A slot is a small gap, usually circular or oval, in the surface of something. A slot is often a sign of a defect or a sign that something is wrong with the item. It can also refer to an area of a page, a position in a queue, or a place or time for something. The word can be used both as a noun and a verb, but in the latter case it is often used to mean ‘to put something into or assign to a slot.’ It is also sometimes used as a metaphor for something being out of place or misplaced.
In computing, a slot is the operation issue and data path machinery surrounding one or more execution units (also called a functional unit). The term is also common in very long instruction word (VLIW) computers to denote an executable portion of the computer’s pipeline.
The VLIW architecture was the first to use multiple CPUs and multiple cores, making it easy for each individual chip to have a dedicated slot. However, later processors moved to multicore chips that could perform many operations at once. A multicore processor is typically configured to have several slots in order to handle the work load.
In gaming, a slot is a set of paylines that run across a machine’s reels. In most brick-and-mortar casinos, players must choose the number of paylines they want to play during a game. Online slots usually offer more flexibility and allow players to select their preferred number of paylines before they begin playing. Some people believe that a person in a back room at a casino controls who wins and loses at slots, but this is simply untrue – online games are governed by RNGs.