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1 Reels 5
2. Paylines 30
3. Progressive No
4. Maximum coins 300
5. Jackpot 2000
6. Maximum jackpot in coins 2000
7. Multiplier No
8. Scatter symbol Yes
9. Free Spins Yes
10. Betting range from $0.15 up to $150
11. Coin Bet Range from $0.01 up to $1
12. Coins per line 10
13. Bonus Game No
14. Wild symbol Yes
15. Payout percent 96.13-97.04

The Hotline slot by Net Entertainment is based on two cops chasing a woman jewel thief in the style of Miami Vice. There are 30 paylines, and you get to choose extra sidebets that will allow expanding wilds to appear on all rows. A re-spin feature and a free spins feature help to round out the sources of value in this game in what has an otherwise incredibly balanced pay table and a particularly high hit-rate. The volatility is low as a result, and it's a very fast-paced game too.

Game Format

The key thing to realize about this game is that there's an important side bet that changes the base bet size per spin in terms of the number of coins, but we'll cover that down below. You'll have 30 paylines to play on, but you'll actually be playing with 15, 30 or 45 coins per spin, depending on how you handle the side bet. Players can multiply these values by a factor of up to 10, and coins from $0.01 to $1 can be chosen as well. When you're playing with the best return to player percentage possible, you'll need to spend a minimum of $0.45 per turn. However, there are lots of larger bet sizes available to help players who want to bet more.

The Hotline Bonus Bet

On the left-hand side of the reels, you'll see three different circular buttons that can be pressed. The center one is always activated, and you'll see how it creates a golden rectangle around the middle horizontal row of five symbols. You can also activate the top and bottom ones to increase the bet size to 30 and 45 coins, and that will highlight those respective rows as well. These are the Hotline positions, and they are the key to some of the bonus features in this game.

To maximize your payout rate in this game, you should keep all three of these turned on, even if that means you need to pick smaller coin sizes.

Expanding Wild Symbol and Re-spins Feature

Whenever a wild symbol appears on a Hotline, it will expand to cover the whole vertical reel. These wilds do not substitute for the scatters, but they are a critical component of the re-spin feature. Here's how it works:

Getting a wild on a Hotline gives you a free re-spin with the expanded wilds held in place after the given spin. If you get new wilds on the reels during that re-spin, you get another re-spin, and this continues until no new wilds appear. As you can tell from how this works, you can actually fill the entire 15-symbol grid up with wilds with this feature.

Free Spins Mode

On top of that, you can also earn seven free spins if you get the scattered sunset symbol on the first, third and fifth reels. During these free spins, expanding wilds that land on Hotlines stay in place for the rest of the feature. However, there are no re-spins in the free spins mode. This is a very innovative use of the wilds and how they tie into every other aspect of the game, and you can see why it's in your best interests to keep the number of Hotlines activated maximized to keep your return to player rate as high as possible.

Symbol Set and Payouts

Three characters make up the higher-paying symbols. The woman jewel thief gets you 200x for five of a kind. The man with the afro pays 120x when you line up five on a payline, and you can get an 80x prize for five of the man in the sunglasses.

Three pieces of jewelry that were being stolen make up the bottom tier of pays. The red crown gets you 30x for five, and you can earn a 25x win for five of the green necklace. Finally, the blue bracelet is worth a 20x payout for five of a kind.

Some of these pays will seem a bit small, but you need to remember just how focused this game is on multi-line payouts and getting several payouts over and over again, especially with the wilds. The wild pays are the same as the woman thief, so you can actually end up with a situation where you're getting paid dozens of times for the same winning combinations in a row.

In Summary

The gameplay elements of the Hotline slot by Net Entertainment are nothing short of excellent. They have put together a style of play that centers around an optional side bet that moves in and out of a variety of different features. On top of that, the free spins feature with sticky expanding wilds allows you to fill the entire game board up with wild symbols, which is an exciting proposition as well. The volatility is pretty low in this game, and the hit-rate is accordingly high, but the graphics are fairly strong as well.

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