Sought-after casino games don’t get any more popular than slots (or pokies as most Australians call them). Unlike Blackjack or Roulette, slot machines require little-to-no finesse and can be easily played by anyone. But despite their popularity, many players are unaware of what a slot actually is.
A slot is a reel, or set of reels, on a slot machine that can accept cash or, in ticket-in, ticket-out machines, a paper ticket with a barcode. The slot is activated by a lever or button (either physical or on a touchscreen) and then spins to rearrange symbols into combinations that earn payouts based on the machine’s paytable. Depending on the game, symbols can include anything from traditional fruits to stylized lucky sevens.
In the NFL, a Slot receiver is a wide receiver who lines up between and slightly behind the outside wide receivers and offensive linemen. Because of their position on the field, Slot receivers must be able to run a wide variety of passing routes. They also need to be able to block. They’ll usually be responsible for blocking (or at least chipping) nickelbacks, safetys, and strong safeties on running plays. They may even need to act as a ball carrier on pitch, reverse, and end-around plays.
While Slot Receivers don’t have to deal crushing blocks like offensive linemen do, they do need to be able to position themselves well enough to prevent defenders from getting to ball carriers. This is why it’s so important for them to know how to run precise routes and be very fast.