Traditionally, slot is a term used to describe the area between two face-off circles in an offensive zone. This slot is often used by a defenseman to take a shot.
The term slot can also be used to describe an opening between the rails in a theater. This is also called a trapdoor.
The term slot is also used in the aviation industry to refer to authorization for planned aircraft operations. Slots are also used to manage air traffic at large airports.
The term slot is also used to describe a connection to a computer processor. This is used to prevent repeated delays in the process of transferring data. A slot is usually narrow and notch-like.
The term slot was introduced by Intel in 1997. The original slot used five reels. However, in the 1980s, manufacturers started to incorporate electronics into their machines. This allowed the manufacturers to offer more advanced video graphics and interactive elements.
The term slot is also used to refer to an expansion slot, which is a slot that adds a new element to a machine. Examples of expansion slots include the AGP slot and the PCI slot.
The term slot has also been used in the NFL as a term to describe a group of extra defensive backs, called the Nickel. A team with four receiver sets is forced to use an extra defensive back to cover the receivers.
Slot receivers have become popular in the NFL, especially in catch and run games. These receivers can run inward or outward, run a slant, or a quick out. They can also line up on both sides of the offense.