What is a Slot?


A slot is a narrow opening, or a space or groove. It’s also the name of a device in which a card or other item is placed so it fits snugly and securely. In a computer, a slot can refer to any of the narrow openings in a motherboard into which expansion cards fit. These are usually called PCI, ISA or AGP slots. A slot can also refer to a specific position on the board for a peripheral, such as a video card or sound card.

The term slot is also used to describe a position on the playing field, particularly in American football. A slot receiver is a player who can receive passes from the quarterback and run short routes on the route tree, such as slants or quick outs, rather than deep patterns. They are often smaller than boundary receivers and can make a big difference on offenses that employ multiple receivers.

The word jackpot is a slang term that was first used in 1909 for a prize won in a game of poker where the pot increased over a long series of hands without any single player declaring a winning hand. This idiom was later adapted to refer to the larger prize won in a casino game, particularly one that pays out over time instead of immediately. It was also adapted to mean any large amount won in a lottery, sweepstakes or other similar game. By the 1930s, forces of morality and the clergy were frequently opposed to the operation of slot machines in saloons.

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