What Is a Slot?

A slot is a narrow notch, groove, or opening. It can be formed in a piece of machinery, as a keyway in a machine or a slit for a coin in a vending machine. It can also refer to a position in a group, series, or sequence.

Pay table

The pay table lists the number of credits that can be won when the symbols listed on the pay line match up on the reels. It also describes any special symbols that can trigger a bonus feature, such as Wilds or Scatters.


A jackpot is a prize that can be won by matching three or more symbols on the pay lines of a slot machine. The jackpot amount is dependent on the game’s volatility and can be a significant sum, such as $100,000 or more.

RNG (random number generator)

The random number generators that determine the outcome of a slot machine’s spins are programmed to select random numbers between millions of possible combinations. These combinations are then displayed on the screen to the player, who can see if the spin results in a win or loss.

High variance slots

A high variance slot is a slot that has low payouts, but when a winning combination is made, the winnings can be large. These types of slots are often not rated on the paytable, but they can be determined by playing free slot games and recording what you win.


The symbols in a slot machine represent objects or events and may be based on an historical theme, like a mythological figure or ancient Greece. These symbols have a particular appearance, and sometimes they can substitute for other symbols to complete a winning line. The pay table usually shows an example of each symbol and provides an explanation of how the symbol works, including what it pays for.

Depending on the type of machine, the paytable can be found in the machine’s display panel or in a help menu. The pay table is also available in online casinos, where players can access it without leaving their computer.

Locking up

A slot machine’s locking mechanism, which is similar to a security gate at a casino, prevents it from being used by unauthorized players or employees. The locking mechanism is usually activated by a slot attendant, who unlocks the machine to allow players to continue playing. If the attendant is not carrying enough money with him, he can leave the player with a receipt and return a short while later with the cash or check.

Weight count

The weight count on a slot machine’s drop bucket or drop box is an important part of the casino’s hard-count process. The weight of the coins or tokens removed from the drop bucket is measured by a weight scale and used to calculate the value of the slot’s jackpot.


A slot game’s volatility is a measure of its chance to pay out, and it can be calculated by spinning the reels 100 times in a free game. If the amount of winnings per spin is generally no more than 2x the original stake, then the game is considered a low-volatility game.