What is a Slot?

A thin opening or groove in something, such as a slot on a door or in a piece of furniture. The term may also refer to an area in a computer game that allows the player to save and load their progress. The term may also be used to describe the slot on a gaming machine that holds the coins deposited by the player.

A slot is a place in an utterance that Dialog Engine looks for information to match. Slots can be mapped to various types, which determine how the bot processes information found in the utterance. For example, if an utterance includes the phrase “two executive rooms for three nights starting tomorrow,” the bot looks for the information in the slots (rooms required and the date) to know what to do next.

Originally, slot machines were mechanical devices that paid out winning combinations by lining up poker symbols on a single reel. In the 19th century, Sittman and Pitt invented a machine with five spinning drums that allowed for multiple wins by lining up poker hands. Charles Fey, a San Francisco mechanic, improved upon this invention by adding microprocessors that could assign different probabilities to each stop on a reel. His machine, called the Liberty Bell, became a hit.

Modern slot machines use microprocessors that allow them to vary the probability of a symbol appearing on the payline for each spin. They can also feature several different types of symbols and bonus levels. Some slots even feature a progressive jackpot, where the total increases each time the slot is played.