The odds of winning a slot machine jackpot depend on the number of combinations that land. Each combination is assigned a number by the random-number generator (RNG) when the slot is activated, and each spin of the reels occurs at that same number. But the RNG is constantly generating numbers, and if you walk away from a slot before the reels stop, there’s no guarantee that you will return to find another triggering opportunity in the same machine.

The RNG generates the sequence of symbols on each of the slot’s rows, columns and diagonals based on these probabilities. When the machine is activated, these numbers determine whether or not the player wins or loses, according to a pay table displayed on the screen. The pay table also displays the regular payouts for different symbols, and may include special bonus symbols that trigger additional features that can result in higher payouts.

A slot is a narrow opening or notch, as in a door handle, a keyway in machinery, a slit for coins in a vending machine, or the hole on a coin that a player drops into a slot game to play. A slot can also refer to an allotted time or position in a schedule, program, or series: Visitors can book a time slot a week or more in advance. If you slot something into something else, you put it into a space where it fits: She slotted the filter into the machine.