A narrow opening, slit, or position, as in a machine or vehicle: A slot in the side of a door.
The narrow opening of a ship’s hull or other vessel to allow for mooring or loading: There are a number of different types of slots, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.
In a video game, a slot is a position that can be occupied by placing a piece or object in it: I slipped my coin into the slot and won the jackpot!
A position in a group, series, or sequence: The slot that I had in my paper was full.
The slot position is becoming increasingly important in the NFL, as offenses shift to more 3-1 receiver/back configurations that are difficult for defenses to cover. As a result, teams are looking for versatile, fast, and accurate receivers who can excel in the slot. Tyreek Hill, Cole Beasley, and Juju Smith-Schuster are just a few of the players who have thrived in the slot this year, leading their teams with impressive numbers of receptions, yards, and touchdowns.
Slot receivers usually line up slightly in the backfield, a few steps off of the line of scrimmage. This allows them to run a variety of routes, catch the ball with ease, and provide protection for running backs on outside run plays. In addition, slot receivers are often asked to block for blitzes and linebackers, so they must be highly skilled in this area as well.
Another key to being a successful slot receiver is having good chemistry with the quarterback. This is especially true in the passing game, where the slot must be able to read the defense and anticipate where defenders are going. It takes a lot of practice to perfect this skill, but it can pay off big time for an offense.
In a casino, a slot is an individual reel on which symbols are displayed: Depending on the theme of the game, these can include fruits, bells, and stylized lucky sevens. When a player inserts cash or, in ticket-in, ticket-out machines, a paper ticket with a barcode, they activate the reels, which then stop to reveal combinations of symbols that earn credits according to the machine’s paytable. Ideally, a player wants to hit the “Hot Slot,” which pays out the most money for a specific amount of time. However, even if a player doesn’t hit the Hot Slot, he or she can still win a significant amount of money by playing other slots.