Slot Receivers


A slot is a narrow opening, often in the form of a slit or flap, through which something may pass, as a coin or paper. The term is also used to describe a position, as in the slot receiver on a football team or in a video game. A computer may have a number of expansion slots where additional circuitry can be fitted to provide more capability, such as extra memory or disk drive space.

The history of the slot machine stretches back to the early 20th century, when Charles Fey invented the Liberty Bell. The first machines used revolving mechanical reels to display and determine results. The machines were simple enough to be operated by children, and the popularity of the machines grew rapidly.

Modern slot machines use a computer to control the spinning of the reels and determine wins and losses. The computer programs allow manufacturers to set different probabilities for each symbol on each reel, and the odds of winning are displayed on the machine’s pay table. A player can select the number of pay lines on which he wishes to bet, and many games offer multiple jackpots and mini-games.

Unlike outside wide receivers, a Slot receiver will typically line up slightly in the backfield, a few steps off the line of scrimmage. Because of this pre-snap alignment, the Slot receiver must be very fast and agile in order to run routes and escape tackles.

The Slot receiver must also be able to block well, as the position is often responsible for blocking safeties and nickelbacks on running plays. The Slot receiver must be able to perform a variety of blocking techniques, including chipping and crossing over defenders. On some running plays, the Slot receiver must even be able to perform a crack back block on defensive ends.

Slot receivers must be able to catch passes from a variety of quarterbacks and must be willing to work with different receiving schemes. They must be able to operate effectively in both man and zone coverage, and they must be able to handle quick defenders who will try to jam them and limit their separation. The Slot receiver must also be a good deep threat, capable of catching long touchdowns from the slot or outside the field.