What is a Slot?

You checked in on time, made it through security, found your gate and queued to get on board. You then struggled with the overhead lockers and settled back into your seat. Then the captain announces “We’re waiting for a slot”. What is a slot and why can’t we take off as soon as we are ready?

A slot is a thin opening or groove. You can put coins or letters through a slot on a letterbox. A slot can also be a position or assignment, for example the slot on a plane or in a team.

The most important feature of a slot is its pay table. This displays the symbols that pay out and how many of them you have to land to trigger a payout. It will also explain any bonus features and how to activate them.

In the NFL, a slot receiver is the 3rd string receiver who plays on passing downs and is primarily a pass-catcher. They are typically smaller receivers who can stretch the defense vertically off pure speed. They are also very good at running shorter routes on the route tree, such as slants and quick outs. Great slot receivers like Tyreek Hill or Brandin Cooks can beat coverage by running fast and going to their preferred areas of the field. This makes them difficult for secondary players to cover. However, they also have to block and run long routes to open up short passes.

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