In computing, a slot is an area on the motherboard that accepts one or more expansion cards. A slot can also refer to a narrow opening in a machine or container, such as a car seat belt slot. A slot can also be a narrow passage through which something passes, as in “He dropped the coin into the slot and dialed.”

When someone says that something slots into another thing, they mean that it fits in easily and does not interfere with its function. For example, “This new printer slots right into the old desk.”

In a slot machine game, players insert cash or, in “ticket-in, ticket-out” machines, paper tickets with barcodes that represent credits. The machine then activates reels to rearrange symbols according to its paytable. If the symbols line up in a winning combination, the player earns credits based on the amount that they bet before. Many slot games have a theme, and the symbols and other bonus features are aligned with that theme. Research has found that sounds can influence a player’s experience, for instance, a study by Loba and colleagues found that pathological gamblers rated higher levels of arousal when playing at a high speed with sound than when playing at a slower pace without it. In addition, because sounds are invariably paired with images in slot machines, they may amplify each other. Furthermore, for modern multiline slot machines, winning combinations are signaled visually as well as audibly (e.g., the winning symbols are animated and highlighted by a coloured line connecting them).