What Is a Slot?
A slot is a slit or other narrow opening, especially one for receiving something. A slot can be used for a variety of things, including coins and letters. A slot can also refer to a position or assignment, as in “he is assigned the slot as receptionist”. The American Heritage(r) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The game of slots is very different from other casino games such as blackjack and poker. While it doesn’t require the same strategy or instincts, understanding the odds of winning and losing can help players maximize their enjoyment of the game.
A casino slot is a machine that allows a player to insert cash or, in the case of “ticket-in, ticket-out” machines, a paper ticket with a barcode into a designated slot. The machine is then activated by a lever or button (either physical or virtual, depending on the machine), which spins the reels and arranges symbols. When a winning combination appears, the machine pays out credits based on the pay table displayed on its screen. The pay tables vary by machine, but typically include classic symbols such as fruit and bells, or stylized lucky sevens.
In slot, the number of combinations that can be made from the reels is limited by the number of active symbols and their placement on the reels. The slots of a slot machine are lined up vertically, and each row is represented by a single stop on the reels. Each reel has a specific pattern of slots that are occupied by symbols, which can be determined by the design and layout of the machine.
When a slot is activated, the random number generator (RNG) generates a sequence of numbers that corresponds to positions on the reels. The computer then causes the reels to stop at those positions, and the symbols on the payline determine if a win has occurred. In some cases, the slot may have a wild symbol that can substitute for other symbols to create winning combinations.
A slot can be passive or active, depending on whether it references a repository item with content or if it contains a targeter that calls for a set of items. A slot can also have several slot properties to customize how it works with other ATG components, such as scenarios and renderers. The slot properties can be specified using the Add Items to Slot action or by specifying a scenario in the Repository Content tab of the Scenario Builder. These properties control how the slot is presented to the user, either as a list of items in the Repository Content tab or as a targeter in a Scenario Builder. Using slots and scenarios together provides a flexible and powerful way to deliver personalized content to your customers. For more information on working with slots and their properties, see the Using Slots chapter of the ATG Personalization Programming Guide.