What Is a Slot?

A narrow notch, hole, or opening, especially one for receiving something, as a coin or a letter. Also figuratively: an assignment, berth, position, or time slot.

Charles Fey’s 1887 invention of the slot machine revolutionized gambling by allowing automatic payouts and adding three reels, so that players could win with combinations like diamonds, spades, horseshoes, hearts, and, best of all, three aligned liberty bells. Fey’s machine was a huge hit, and other developers soon copied it.

In computing, a slot is a logical unit of time within a database change stream that can be consumed by multiple consumers at the same time. A slot’s state is independent of the states of its receivers, so a receiver can be assigned to different slots at the same time.

Increased hold is decreasing the average time players spend on machines, according to research. Some argue that players can’t ‘feel’ the effect of hold changes, but others point to the math: more spins in a shorter period mean less time spent on each spin.