A thin opening or groove into which something can be inserted, such as the slot on the edge of a door. Also a position in a group, series, or sequence, such as the slot on the left side of a classroom desk.
A slot is also the name of a computer chip inside a casino machine that determines whether or not a spin wins. These chips use algorithms that run dozens of numbers each second to help reach completely random results for each symbol on the reels. These algorithms have made the modern casino game much more reliable and dependable than previous methods of random number generation.
Once you push the “spin” button, the random number generator picks a set of three numbers that correspond to the stops on the reels. The computer then uses an internal table to map those numbers to the specific stop locations on each reel. When your three numbers match up with a symbol, you win.
While it’s tempting to play multiple machines at once if the casino is not busy, it is wise to stick with one machine so that you can easily watch over it. Otherwise, you might find yourself in the same predicament as a woman who was pumping money into machine number six while number one on her aisle was paying a jackpot. If you’re unsure how to size your bets based on your budget, consult a slot attendant or the machine’s pay table.