A slot is a narrow opening, like a keyway in a machine or a hole for a coin in a vending machine. It is also the name of a position or time that can be reserved for an activity, such as a meeting or flight. For example, you can reserve a slot at the museum for your visit.
In the slot game world, a slot’s rules or pay table is where you can find out how a particular game works. It will display all the regular symbols, alongside how much you can win for landing three, four or five of them on a payline (or combination of paylines). It will also provide information about any bonus features, if the game has any, and how to activate these.
Many slots also have a wild symbol, which substitutes for other symbols to make winning combinations. You can usually see this in the pay table, along with an explanation of how it works. Some slots have multiple paylines, which can run in zig-zags, V’s or a straight line across the reels. Others have Scatter or Bonus symbols that trigger various bonus rounds, or simply add to your regular winnings.
If you’re playing on a new machine, it’s worth trying to figure out its payout percentage. If you spend twenty dollars and only get ten back, it’s probably not a loose machine, and you should move on to another one.