Hot and Cold slots: Myth or Not?

Hot and Cold Slots: Myth or Not?

Last updated: September 5, 2022

Whether you are an online casino player with some background or not, probably, you have already learnt from pop culture that some people reference casino slots (or an even broader range of casino games) as being “hot” or “cold”.

In this article I am going to explain:

  • what it actually means to be “hot” or “cold”

  • what are the implied benefits of knowing whether a slot is “hot” or “cold”

  • when it could be beneficial for online casino players and when it is bullshit

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Hot and cold slots concept in general

There are some various interpretations of how to tell if an online slot is hot or cold, and different casino players could have different criteria. However, everything comes down to the concept that “history” of particular slot (how good or bad it paid out in the past) must be scrutinized in order to judge whether it is hot or cold.

As I have already said, online casino players interpret such information differently. So to say, one casino player could treat a particular slot as being “hot”, but another player could assure you that it is 100% “cold”. Given that I will list popular definitions of “hot” and “cold” slots.

Hot slots

The most widespread definition of “hot slot” that it is on paying spree. To put it simply, a slot is continuing to give away one big win after another, so that your balance keeps growing, and it could seem to you that there is no end of it.

Another group of online casino players would say that “hot slot” is the one, at which they have lost a decent chunk of money. Hence, this slot is somehow obliged to give at least some part of lost money back. This group of casino players definitely believe that odds in such slot are better than they usually would be. Therefore, they use “hot slot” as a synonym of being potentially profitable.

Cold slots

The most widespread definition of “cold slot” that it is nearly impossible to win even something at this particular moment. In other words, does not matter how fancy your betting strategy is, the slot is continuing to devastate your balance so that you are doomed playing at it.

Another group of online casino players deem an online slot to be “cold ” if really big winning has happened recently. According to their theory, such slot must make up for the loss, and the most obvious source of it is the player who will play at this slot right after. Thus, they believe there is no chance to end up with a profit and to stay out of such slots would be a great idea.

Why do some casino players think they can benefit from it?

If you know the future, you can adjust your future actions as a result. If you knew how particular stock will be traded in the future, you would be a billionaire. The same concept is being applied here when casino players try to find some consistent pattern in the slot’s behaviour.

How do players usually act on the knowledge that the slot is hot or cold?

The strategy would be super simple. Play in online slots that are more likely to pay, and stay away from those which have lesser chances in your opinion.

But how do players tell which is which? There are some possible scenarios:

  • some players believe that when a slot is paying you should continue to play

  • on the opposite side, some would claim that it is going to be a bad idea

  • some players assert that if a slot is eating your balance than it is “dead”, and you’d better stay away

  • the opposite group assures otherwise, claiming that it must pay back everything it has taken from you (or some part at least)

Hence, depending on the definition, you could come across the statements that contradict each other, like “only play in hot slots” or “never play in hot slots”.

When “cold/hot slots” theory is a myth

There is no such thing as “hot and cold slots” if we are talking about any licensed software. So to say, it is a myth almost every time.

Yes, any licensed online slot is a computer program, and the outcome is predetermined in the long run (every slot has its own RTP percentage). But in the short terms, winnings/losses are being distributed absolutely randomly. Each time you take a spin in the licensed slot, the probability of winning or losing money stays intact. You can inflict upon online slot even your darkest magic, but nothing can change this simple fact.

Moreover, each slot producer must obtain a gambling license in some gambling jurisdiction. In order to get it, software provider’s products must be tested by some independent third-party (eCOGRA, ITech labs, TST are some of them). They test online slots exactly to verify that winnings are being distributed randomly and cannot be influenced by anything except for RNG (random number generator).

In case you are still not convinced, let’s consider it from a common-sense perspective. All online and land-based casino games are designed to cause losses for players in the long run. So why would a casino care how one particular slot is doing at a particular moment of time?

For instance, let’s say a land-based casino has one hundred slots running. Does it really matter for it which of the accounts have a positive balance on a particular day/week/month? I do not think so, because as long as all one hundred slots are profitable (and they certainly are), the casino does not care.

The same is true regarding online casinos. Software providers rent out their slots to hundreds of online casinos, and they are not bothered how much particular slot has paid. Because millions of spins are the guarantee they end up with profit anyway.

Hence, licensed casinos do not need to implement some weird tricks, and licensed slots are paying out purely on a random basis.

When slots could be really “hot or cold”

It happens only at casinos with fake or scripted software. Then, and only then, the whole “hot and cold slots” theory is correct.

It becomes possible because such casinos are rigging payout system so that it does not distribute winnings randomly anymore. Instead, they are predetermined by some past happenings. For example, previous big winning is going to trigger such a slot to pay far less and vice versa.

I have an article on how you could possibly take advantage of these scammers.

Hot online slots list

In the world of online gambling, players decide for themselves which games they will play and how they will choose them. However, some users try to choose games where they think they can gain some advantage in order to get big winnings. Some players pay attention to what kind of volatility the slot has. You already know very well that slots with High volatility offer big and infrequent payouts, while slots with Low volatility offer frequent and less profitable winnings. These two categories of games have a golden mean, which is called Low volatility. This volatility allows you to be in between the two main levels. But, this is not the only parameter to consider when choosing a slot. This also includes the RTP. Relying on this figure can go a long way and reduce your losses. The higher the RTP percentage, the better the slot is and the more it will give you back your winnings in theory. Some players simply rely on their intuition and choose games at random.

However, many players rely on the concept of "Hot" or "Cold" slots. How can you tell if a slot is hot? Well, you have to look at the RTP, and the higher the theoretical payout, the hotter the slot will be. The higher the theoretical return, the hotter the slot will be. In the opposite direction this concept works for old slots. The lower the RTP percentage, the colder the game. The bottom line is that if you want to know how hot a slot is you can check this page which has all the hot online slots you can think of. You can also check the Paytable section directly in the game to find the theoretical payout and see if the slot is hot or cold. If you don't get this information, go to the official website of the developer of the game you want and search there. Now you have at least a few options on how to find hot slots. And for your own part, they suggest looking at the hot slots list and finding out which games are most popular with players.


I would say that nine times out of the ten, “hot/cold theory” is just a superstition, which makes more harm to casino players than good.

Especially it is true when an online casino player is persisting to play in the slot after huge loss in the hope that the slot must bring the money back, or when a player is exceeding gambling budget and spending more money on gambling than he/she normally would.