When you hear the word slot, you might think of casino games or that youtuber you love who explains the tactics to win at those games. But the word actually has a much more literal meaning in the world of computer science.
In computing, a slot is the operation issue and data path machinery surrounding a set of one or more execution units. In very long instruction word (VLIW) computers, the term is more often used to describe a portion of the execute pipeline.
A slot is also a position in sports, most commonly baseball, where a player lines up between the primary and secondary receivers. In other words, a wide receiver that can run but isn’t an elite deep threat.
Symbols — or symbols on a slot machine — are what determine whether or not a spin is a winning one. Regardless of how many paylines are active, a winning combination of symbols must appear on the reels to award credits based on the pay table.
Bonus rounds — or special game features — are another way to increase the amount of money you can earn from a slot. Depending on the type of slot, bonus rounds may be an interactive mini-game or a mechanical device that adds excitement to the gameplay by awarding additional prizes.
Most modern slot machines offer multiple paylines. In the past, a physical reel had only a few lines that paid out winning combinations. Now, slots can have lines that pay out in various directions and even feature special symbols like wilds that substitute for other icons.