What Is a Slot?


A narrow notch or opening, as a keyway in machinery or a slit for a coin in a vending machine. Also: a position in a group, series, sequence, or hierarchy. (Dictionary of American English, Webster’s New World College Dictionary, 4th Edition)

It’s tempting to pump your money into more than one slot at a time, especially when the casino is crowded, but limit yourself to only what you can watch over easily. Doing so increases your chance of winning, because if you’re distracted or comparing yourself to those around you, you could miss a paying machine. I once saw a woman drop coins into six machines in a row. Eventually, machine number two paid out a jackpot—and her hunch was right: The slot was “due”. However, this isn’t always the case; every spin at any machine is controlled by the random number generator. There is no such thing as a “due” payout; only spins that land on a winning combination will pay out. And even though casinos place “hot” machines at the end of aisles, it’s still impossible to know which slot will pay out next. Nevertheless, learning about how slots work and understanding what your odds are from one machine to the next can help you decide whether or not to play.