A narrow notch, groove, or opening, such as a keyway in a machine or a slit for a coin in a vending machine. Also: a position in a group, sequence, or program.
In slot machines, a player inserts cash or, in “ticket-in, ticket-out” machines, a paper ticket with a barcode and activates the machine by pressing a lever or button (either physical or virtual on a touchscreen). The reels then spin and stop to reveal symbols that win credits based on their paytable. Most slot games have a theme and include classic symbols such as fruit, bells, or stylized lucky sevens.
On passing plays, a slot receiver runs routes that correspond with the quarterback’s other receivers to confuse the defense and create separation for the ball carrier. They are also important blockers on running plays. They must be precise with their timing and have good chemistry with the quarterback to succeed.
Slot receivers tend to be shorter and stockier than wide receivers. They must be able to run all types of routes, make adjustments on the fly, and be a willing blocker. The more versatile a slot receiver is, the more valuable they are to their team. Some of the most dangerous receivers in the NFL are those who can play out of the slot, such as Tyreek Hill, Cole Beasley, and Keenan Allen. These receivers aren’t afraid to line up a few yards behind the line of scrimmage and are a threat to do anything on offense.