Bitcoin is paid out in cycles. Every cycle each stacker has the chance to receive Bitcoin once for every reward slot they hold. A cycle typically lasts for 2,000 Bitcoin blocks, or approximately 16 days depending on the Bitcoin block time.
Every reward cycle is preceded by a prepare phase of 100 Bitcoin blocks. This is when miners gather the Bitcoin addresses eligible for rewards in the coming cycle. To participate in a reward cycle, you’ll have to start stacking before the start of its prepare phase.
Depending on how much you’re stacking, you can hold one or more reward slots for a given cycle. The minimum required for a reward slot varies depending on how much STX is stacking. If you don’t meet the minimum, you can still earn rewards by delegating or pooling your STX.