A narrow notch, groove or opening, as in a keyway in a machine, a slit for a coin in a vending machine, etc. Also, a position in a series or sequence, as of appointments with clients.
In gambling, a machine that pays out credits when matching symbols line up on the payline, usually with a fixed amount of money bet by the player. Modern slot machines use electronic screens instead of mechanical reels, and accept loyalty cards in place of coins. They typically have five to nine paylines, and the odds of hitting the jackpot depend on the number of available symbols and how they are weighted.
The term is also used to refer to an area of the ice hockey rink, with right-wingers and centers getting most of their scoring opportunities in the high slot, where they have a clear view of the net. This is a key reason why some players make a point of skating into the slot to create offensive chances for their team.
In work and life, using time slots to track multiple objectives and support consistency is an effective way to increase productivity and meet deadlines successfully. For example, health care providers often schedule urgent, routine and new patient appointments into different time slots to organize the workflow and help staff members prioritize tasks efficiently.