In the game of cricket, the slips are a series of fielding positions that are designed to catch balls that have deflected off the outside edge of the bat.
The slips stand on the off side, just to the right (assuming a right-handed batter) of the wicket-keeper. While occasionally there is no slip, there is usually at least one, and sometimes as many as four. They typically stand in a staggered pattern, with the first slip (closest to the wicket-keeper) standing a couple of paces deeper than the wicket-keeper, the second slip standing level with the wicket-keeper, and each subsequent slip standing a little closer to the batter. This staggered pattern allows the slips to avoid collisions when diving for catches that are bisecting their positions, and also makes sense in that as the angle of deflection from the bat increases, the speed of the ball decreases, making it sensible for the wider slips to stand a little closer in order to catch the ball before it bounces.
One seldom-used variation of the slips is the position of fly slip, which is located somewhere between the standard slips and third man, around half way to the boundary.
Slip fielding is a semi-specialist position that is suited to fielders who have fast reflexes and are safe catchers. Players with speed and good throwing arms are often employed elsewhere. Most slips fielders tend to be batters, although there are exceptions, such as Australia's Shane Warne.
The slips are generally regarded as attacking positions, as their sole purpose is to take wickets rather than to prevent runs being scored.