vending machine. Also: (in linguistics) a position in a construction into which a morpheme or morpheme sequence fits. He slotted the CD into the player.

A gambling machine that accepts coins or paper tickets with barcodes, spins the reels and pays off the winning combination when a lever or button is pushed. Modern slot machines have multiple paylines and a variety of symbols, including bells, bars, numbers (7 is the most common), and pictured fruits such as cherries, oranges, lemons, and watermelons. Many also offer a jackpot. In some countries, laws prohibit gambling machines or limit their size.

The game’s theme and developer are important factors in the overall appeal of a slot. A game with an interesting backstory is more likely to attract players’ attention, as are games that follow a popular movie or TV show. For example, a slot themed after a gripping drama like The Walking Dead might have players interacting with their favorite characters and attempting to defeat the undead while navigating obstacles along the way. Similarly, a slot themed after a famous game show such as Deal or No Deal might ask players to select cards in order to try and win big money. Although the visible reels may seem to determine what symbols appear on the screen, the odds of hitting a particular symbol are actually determined by how the machine’s computer programs are programmed.