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Was Miami Vice one of your favorite TV shows in the ’80s? If so, surely you will want to check out the exciting slot game by NetEnt called Hotline.
If you are a younger player who loves action-packed, immersive slot games and fancy yourself as somewhat of a risk-taker, you will want to make a beeline for thIS TV detective-inspired slot game.
After all, what could be more thrilling than imagining yourself in the 1980s, burning rubber in a fast red car on the Miami Beach circuit? But not for a joy ride; it’s for the sole purpose of helping two undercover cops chase down a brazen jewel thief and reap the rewards.
Hotline slot basics
Hotline is a video slot by NetEnt consisting of five reels, three rows and 30 fixed paylines.
Even though the theme and symbols have a retro feel, NetEnt introduced this game in 2018.
The game is full of special features like a wild symbol, which is capable of turning into an expanding wild. There is a scatter symbol and respins and free spins galore. So, there is never a dull moment.
Another distinctively modern feature is the “hotline.”
If you’re willing to increase the size of your bet to activate all three “hotlines,” you are more likely to trigger more expanding wilds and respins; therefore, increasing your winnings.
Hotline does not offer a progressive jackpot, but with so much else going on, it doesn’t need one. This game puts you in the driver’s seat regarding how much you’re willing to risk to collect potentially huge rewards.
A brief but flashy cinematic-style introduction sets the stage for the action taking place on the screen.
You come face to face for the first time with the three central characters: The two undercover cops assigned to the case — Quinn and Rivera — and Kitty Weiss, who is the jewel thief.
She has already absconded with a crown, diamond necklace and ring. Quinn and Rivera are hot on her tail but need all the help they can get.
But first, before you embark on the challenge, you will have two important decisions to make. How many “hotlines” will you have (one, two or all three), and are you ready to bet on your success?
Could this be the lucky break you’re looking for that will send you laughing to the bank? There’s only one way to find out.
Is Hotline the right slot choice for you?
What’s not to like about Hotline
Slot players make up a diverse group of gamblers, so Hotline may not be your type of game.
The theme is undoubtedly exciting enough, and the addition of three “hotlines” deliver an unexpected novel twist you won’t find in other games.
But is it a quiet and relaxing slot? No, it isn’t. I found the soundtrack quite jarring and especially didn’t care for the frequent announcement of “911” on the car radio. Since the only crime is a jewelry heist with no sign of shooting, it was a significant detraction from enjoying the game.
Playing slots should be a delightful break from the monotony of the day, so the last thing I want in the course of my play is to be reminded of emergencies. And, of course, there is the inevitable association with 9/11 as well.
So, I tried playing with the sound turned off, but that didn’t work. Along with the speeding cars, neon lights and colorful characters, the background sounds are necessary to create the ambiance for the intense action.
More importantly, Hotline is a slot game for players who enjoy taking risks.
You don’t necessarily have to be a high roller, but you do have to be comfortable with putting more than a few cents on the line for each spin to derive the full benefit.
Hotline great features
As long as these caveats don’t bother you, Hotline is worth your time. There are multiple reasons why NetEnt has become one of the world leaders in providing top quality online slots.
One is the company’s widely recognized expertise and experience in utilizing cutting edge online and mobile slot technology. NetEnt ensures that every time you play, the quality of your entertainment surpasses your expectations.
A second reason why savvy slot players gravitate to Hotline and other NetEnt slots is its consistently superior return to player (RTP).
A slot with an RTP so hot, it’s scorching
If getting the best bang for your buck is important to you when playing online slots, it is hard to imagine going wrong with any slot produced by NetEnt.
All NetEnt slots, without exception, have a published theoretical RTP of at least 96%. These stats put NetEnt games in the highest echelon of online slots available to Pennsylvania players.
Keep in mind that the RTP is a theoretical estimate of what percentage of your playing bankroll you are likely to win back over the long run. It is based on statistics gathered for thousands of playing sessions. Your outcome after a single session can deviate markedly from the RTP in either direction.
Also, much the same way you can have a losing session in a great game, you can sometimes be a big winner in a game with a lower RTP. But because you don’t have the advantage of playing with an infinite bankroll, it makes sense to play games with a higher than average RTP.
Even when your session isn’t great, the high frequency of payouts will keep you in the game with little risk of depleting your bankroll.
Hotline’s exceptionally high RTP of 96.13% is not the maximum RTP this slot offers. The game’s 96.13% RTP is if you play with only one “hotline” activated. You can increase the RTP to 96.7% by merely activating a second “hotline” or even better, to 97.04% by activating all three “hotlines.”
You can probably count on one hand the number of online slot games with an RTPs higher than 97%. That’s a mere 3% house edge.
Low-medium volatility helps preserve your bankroll
Playing with the maximum three “hotlines” can be somewhat scary. That’s because, with every spin, you must bet triple the amount that betting with only one “hotline” will cost you.
But the combination of the unusually high RTP and low-medium volatility should keep the bulk of your bankroll intact even if your luck should turn south.
Your next big win could be right around the corner.
Minimum and maximum bet size
Your best bet is not to overbet your bankroll, but don’t shortchange yourself.
According to the manufacturer, the minimum bet per spin is 15 cents, while the maximum is a hefty $450 per spin.
You can also play Hotline in demo mode to get a better feel for the game with no monetary risk. We highly recommend this option if your bankroll is limited. It can help you figure out what size bet would be in your comfort zone while still giving you a good potential for winning.
Your goal should be to bet the maximum amount that you feel you can handle.
The decision to play with all three “hotlines” working, rather than one or two, is optional. However, we recommend playing with all three, which will raise the minimum bet per spin from 15 cents to 45 cents.
This game gives you many bet size options, so understanding what they are beforehand is imperative so you can make the best possible choice. Hotline offers a total of 10 different bet levels. Within each is a designated range of coin sizes, which doesn’t vary.
Regardless of your bet level, the minimum size coin is always 1 cent, and the maximum is always $1, or 100x the value of the minimum size coin.
‘Hotlines’ and levels
Now comes the more complicated part of determining your bet size.
You must play with at least one “hotline” — the center row.
If that’s what you choose to do, the default bet becomes 15 coins, and your bet per spin becomes your bet level times your coin size times 15.
In other words, at Level One, you can bet any amount from 15 cents to $15. For Level Two, you can bet any amount from 30 cents to $30, and so on up to Level 10, where you can bet any amount from $1.50 to $150.
On the other hand, if you choose to activate a second “hotline,” the default bet increases to 30 coins. This will double your bet size over what it would be with only one working “hotline.”
Thus, for example, at Level One, the minimum and maximum bets would no longer be 15 cents and $15, but 30 cents and $30, respectively. At Level 10, depending on your coin size, your cost per spin would be $3 to $300.
Bet table for playing with three ‘hotlines’
As you can see, adding more working “hotlines” to your arsenal can get costly, and especially if you play with all three.
It will raise the default bet to 45 coins or triple the size of the bet per spin for the same bet level and coin value with only one working “hotline.” But it’s worth the risk because, as explained below, you get to play with a higher RTP and maximize your chances for more frequent and bigger payouts.
The following chart shows you that for each bet level, the coin size range and bet size range playing this game with all three “hotlines” working.
Remember that your bet per spin is equal to the product of three numbers: Your coin size (1 cent to $1), your bet level (one through 10) and 45.
|Bet level||Coin size||Minimum bet per spin||Maximum bet per spin|
|1||.01 - $1||$0.45||$ 45|
|2||.01 - $1||$0.90||$90|
|3||.01 - $1||$1.35||$135|
|4||.01 - $1||$1.80||$180|
|5||.01 - $1||$2.25||$225|
|6||.01 - $1||$2.70||$270|
|7||.01 - $1||$3.15||$315|
|8||.01 - $1||$3.60||$360|
|9||.01 - $1||$4.05||$405|
|10||.01 - $1||$4.50||$450|
Which PA online casinos offer the Hotline slot game?
The Hotline slot game is optimized for play on your desktop or iOS Apple and Android mobile devices.
As of this writing, the following PA online casinos offer it:
Hotline includes only six regular symbols (three higher- and three lower-paying ones), which is fewer than you would expect for such an action-packed game.
Here they are in reverse order of their payouts:
- Kitty Weiss: The jewel thief
- Crown of jewels that is stolen by Weiss.
- Diamond necklace that is stolen by Weiss.
- Diamond ring that is stolen by Weiss.
Winning combinations form in the usual manner. You need three or more matching symbols to line up on adjacent reels horizontally or diagonally, starting with the reel furthest to the left to win. Only the highest win per bet line is paid.
Three matching symbols won’t do much for you, as the payout doesn’t even cover the cost of your bet. But the good news is that these wins occur frequently. Four or five matching symbols across the reels are much better, and, with the help of the wild symbol and expanding wilds, it is not as hard to achieve as you might think.
Five Kitty Weiss symbols pay 200 coins, while five Quinn and Rivera symbols pay 120 coins and 80 coins, respectively.
You would think that collecting five pieces of jewelry would also be worth a lot, but that’s not the case; the payouts are much smaller.
The wild symbol is a red Ferrari. As such, it is capable of substituting for any of the six regular symbols to help form or add to winning combinations.
The wild symbol can appear anywhere on the reels in the main game, respins or free spins. However, if a wild symbol lands on an activated “hotline,” it expands to cover the entire reel.
Wilds and expanding wilds pay the highest possible winning combination on a bet line.
The scatter symbol is a picture of a sunset with the word “scatter.”
One or two won’t help you, though. You need three to appear anywhere on reels one, three and five to trigger the free spins bonus round. The scatter symbol can only appear in the main game.
Hotline special features
This special feature frequently occurs, especially if you play with all three “hotlines,” and it can increase your winnings significantly.
Whenever the red Ferrari wild symbol lands on an activated “hotline,” either in the main game or in a respin, in addition to expanding to cover the entire reel, after all, wins are determined, you get at least one respin.
The expanding wild stays in place for the duration of the respins. The respins continue until no new wild symbols land on an activated “hotline” to turn another reel completely wild.
Respins are played at the same bet level, coin value, and the number of activated “hotlines” as the activating spin. If you trigger both the respins feature and the free spins feature (see below) on the same spin, the free spins are activated first.
It is important to note that not every respin will be a winner. It all depends on whether the expanding wild contributes to a paying combination. However, expanding wilds can completely cover more than one reel simultaneously, and that’s when your wins can mount.
In the best possible scenario, all five reels could turn completely wild.
The free spins bonus feature is harder to trigger than the respins, but if and when you do, it can be very lucrative as well.
As mentioned above, you need three Sunset scatter symbols to appear anywhere on reels one, three and five in the main game. As soon as this happens, you will immediately receive seven free spins.
During the free spins, if a wild symbol lands on an activated “hotline,” it will expand to cover the entire reel and stay in place for the duration of the free spins.
Free spins are played at the same bet level, coin value and the number of activated “hotlines” as the spin that triggered them.
Seven free spins might not seem like a lot, especially since you cannot retrigger this feature. You cannot activate free spins during respins, only in the main game. However, if you get lucky and get multiple expanding wilds, you could be looking at some substantial cash prizes.
Playing Hotline in demo mode
Since getting to play a slot game with an RTP over 97% is such a rare treat, I was eager to see how it would work out.
I decided to try four sample-playing sessions, increasing my stake each time. Of course, I activated all three “hotlines” to maximize my advantage.
Session 1: +$319
I decided to start with what, for this game, would be relatively low stakes. Playing at Level One with 10 cent coins, the cost of each spin came to a hypothetical $4.50 (10 cents x 1 x 45).
Betting at these stakes meant mainly small wins and small losses, but even when I wasn’t winning, the good thing was I was never significantly behind. It also took a while to get my first expanding wild, and several times, the resulting respin only produced a very small win or came up empty altogether. But even so, I was never more than $70 down.
Eventually, I was able to trigger three respins in a row a couple of times, which gave me some bigger wins. I did not trigger the free spins, but at this betting level, even with a gain of less than $100, I would have been quite pleased. But I did better than that, ending the session ahead $319.
Session 2: +$651
I played my second session at Level One with 20 cent coins, thereby doubling the amount of my hypothetical bet per spin to $9 (20 cents x 1 x 45).
In addition to many small wins, with the help of several recurring expanded wilds and respins, I also got some hefty wins. My biggest single win was $242 when I triggered an expanding wild with a respin over the course of three successive spins.
Even though I did not trigger the free spins round, I ended the session with $651 more than I started, which was great.
Session 3: +$874
This time I played with 20 cent coins again but moved up to Level Two. So it made the hypothetical bet per spin $18 (.20 x 2 x 45).
The bigger bet allowed me to win more, but it also produced bigger negative swings. In fact, my first five spins all came up empty, so I was down $90 off the bat. Eventually, my luck turned around big time, but not before I was down over $300.
Then multiple expanding wilds in succession led to five respins and a $440 win. Subsequently, I gave some of my winnings back, but not for long, as more expanding wilds with respins had me roaring right back.
Then I got a “mega win” of $1,062, at which point I was ahead by $788. Thereafter, I continued to win or lose a couple of hundred dollars a few more times.
Eventually, with my net win down to $438, I thought it would be a good time to quit when three scatter symbols landed and I won seven free spins. Two expanding wilds showed up, which added another $436 to my win total. At that point, I ended the session with a total profit of $874.
Session 4: +$560
Lastly, I was curious as to what would happen if I played this game for high stakes.
Accordingly, for this session, I stayed at Level Two but increased the coin value to 50 cents. So, this made the hypothetical bet per spin a substantial $45 (50 cents x 2 x 45), which was still only 1/10 of the maximum bet possible on this game of $450.
The problem with playing any slot game for high stakes even with an exceptionally high RTP is that unless you are properly capitalized, the negative swings can take a toll on your bankroll quickly.
That proved to be the case here, where I found myself down by $1,700 before my luck turned around. Finally, a fantastic sequence of expanding wilds and respins produced a “mega-size” win of $2,200. It put me $560 ahead for the session. At that point, I decided to quit playing rather than try to press my luck.
The bottom line
Although all four of my playing sessions in demo mode were winning ones, there is no guarantee that the same will happen with real money. In order to reap big rewards, you have to be willing to take risks. However, as long as you play within your means, you shouldn’t have a problem.
The Hotline slot game isn’t for everyone, but if ’80s era intrigues and the prospect of playing a game that is wildly exciting and loaded with significant winning potential, you should go for it.