The slot is the area in an offensive formation that usually takes up a player close to (but not exactly on) the line of scrimmage and slightly behind the running back or wide receiver. A player in this position can play many different roles, including acting as a check-down receiver or blocking defenders to prevent them from sacking the quarterback. In the modern NFL, players that occupy the slot are often referred to as “slotbacks.”
The term “slot” is also used for any type of container within a data store. Traditionally, data is stored in a relational database and divided into various “slots.” Each slot is assigned a specific storage location within the database. Slots can be accessed by queries using the same syntax as tables. This allows queries to quickly access the desired data without having to explicitly define a full table in each query.
Charles Fey invented the first three-reel slot machine in 1899. A plaque marks the site of his workshop in San Francisco, now a California Historical Landmark. The machines were a popular pastime for vacationers and even attracted organized crime, leading to their widespread distribution and even illegal operation in some places. Prohibition of the machines ended in 1951, although some were operated by private social clubs.
The most common misconception about slot machines is that they are not truly random. But anyone who has read the manufacturers’ PAR sheets can see that the slot’s symbols, married to the machine’s paytable, determine its payback.