If you have ever been on a flight and waited for ages to take off, you will know what a slot is. It is the reason why you cannot just get on the plane straight away, no matter how early you checked in. It might seem frustrating to have to wait around when you are already late for your trip, but it is better to be on the ground waiting than in the air wasting fuel and causing emissions.
A slot is a specific position in a group, series or sequence. It is also the name of a particular type of hole in something, such as the hole in a door where a lock fits. The word comes from the verb to slot, which means to put into place. The etymology of the word is unclear, but it could be related to words such as groove or channel.
The first fully electromechanical slot machine was developed by Bally in 1963, called Money Honey. It did not have a physical reel, but used a computer to determine the placement of symbols on each spin. The computer then caused the reels to stop at these positions. The winnings were determined by the symbols that lined up on a payline.
In football, a slot receiver is a player who is positioned in the middle of the field between the wide receivers and tight end. They are usually smaller, faster and more agile than a traditional full back. This allows them to catch passes while being covered by the linebackers and corners. It is this versatility that is beginning to make them a more important part of the game, as offenses shift away from power football.