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Slot Machines


A narrow opening or groove; a slit. Also: a position, time, or area allocated for an aircraft to take off or land at an airport. Used in conjunction with air-traffic control to limit aircraft operations at busy airports and prevent repeated delays from too many airplanes trying to land or take off at the same time.

In video games, a slot is the area on the screen where reels spin and symbols appear. Different games have different configurations, but a standard slot typically has five reels and pays out credits when winning combinations line up. Some slots allow players to select the number of paylines they want to bet on, while others have fixed paylines.

A position in a football team that covers the wide receiver, usually the third-most important player on offense. The slot corner must be able to cover all over the field and play both press coverage and off-man, which requires exceptional athletic ability.

A myth-busting article on some of the more persistent misconceptions about slot machines. One of the most common is that if a machine has just paid out a jackpot, it will be “due” to turn cold soon. This is false, but it reflects an understandable human tendency to seek patterns in random events. The fact is, though, that a jackpot is the result of extremely lucky split-second timing by the person who won it, and it could have just as easily occurred at any other point in time.