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How to Tell if a Slot Machine Is Hot: 10 Things to Look out For

The excitement, the thrill, the flickering lights – there’s nothing quite like the atmosphere of a casino floor buzzing with slot machines. Among the sea of blinking lights and dings, a key concept that any player should be aware of is the notion of a “hot” slot machine. A “hot” machine, in casino parlance, refers to a slot machine that is on a payout spree or due to pay out large sums soon. Knowing if a machine is hot or not can mean the difference between walking away empty-handed or with a hefty payout. This article will guide you through 10 key things to look out for when determining if a slot machine is hot.

1. Payback Percentage

Payback Percentage
Source: liveabout.com

The first important concept is the payback percentage. This represents the percentage of all money wagered on a slot machine that it pays back to players over time. In general, machines with higher payback percentages are more likely to be “hot”. Choosing these machines increases your chances of winning. However, information about payback percentages may not always be readily available, especially in physical casinos. Online, you may find this information in the game’s help file or on casino-related forums and review sites.

2. Recent Payouts

Observing recent payouts on a slot machine is another great indicator of its hotness. A machine that has been paying out frequently could be on a hot streak, while one that hasn’t paid out in a while could be due for a big win. Most slot machines in casinos display their recent payouts on-screen, and online casinos typically have a record of recent jackpot winners that you can refer to.

3. Jackpot Frequency

Another sign to look for is the jackpot frequency. Some casinos such as SatoshiHero and machines may have smaller jackpots but pay out more frequently, while others offer massive jackpots but pay out less frequently. Understanding this relationship can help you choose a “hot” machine. While there is no foolproof method to determine a machine’s jackpot frequency, you can use online resources or observe the machine over time to get a sense.

4. Observation of Other Players

Source: medium.com

Observing other players can also provide valuable insights. If a machine has been occupied by a player for a long time without significant wins, it may be “due” for a payout. However, remember to observe respectfully without disrupting others’ gameplay.

5. Machine Location

Surprisingly, the location of a slot machine in a casino can affect its payout behavior. Machines in high-traffic areas are often set to pay out more frequently to attract players. So, machines near entrances, aisles, and bars could potentially be “hotter”.

6. Volatility Level

Volatility refers to the level of risk associated with a particular slot machine. High-volatility machines may not pay out as frequently, but when they do, the payouts are usually large, enticing players with the potential for significant rewards. These machines can be considered “hot” if you’re willing to take on higher risk for bigger payouts.

However, it’s important to note that low-volatility machines offer more frequent but smaller wins, catering to players who prefer a steadier stream of payouts without the thrill of big jackpots. Understanding the volatility level of a slot machine can help you align your preferences with the potential outcomes, allowing you to make informed decisions that suit your playing style and desired level of excitement.

7. Bonus Features and Free Spins

Machines with generous bonus features and free spin rounds are often regarded as “hotter” options, as they provide additional opportunities for players to win. These features can significantly boost your potential winnings and provide more entertainment value during your gameplay.

Bonus features may include mini-games, multipliers, wild symbols, or special bonus rounds, all of which enhance the overall gaming experience and offer chances to win extra rewards. Free spins, on the other hand, provide additional spins without requiring you to place additional bets, effectively increasing your potential payouts without risking more of your own money.

8. Machine Temperature

Source: thenevadaindependent.com

While not as widely acknowledged, some believe that the physical temperature of a slot machine can indicate its hotness. According to this perspective, a machine that has been played extensively and is physically warm to the touch could be considered “hot”. However, it’s important to approach this indicator with caution, as the warmth of a machine can also be simply a result of continuous usage and not a direct indication of its payout potential.

9. Betting Patterns

Understanding betting patterns can provide valuable insights into a machine’s hotness. If you notice other players consistently winning with a particular betting pattern, it could indicate that the machine is currently in a hot streak. This might involve observing players who consistently bet a certain amount or follow a specific sequence of bets. However, it’s important to note that while betting patterns can offer indications, they are not foolproof strategies and should be considered alongside other factors when assessing a machine’s hotness.

10. Time of Day and Day of Week

The time of day and day of the week may influence a machine’s heat. During peak hours, casinos often aim to maintain a lively atmosphere by increasing payout rates, making it more likely for players to experience wins and feel the excitement of a hot machine. In contrast, off-peak hours might see less activity and lower payout rates as casinos adjust their resources accordingly.

Similarly, weekdays may offer better odds than crowded weekends, as casinos may strategically attract more players during these times. While the influence of time and day on a machine’s hotness may vary across different casinos and locations, being aware of these factors can help you make more informed decisions about when to play and potentially increase your chances of finding a hot slot machine.


While understanding these ten indicators can increase your chances of finding a hot slot machine, it’s important to remember that slot machines are ultimately games of chance. No strategy or combination of indicators can guarantee a win. However, by being aware of the volatility level, bonus features, machine temperature, betting patterns, and the influence of time and day, you can make more informed decisions and enhance your overall gaming experience.

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