Hotline 2

Hotline 2 Slot Review

Slot Provider: NetEnt

RTP: 96.05% | Variance: Medium | Maximum Win: 5,184x

Our Score: 7.8

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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 Hotline 2

Reviewed by:

Published Date: 6th July 2020

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.

Hotline 2 is the sequel to an 80s-themed crime slot from NetEnt, inspired by the TV series and film, Miami Vice. It’s Florida sunset look and distinctive synth soundtrack make it a memorable game to play. The aim is to land wilds on 3 Hotlines on the middle reels, triggering expansions. There is also a free spins round with expanding reels and up to 1,944 win ways.

Hotline 2 has a medium variance and 5,184x max win. Spins start at 30p per play.

Hotline 2 Game Information

  • Release Date: 24.08.20
  • RTP: 96.05%
  • Variance: Medium
  • Maximum Win: 5,184x
  • Progressive Jackpot: No
  • Reels: 5
  • Rows: 3
  • Paylines: 243
  • Minimum Stake: £0.10
  • Theme: CrimeRetro
  • Features: Hotline Stacked Wilds, Wilds, Free Spins,
  • Format: 5-Reel
  • Series: Hotline

Testing Notes: Here’s What Happened When We Played Hotline 2

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 10.07.24

Results from 250 spins with real money on Hotline 2 at Casumo.

  • Start balance: £995.94
  • End balance: £1,023.26
  • Hit Rate: 16.8% (42 winning spins in 200)
  • Biggest Win: 121.5x
  • Free Spins Round: 0

I played at 30p per spin. This is the lowest stake you can play at, which is unusual for a mid-variance game. The win rate was surprisingly low too for a game of this kind. It was just 16.8%. However, that was offset by the values of those payouts. I picked up a few in the 25x to 30x region before a 121.5x dropped, all thanks to expanding wilds in the Hotline zone. In fact, the best win, the 121.5x came when all 3 Hotline reels had stacked wilds and reels 1 and 5 filled with red jewellery – a full screen of one symbol in other words.

Hotline 2 Full Screen Of Identical Symbols
3 Wild Reels and 2 Reels With Red Jewellery

I didn’t see the free spins round in 250 spins so it might be a tough one to crack, but the expanding wilds showed up 36 times over the session (14.4%). Not all produced wins but most did thanks to the win ways format which makes it easy to trigger payouts. The net result was that despite the low win rate things never got boring.

A 121.5x win in Hotline 2
121.5x win from 3 wild reels

As with the first Hotline game, it’s such a simple concept, but it works really well and this is another really compelling slot.

What We Liked

  • Awesome audio visual production including 80s soundtrack
  • Hotline reels expand to up to 7 rows in free spins
  • Higher max win than original game - 5,184x
  • Expanding wilds in base game and free spins

What We Didn't like

  • Paytable values are much lower than first Hotline slot
  • Lowest bet is 30p per spin

Hotline 2 Review Scores

  • Theme and Design 9
  • RTP and Variance 8
  • Maximum Win 7
  • Symbols and Paytable 7
  • Features and Gameplay 8

What Our Reviewer Says ...

"A high octane follow-up to the original invoking the hot nights of Miami and big wins through wilds and expanding paylines."

Overall Score: 7.8

Theme & Design

Our Score 9

Re-Creating That 80s Crime Show Atmosphere Again

Let’s be honest, one of the biggest reasons to play Hotline 1 or 2 is the production. It’s all about atmosphere and NetEnt have done a fantastic job of creating that 80s feel, thanks in large part to a soundtrack that could have come from any one of a number of movies from that era. There’s also a cracking pink sunset with palm trees and glittering ocean to enjoy in the background, whilst on the paytable a story of glamour and crime with stylish cops and villains unfolds. Watch out as well for the moment when the Hotline area activates and full reels displays a little car chase video!

Hotline 2 by NetEnt

Hotline 2 – inspired by 80s crime movies and TV shows

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.

Hotline 2 from NetEnt has an RTP of 96.05%. This is lower than the original game which has an RTP of 97.04% but it’s still a decent return for an online slot these days. The variance is medium, so you don’t have to be a thrill rider to want to play, the distribution of wins will be relatively even, but you should still choose your stake carefully.

Maximum Win

Our Score 7

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.  

One of the few disappointing parts of Hotline 2 is the maximum win which sits at 5,184x. As a medium variance slot from 2020 that isn’t bad, and it’s certainly more than you could get from the original Hotline (2,800x) but it feels a little underwhelming compared to most modern slots.

Symbols and Paytable

Our Score 7

Hotline 2 plays on 5 reels, each with 3 rows. It uses a win ways system which means there are no pre-defined paylines. Instead, wins are triggered by landing identical symbols on any row on adjacent reels from left to right, starting at the left most reel. In the base game that gives you 243 win ways (3x3x3x3x3). However, in the free spins round where expanding reels come into play, the number of win ways can increase to 1,944.

Hotline 2 Paytable
The paytable with 2.66x for 5 Kitty Weiss symbols

There are 10 symbols in the table. There are 6 pieces of sparkling jewellery in green, blue, purple, orange, red, and pink. These are valued at from 0.03x for 3 up to 0.83x for 5 on a line. The high paying symbols are detectives Quinn and Riviera and their mic-ed up friend, and jewel thief Kitty Weiss. Kitty is the highest paying symbol, rewarding you with up to 2.66x your bet for 5 of a kind.

If you are a fan of the first Hotline you will notice the paytable values here are much lower than in its predecessor, where 5 Kitties could net you 200x your bet.

Features and Gameplay

Our Score 8

Hotline 2 keeps things simple with the features. It’s all about wilds expanding in the Hotline zone and the expanded reel set in the free spins round which brings up more win lines.

Wilds And The Hotlines

The Hotlines in the game are reels 2, 3 and 4, and they are surrounded by glowing gold lines. Wild symbols, which sub for any pay symbol to complete a win way, can ONLY land on these reels.

In the base game, when a Wild lands on a Hotline it will expand to full reel height if by doing so it completes a win way.

There is also a random Hotline Feature that triggers in either base game or free spins round. When it does, the game turns to night-time mode and Stacked Wilds appear on some or all of the middle three reels.

The random Hotline feature shown in this screenshot is an exciting part of the game and showed up a lot in our test spins. When it turns ALL THREE reels into wilds you have a chance to turn the entire screen into one of the same symbol!

Hotline 2 - 3 Wild Reels
3 Wilds reels from the random Hotline feature

Free Spins With Expanded Reels 

Things move up a gear in the free spins round. This is triggered by landing 3 or more flamingo scatters on middle 3 reels at once.

That gets you 7 spins.

Now, when a Wild lands in the Hotline zone, not only does it expand to full reel height, it also adds one more row to the reel, up to a maximum of 6 rows high. At this point, if all three middle reels have a height of 6 rows, the number of win ways increases from 243 to 1,944.

The Final Verdict

Hotline 2 is a masterclass in how to build a slot. It’s such a simple format. All you are looking for is expanding wilds in the Hotline area, or scatters to trigger free spins. Everything else that happens, and by that I mean standard win ways wins, is by the by. And yet, it’s a really compelling game. It ticks a long at just the right pace to keep you interested and the punchy soundtrack and great visuals add perfect flavour. The only downside I can find is the rather low max win. Beef that up, and this could be a total classic.

Useful Tips When Playing Hotline 2

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. Wilds Are Key To Unlocking Big Wins

Symbol values are low in this game so those expanding wilds are important in helping to unlock multiple win ways.

2. Look For Pink Flamingos That Unlock Free Spins

Not only do you get free plays but you have an enhanced payout structure because the number of paylines grows with each expanding wild to land.

3. Turn The Sound UP!

Hotline 2 is all about atmosphere and re-creating that 80s vibe. And it doesn’t work without that synth-sax mix on full blast!

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 Hotline 2?

  • Name: NetEnt
  • Established: 1996
  • UK License: 39861 (Under Evolution Gaming)
  • Total Games: 500 +
  • Known For: Massive range of games, branded slots, big progressives, low to high variance
  • Popular Slots: Starburst, Dead or Alive, Gonzo's Quest, Aloha! Cluster Pays
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