A slot is a narrow groove or opening in something. You might know this from your post office, where you put your mail through the slot. It’s also a linguistic term for deer track. The term slot is not uncommon in modern English. A slot is also the name of a casino. Its meaning has evolved over time, from an ancient Celtic word meaning “to slip in” to a modern term for a slot machine.
The term “slot” has two meanings in ice hockey. It can mean either a low area in front of the goaltender or a high area in the middle of the rink above the faceoff circles. A low slot is a good area for a wrist shot. A high slot is another option, where the defenders will set up a no-man’s land. Here, a player can shoot and score without fear of being blocked or pushed by opposing defenders.
In 1963, Bally invented the first fully electromechanical slot machine. Even earlier, the draw-poker machine High Hand had electromechanical construction. The Money Honey had a bottomless hopper, allowing players to automatically win up to 500 coins. This machine’s popularity led to the introduction of electronic games, such as the slot machine, and the side lever was largely replaced with a keyboard and screen. While the slot machine was still popular in the U.S., many European and Asian casinos had a completely electronic version of the game.