A slot is a narrow opening, usually in a machine or container, through which something can be inserted or removed. The term is also used for a time slot in a schedule or program. You can say that a flight is scheduled at a particular time, or that an activity is “in the slot,” meaning it fits into the program well.
A receiver that lines up in the slot position is considered a wide receiver, but they have the additional responsibility of blocking for running backs and tight ends on run plays. Slot receivers must be precise with their timing and have excellent chemistry with the quarterback to be effective. They are known for their route running and ability to make contested catches.
On passing plays, they are closer to the line of scrimmage than the other wide receivers and must be careful not to get caught in the numbers by cornerbacks or safeties. They are also at risk of getting hit from different angles on running plays, so they must be able to adjust quickly and block effectively.
In gambling, a slot is a reel that spins and stops to display a symbol or blank space. For decades, these symbols were physically large metal hoops, but now they are typically just images on a screen. The weighting of each stop and the number of blanks on a slot machine is determined by a par sheet that is kept secret from players. This information, along with the house edge and payback percentage, determines the odds of winning or losing on a given machine.