A slot is a narrow opening into which something can fit. It is often used for placing coins in a machine, but can also refer to a time in a schedule or a booking.
In a game of slots, paylines determine the types of prizes, bonuses, and features that get triggered as well as what each spin wins. Some slots allow players to choose the number of paylines they want to bet on while others have a fixed number that cannot be changed. The former are known as ‘free’ slots while the latter are called ‘fixed’ slots.
Because Slot receivers usually line up in the middle of the field, they must have excellent route-running skills, especially to the inside and outside. Moreover, they are typically shorter and smaller than outside wide receivers, so they need to be extra fast and have top-notch blocking skills. Due to their positioning on the field, they’re also responsible for blocking nickelbacks and safeties on running plays on which they’re not the ball carrier. On pitch, reverse, and end-arounds, they might even be asked to carry the ball, so they need to be quick enough to beat the coverage.