Slot Receivers in the NFL


A slot is a thin opening or groove in something that allows something to pass through it. In a computer, it is a place to fit an expansion card that adds new hardware capabilities. It is also a term for a specific type of slot machine, such as a video slot or a reel-spin slot.

Definition of a Slot

A slot receiver is an outside wide receiver who lines up in the slot, between and slightly behind the outer wide receivers and offensive linemen. They are sometimes called “slotbacks” or “slot receivers,” though they may also be referred to as “wideouts.”

Unlike most outside wide receivers, a slot receiver is usually a blocking wide receiver on run plays. This is because of where he lines up and his pre-snap motion. He can also serve as a running back from time to time, depending on what he is asked to do in the game.

Slot Receiver Skills

A Slot receiver must be able to run routes, which requires speed and accuracy. They must also be able to move well in pre-snap motion and have good chemistry with the quarterback. They also need to know when to block, and when to run the ball.

Slot receivers have become more important in recent years, as more and more offenses are relying on three-wide formations. They are shorter and faster than traditional wide receivers, which makes them difficult to defend.

They are also a key part of the passing game, as they are effective at stretching the defense vertically off pure speed. They can run quick outs, slants, and other short routes on the route tree.

In the NFL, slot receivers are a hot commodity, especially in the era of big play receivers like Tyreek Hill and Brandin Cooks. This is because they can stretch the defense vertically, but can also make defenders miss by catching passes in the middle of the field.

These players are becoming more popular in the professional football world, and some teams have even started to rely on them more than others. The San Diego Chargers and the Baltimore Ravens are two examples of teams that have used this strategy successfully in the past few seasons.

Some slot receivers are more versatile than others, and can be used in other roles, such as a tight end or fullback. They can also carry the ball from time to time, which is why they are a valuable piece on special teams.

Pay Table and Bonus Modes

In slot machines, the paytable is a list of symbols that can form a winning combination. These combinations are determined by the number of paylines and other features, such as wilds and scatters.

The paytable can be found on the front of a slot machine or in a separate help menu. It is important to read it before playing, as some paylines can trigger special symbols and bonuses, such as free spins or a jackpot.