A slot is a dynamic placeholder that either waits for content (passive slot) or calls out to the renderer to fill it in (active slot). Slots and scenarios work together; slots specify the type of content they want to hold and the scenario provides the content to be fed into the slot.
Traditionally, slot machines are operated by inserting cash or, in “ticket-in, ticket-out” machines, paper tickets with barcodes into a slot and then pressing a button that activates a set of reels to spin and stop to rearrange symbols. When a winning combination is formed, the machine pays out credits based on the payout table. Many slot machines are designed around a theme, with symbols that vary according to the theme. Classic symbols include fruits, bells and stylized lucky sevens.
Some slot machines also have bonus rounds and features that are activated by a specific symbol or combinations of symbols. Details of these can be found in the pay table, which is often displayed near the bottom of the screen. The pay table will explain how many symbols you need to match and how much you can win for landing three, four or five of them.
It never ceases to amaze us that some slot players plunge straight into the game without checking the pay table first. It’s usually made up of small tables that show the different winning sequences and can be helpfully presented in bright colours.