What is a Slot?
You’re on a plane, you’ve checked in on time, made it through security, queued to get on board, struggled with the overhead lockers and settled back into your seat. All you need now is a slot to take off. But what exactly is a slot? And why can’t you take off as soon as you are ready?
A slot is a narrow opening in something, usually a container or machine. It can also refer to a position or time in a schedule or program, for example a visit to a museum or a concert. The term can also refer to the narrow notch between the tips of the primaries on an airplane, which during flight helps ensure a constant flow of air over the wings.
In computers, the term slot refers to the operation issue and data path machinery surrounding a set of one or more execution units (also called functional units). In very long instruction word (VLIW) processors, the concept is more commonly known as an execute pipeline.
In slot machines, the narrow opening in the machine where coins are inserted is sometimes referred to as a throat or hopper. The pay table, listing the payout amounts for various combinations of symbols, is often displayed on the face of the machine, above or below the area containing the wheels. Most newer machines are multi-line, and accept several coins per line. Some machines have wild symbols that can substitute for other symbols to form a winning combination. Psychologists have found that players of video slot machines reach a debilitating level of gambling addiction three times more rapidly than those who play traditional casino games.