Fire in the Hole

Fire in the Hole Slot Review

Slot Provider: Nolimit City

RTP: 96.06% | Variance: Extreme | Maximum Win: 60,000x

Our Score: 8.8

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WHY YOU CAN TRUST THIS REVIEW: The information and opinions on this page are the result of an comprehensive process of information gathering and live game testing by the gambling experts who work at Find out more here.

About Fire in the Hole

Reviewed by:

Published Date: 22nd March 2021

How We Review Slot Games

We test and rate all slot games across 5 criteria, assigning a score out of 10 for each and an overall score that is an average of the 5. To build an accurate assessment of each game we gather information from the supplier and play in real play or demo mode. Find out more.

Fire in the Hole xBomb is a mining slot with 6 reels and up to 46,656 win ways. It’s a game that helped propel Nolimit City on a rise from also rans to high variance titans. NLC labelled it Extreme Volatility, and they weren’t kidding. It stacked with exploding wilds, multipliers and expanding reels, as well as an awesome cash collect bonus round. You’ll have to dig deep to stay the course with this one but if you can unlock the bonus round there are opportunities for some dramatic wins – as high as 60,000x in fact.

Fire in the Hole Game Information

  • Release Date: March 2021
  • RTP: 96.06% | 94.11% | 90.02%
  • Variance: Extreme
  • Maximum Win: 60,000x
  • Progressive Jackpot: No
  • Reels: 6
  • Rows: 3
  • Paylines: Up to 46,656
  • Minimum Stake: £0.20
  • Theme: Mining
  • Features: Wilds, Cascading Wins, Expanding Reels, Free Spins, Enhancers, Progressive Multipliers
  • Format: 6-Reel

Testing Notes: Here’s What Happened When We Played Fire in the Hole

IMPORTANT: To give you an accurate assessment of the games we review our writers play 200 spins. Whilst this is a useful tool to help us review games and to give an example of what might happen when you play, keep in mind that 200 spins is only a very small sample and cannot be used to accurately predict what might happen over another 200 spins. The outcome of all slots play is always random.

Boom Or Bust? Our Session By The Numbers

Test spins and results analysis by Mark Wadie on 11.07.24

Results from 100 spins with real money on Fire In The Hole at Casumo.

  • Stake Size: £0.2
  • Start balance: £1,045.47
  • End balance: £1,037.76
  • Hit Rate: 29% (29 winning spins in 100)
  • Biggest Win: 34x
  • Free Spins Round: 1

NLC say it will take 1 in 200 spins on average to trigger the free spins round in Fire In The Hole. I got lucky and triggered it after 95 spins. In fact it was in surprisingly giving mood in this short session of 100 spins, with a win rate of 29% (higher than the 25.98% advertised on the NLC fan site). Most were small though, and the balance ticked down fast.

Lucky Carts Bonus Round
Lucky Carts Bonus Round
34x Win in Fire In The Hole
A small 34x win from the Lucky Carts Bonus

It’s a fun very fun game though, particularly when you hit a Wild Mining feature, of which I saw 5. The boom of the bombs is like nothing in any other slot I’ve played. And the same can be said for the Lucky Wagon round which you can see in this screen shot. It only produced a 34x win but the thrill of watching the money carts roll in and waiting to see if the big ones drop is what it’s all about. Read on to discover more about this game.

What We Liked

  • Awesome production with booming xBombs down the mine
  • Fun collapsing mine feature opens up more win ways
  • 60,000x max win

What We Didn't like

  • Very volatile so it can burn you fast
  • Lower RTP at some slot sites

Fire in the Hole Review Scores

  • Theme and Design 9
  • RTP and Variance 8
  • Maximum Win 9
  • Symbols and Paytable 9
  • Features and Gameplay 9

What Our Reviewer Says ...

"A superb high variance game with big, big potential and a nail-biting bonus round with the chance to accumulate mega-bucks!"

Overall Score: 8.8

Theme & Design

Our Score 9

Brilliant Atmosphere Created By Animations and BOOM Of The xBomb Wilds

Fire In The Hole is a mining slot … NLC style! That means drama, darkness, explosions, and the chance of chugging a beer at the end of it all with a mad, red-bearded dwarf. What more could you want? The action takes place in deep mine shaft with the glow of flaming torches in the background lighting up a wooden frame set that houses the reels. It’s quite arcane, with old skool mining tools on the paytable too. But what makes it for me is the plodding music with marching beat and brass sounds, and the relentless BOOM of explosive wilds going off every few spins. It’s ominous and you’ll remember it a long time after you’ve played the game.

Fire In The Hole by Nolimit City
Fire In The Hole – a dramatic mining slot

RTP and Variance

Our Score 8

What is RTP?

RTP (Return to Player) refers to the amount a game will pay out in cash prizes expressed as a percentage of all the money wagered on that game. For example, a 96% RTP means a game will pay out £96 for every £100 wagered. This is an average number and will vary from one session to the next.  Read more here.

What is Variance?

Variance refers to how far a game will deviate from its RTP over time. High variance games deviate a lot and produce uneven win distributions and unexpected windfalls. Low variance games provide a more stable and even distribution of wins. Read more here.

Fire in the Hole xBomb has two RTP settings: 96.06% or 94.11%. It is at the discretion of your slot site which rate they run the game at. You can check for yourself wherever you play by browsing the game rules page once you’ve loaded up Fire In The Hole. I recommend playing at MrQ from Lindar Media which runs this slot at 96.06%.

In terms of volatility, Nolimit City label this one as ‘Extreme’. And they aren’t kidding! It can get rough and burn down your balance fast, but it possesses some powerful features too, as we will get onto in a minute. These can trigger huge win sequences, particularly via the Lucky Wagon Spins round. So choose a sensible stake to give yourself a chance.

Maximum Win

Our Score 9

What Is Maximum Win?

Maximum win refers to the maximum amount a player can win from one spin. It is expressed as a multiple of the stake. For example, where the maximum win is 100,000x, from a £1 stake, the maximum win would be £100,000.  

NLC games have some of the biggest payout potential in the industry and Fire in the Hole is no exception. The max win on a single spin here is 60,000x your bet. This is big, but there are bigger wins available on other NLC slots. Try Tombstone RIP (300,000x) or San Quentin xWays (150,000x) for example.

Symbols and Paytable

Our Score 9

Fire in the Hole starts is a win ways slot. That means wins are triggered by landing 3 or more identical symbols on adjacent reels, regardless of their row position, from left to right starting at the left-most reel.

Each spin starts with 6 reels and 3 active rows in play. That gives you 243 win ways. However, more rows can be opened up after any win, as explained in the next section. At best you can have 6 rows on each reel, giving you a massive 46,656 win ways.

Fire In The Hole Paytable
The paytable with 7.5x for 6 lanterns

There are 10 symbols in the paytable. The low payers are the cards, 9 through to Ace. Their values are from just 0.2x for 3 9s on a line up to 1.5x for 6 6’s on a line. Premiums are the mining symbols – a pick, a rope, boots, a bag and a lantern. There values are better, with between 1.75x for six picks and 7.5x for six lanterns.

Also look out for the xBomb Wilds which sub for other symbols to create wins, trigger cascades AND increase your progressive multiplier by 1x. And the rare, but extremely valuable ‘S’ bonus symbol is what you need to trigger the free spins round.

Features and Gameplay

Our Score 9

Collapsing Mines, xBombs and Multipliers

During the base game, Fire in the Hole is all about the Collapsing Mine feature. This is triggered by either a win, or by explosions caused by xBomb Wilds or Wild Mining. One new row opens up, winning symbols are removed and new symbols drop in to replace them.

An xBomb in Fire In The Hole
An xBomb triggering with progressive multiplier top right

It’s a kind of combination of expanding reels and cascading wins. After each collapse, more wins may be created and the process repeats until no more wins are triggered.

If the collapse is caused by an xBomb Wild then when it explodes it also increases a win multiplier that appears above the reels. This multiplier remains throughout the collapse. xBomb Wilds are your friend here – they will trigger on any spins EXCEPT when a Wild Mining event occurs.

Wild Mining

This is a special feature triggered by landing 3, 4 or 5 identical symbols horizontally when there is NO win. These symbols come together to create a 1, 2 or 3 Wilds and cause ALL symbols above them to explode and trigger a new collapse.

Wild Mining Feature in Fire In The Hole
Wild Mining Going Off!

Lucky Wagon Free Spins

Those are the basics but things don’t really kick on until you unlock the free spins round, Lucky Wagon Spins. You will need at least THREE ‘S’ symbols to trigger this.

Now the game shifts – your reel set starts the round with 2, 3 or 4 rows depending on whether 3, 4 or 5 bonus symbols triggered the round. And you are looking for Coin symbols to land now, each with a multiplier value.

You start with THREE spins and get THREE more EVERY time another coin lands.

As well as these, your prizes can be improved by a set of enhancers that appear at the top or each reel:

  • Coin Value – sets the value of all the coins that land on the reel beneath it.
  • Multipliers – apply their multiplier to the value of all coins that land on the reel beneath it.
  • Dynamite – Where blockers appear on the reel beneath, it explodes these to remove them so coins can drop in, multiplies coin values by its own count, activates chests appearing beneath it, or adds its count to coin values.
  • Bags – collect up the value of all the coins on its reel and add them to the coin that triggered it
  • Chest – adds up all reel values and clears all other positions except the dwarf symbol.
  • Dwarf – collects total value of all coins on the reel and puts them onto the coin that triggered it.

There is also a Collect Chest event – when dynamite explodes, the value of all coins is collected in the chest that sits at the bottom of a reel on EVERY successive spin.

And if at the end of all that you land that 60,000x top win, it’s BEER TIME! You’ll know that because there will be loud ringing in your ears and the red-bearded dwarf will be chugging on a cold beer!

The Final Verdict

What a game! Fire in the Hole is one of NLC’s most popular slots. Beware though, it is very easy to run through your balance quickly as the wins in the base game are not big and whilst there are regular collapses, with pleasingly dramatic explosions, the game often teases with two bonus symbols, but not the third, fourth or fifth required to unlock the bonus round.

However, there are numerous You Tube videos that attest to the potential of this game for those who do make it to the Lucky Wagon Spins and that list of enhancers in the bonus round is the reason why. The trick is to build up value in the coins on the reels then bring them all in with the Collect Chest event.

There is nothing easy about it, but if high risk and high reward is your game, Fire in the Hole is an exciting prospect.

Useful Tips When Playing Fire in the Hole

Remember, online slots are games of chance, there is NO strategy that can improve your odds of winning. However, reading our review and following these tips will help you get the most out of your time playing this slot game.

1. Play At Low Stakes

With an ‘extreme’ volatility slot like this one it pays to play sensibly and start with low stakes to make your balance last.

2. Watch Out For ‘S’ Scatters

These elusive symbols are needed to unlock the big Lucky Wagons bonus round. You’ll need at least 3 to land on one spin.

3. Look For The xBomb Wilds

These look like cartoon bombs and ALWAYS cause an explosion that also increases a progressive multiplier above the reels.

4. Play At Our Recommended Slot Sites

We have chosen the sites on this page because they all scored high in our reviews and they are licensed by the UK Gambling Commission. That makes them fair and safe places to play slots.

Who Made Fire in the Hole?

  • Name: Nolimit City
  • Established: 2016
  • UK License: Remote 052097-R-329532-005
  • Total Games: 50 +
  • Known For: Super high variance, super high maximum wins, adult themes, irreverent humour
  • Popular Slots: San Quentin xWays, Mental, Book of Shadows, Tombstone RIP
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