What is a Slot?

A slot is a narrow notch or opening, especially one for receiving something, as a coin in a vending machine or a card in a game of chance. It can also refer to a position, as in a sequence or series. The phrase is often abbreviated as “slot”. The word comes from the Dutch for ‘place’ or “position in a sequence.” The first recorded use of the term in English was in the late 16th century, but it became commonplace in the 17th and 18th centuries.

The slots on a game of chance are weighted differently. In the past, each symbol appeared only once on a physical reel (so that a player might think that a winning symbol was “so close”), but microprocessors have allowed manufacturers to assign different weighting to symbols so that they appear less or more frequently as they spin. This reduces the odds of a particular symbol appearing, but increases the number of potential combinations for a jackpot.

During the game of slot, players insert cash or, in “ticket-in, ticket-out” machines, paper tickets with barcodes into a designated slot on the machine. Then the machine activates a mechanism that spins and stops the reels to rearrange the symbols. If the player hits a winning combination of symbols, he or she earns credits based on the paytable. Typical symbols include fruits, bells, and stylized lucky sevens. Most slots have a theme, and the symbols and bonus features are aligned with that theme.

A computer’s expansion slots, sometimes called PCI slots, are places to connect plug-in circuit boards that add functionality to the system. These expansion cards contain chips that enable a computer to support additional hardware capabilities, such as video acceleration or disk drive control. Almost all modern desktop computers have a set of expansion slots.

BigQuery dynamically re-evaluates capacity availability for slots as query’s dynamic DAG changes, allocating or pausing the appropriate number of slots as needed. BigQuery also manages slot allocation for ML workloads using the machine learning scheduler.

Slots have been around for decades, but it was only in the 1950s that Redd used emerging technology to improve their form and function, propelling them from the periphery of casino operators’ business models to their leading source of revenue today. While Hirsch and others dismissed slots as trivial and viewed them with derision, Redd recognized that they could offer an opportunity to create new, high-margin products. This foresight led to a series of milestones that eliminated many of the weaknesses that caused Hirsch and others to dismiss them.