Wilds Symbol Features Explained

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David Lee Thursday, March 29, 2018

When you first start to play slots you may be overwhelmed by the different features that can change from slot to slot. For the most part, a good slot will have many of the same features; such as, scatters, wilds, free spins, and bonus rounds. However, many of these features have been modified and given names to explain exactly what the enhanced version of this feature does.

Here we will explain how wild symbol slot features are enhanced to give players an added fighting chance of landing winning combinations:

The Wild Symbol

Almost every slot has a wild symbol, which is basically shirt for wildcard symbol. It means that this symbol can act as if it is any one of the other symbols on the slot. Therefore, if you have a combination of 3 bells on reel 1 and 2 and a bell on reel 4, normally this would only count as a 3 symbol combination.

However, if the wild symbol is on reel 3, then you win a 4 symbol combination payout.

Example of a 4 symbol combination payout with the wild symbol:

  • Reel 1: Bell Symbol
  • Reel 2: Bell Symbol
  • Reel 3: Wild Symbol (Acts as a Bell symbol)
  • Reel 4: Bell Symbol

This makes the wild symbol a very useful feature because it helps players land more symbol combination wins. Obviously the more wild symbols there are on the reels, the more chances you have of landing symbol combination wins.

With this in mind, slot developers knew they could not permanently have huge numbers of wild symbols on the reels or the slot would not make any money. Instead, the developers came up with ingenious ways to temporarily give players more wilds on the reels or enhance the way wild symbols work.

Here are some wild symbol features you may come across when playing slots:

There are many slots that combine these features together. You can have multiplying wilds that will turn into sticky wilds for a certain number of spins, or expanding wilds that will turn into wild reels using the sticky wild feature because once the reel is full of wilds, all the wild symbols will stick.

  1. Stacked Wilds

This is one of the most common enhanced wild features. Stacked wilds are basically chunks of wild symbols on a reel bunched together on a reel.

A reel with stacked wilds could look like this:

  • Bell
  • Cherry
  • Wild
  • Wild
  • Wild
  • Lucky 7

As you can see, the wild is stacked horizontally on the reel 3 times in the example above. On a 5x3 slot, if you can then regularly land wilds and sometimes fill up an entire reel with 3 wild symbols. This is almost the same as a wild reel.

  1. Wild Reels

Wild reels were originally invented by Microgaming. There will be a feature in the game that will either randomly give you an entire reel full of wild symbols, or a trigger feature that gives you an entire reel full of wild symbols.

Some features that trigger will give you multiple reels full off wilds i.e. you are given multiple wild reels. With wild symbols on 1 reel or even multiple reels, you are sure to complete multiple combinations.

On some slots the where the wild is also the jackpot symbol, you can fill up all 5 reels and every position with wild symbols which is the slot jackpot. This also gives you multiple jackpot payouts across every line of the slot.

An example of this would be if you were playing a 10 pay-line slot and all 5 reels turn into wild symbols. This means you will be paid the jackpot 10 times over!

  1. Wild Multipliers

Some slots will double or treble the value of a symbol combination win that uses the wild symbol to help complete the combination. If you happen to complete the jackpot symbol payout on a pay line and it includes the wild symbol too, then you can win multipliers of the jackpot.

  1. Multiplying Wilds

Not to be mistaken with ‘wild multipliers’ this is when wilds on the reels begin to multiply. Wilds can just multiply on the reels giving you more wild symbols to land symbol combinations. Sometimes the Multiplying Wilds will become ‘sticky wilds’ for a certain number of spins. This can occur in the base game or during free spins rounds.

  1. Expanding Wilds

When expanding wilds activate, this means that the wilds on the reels will expand. You could have 1 wild and this wild will turn into 2 stacked wild symbols. If there are already stacked wilds on the reels, then the stacked wilds will expand even further.

  • Spin 1 = 3 stacked wilds
  • Bell
  • Cherry
  • Wild
  • Wild
  • Wild
  • Lucky 7

 

  • Spin 2 = 4 stacked wilds
  • Bell
  • Wild
  • Wild
  • Wild
  • Wild
  • Lucky 7

 

  • Spin 3 = 5 stacked wilds
  • Wild
  • Wild
  • Wild
  • Wild
  • Wild
  • Lucky 7

Expanding wilds rolling on the reels will increase your chance of filling up entire reels with wilds symbols creating something similar to expanding wilds.

You will mostly find expanding wilds as part of a feature that is triggered by the game or during free spins rounds where each spin will add another wild to the stack.

  1. Sticky Wilds

Stickly wilds occur when a wild symbol lands on the reels and sticks for a certain number of spins. It is most commonly found in free spins rounds because these bonus rounds come with a certain number of spins making it easy for the slot developer to decide how many spins the sticky wild be activated.

Another common feature that you will see sticky wilds involved in is when a slot has a respin feature.

  1. Wild as the Jackpot Symbol

There are many slots that will also combine the wild as a winning symbol combination. If this is the case, the wild symbol is nearly always the games highest paying symbol and therefore the jackpot symbol.

If the game also includes wild reels, then there is a good chance that you could win the jackpot multiple times if all 5 reels become wild symbols.

  1. Dropping Wilds

These are also known as drop-in wild symbols. On some slots, at any point in the game, a wild symbol or several wild symbols will suddenly drop on to the reels completing a combination win. These are probably the rarest style of wild feature found on slots, but nonetheless very useful because 80% of the time a slot drops in a wild, it is because the slot want to pay out.

Rounding up wild symbols

As you can see, there are many different ways slot developers have adjusted the way wilds symbols work with different features. Many of these features are combined with each other to give players that added opportunity of winning combination wins. They have become an integral part of online slots and have been around since the one arm bandits first hit the streets of the USA.

You can find wilds on classic slots and modern slots alike. They are much like the Joker card or wild Deuces found on video poker games. The wild symbol has long been an integral asset to slots gamers and developers will continue to find new and inventive ways to revamp the wild symbol to be included in more new features.