A slot is an opening, groove or narrow aperture in something. In computer terminology, a slot is an area on a motherboard where you can insert expansion cards such as an ISA or PCI card. A slot is not to be confused with a bay, which is an area in a computer where you can install disk drives.
In a slot machine, a player inserts cash or, in the case of “ticket-in, ticket-out” machines, a paper ticket with a barcode into a designated slot on the machine and activates it by pressing a button, either physical or on a touchscreen. The reels then spin, and if the symbols line up as described in the machine’s pay table, the player earns credits according to the payout percentages listed there. Most slots have multiple paylines, and some have wild symbols that can substitute for other symbols to create winning lines.
In football, a slot receiver is an offensive position whose primary responsibility is to receive short passes from the quarterback and run patterns across the field toward the end zone or into open space for a touchdown. Slot receivers are usually well-covered by opponents, so their runs must be fast and efficient. In addition, they must be able to catch the ball with one hand. If they do not have good hands or are easily defended, they will be limited in their opportunities for big plays. In many cases, the quarterback will draw up plays specifically for the slot receiver.