The bright lights and jingling jangling of penny slots make them extra appealing to gamblers. They’re designed to draw players in and keep them playing, and it’s important to protect your bankroll and know when enough is enough.
Before bill validators and credit meters were added to slot machines, players dropped coins into the slots to activate games for each spin. Now, however, players drop in paper tickets that are redeemed for credits at the machine. This changed the way gamblers think about the games, and it made them less likely to spend their entire bankroll in a single session.
A slot is an opening into which something can be fitted, such as a hole in a door or window. It can also refer to a position in a sequence or series, such as the number 1 in a list of numbers or the spot occupied by a player on an ice hockey team’s face-off circle. The word is derived from the Middle Dutch slot, which came from Proto-Germanic *slutila (source also of Old Frisian sletel, Dutch sluiten, German Schloss “bolt, lock”). The figurative sense of “place in a scheme or schedule” is attested from 1940; that of “position in a hierarchy” is from 1942. Related words are slotted, slotting. Computers have slots where they can insert printed circuit boards, which expand the capabilities of the machine. These are often called expansion slots, but should not be confused with bays, which are sites within the computer where disk drives can be installed.