What Is A Wild Symbol and How Does It Work?


The Wild symbol has one important function - to replace almost any other symbol on the reels. While doing that, it will help you get winning paylines that would otherwise not result in a win. The only symbols the Wilds don’t usually replace are the Scatters or the bonus ones. In some slots, the Wild won’t pay a huge amount, while in some others, it will act as the highest paying icon. 

Sadly, you have no way of predicting whether or when Wilds land on the reels - they’ll show up at random. In some slots, they’ll even have dedicated reels on which they’ll appear. Usually, they’re the middle reels but make sure to check the game’s paytable to find this exact information. 


Types of Wild Symbols


The beauty of slots with Wilds is that they come with a variety of different Wilds. Depending on their types, these Wilds can trigger moderate or huge prizes. Let’s see what types of Wilds there are!
 

  • Sticky Wilds. Sticky Wilds are some of the most popular Wilds. And it’s not hard to see why. They will stay in one place for a certain number of spins, offering you more chances to form winning combinations. They’re even more lucrative when they appear during free spins, as they’ll stay stuck in place for the whole round. A good example of a slot with sticky wilds is BetSoft’s Mamma Mia!, as pictured below!

Sticky Wilds

  • Stacked Wilds. The stacked wilds will show up multiple times on a single reel. And if you’re lucky enough, you can even have a whole reel covered in wilds! They’re the second most common type of wilds and the wins you’ll get from them are directly proportional with how much space they occupy on the reels. You can enjoy some stacked wilds in Spinomenal’s Story of Samurai slot. 

Stacked Wilds

  • Shifting Wilds. The shifting wilds are very similar to the sticky ones, with one major difference - the shifting wilds will move across the reels as they spin, until they’re off the screen. They’re less lucrative than the sticky ones, but that doesn’t mean they won’t help you form some great combinations. You can see them in action in iSoftBet’s Sea of Riches slot!

Shifting Wilds

  • Expanding Wilds. As the name suggests, this particular type of wild will expand to cover a whole reel. While they’re not extremely lucrative, they usually provide a visual spectacle that will make it worth your while. A great slot with expanding wilds is Mancala Gaming’s Portal Master, as pictured below. 

Expanding Wilds

  • Multiplier Wilds. Multiplier wilds are rather rare but when you come across a slot that has them, make sure you play it. As the name suggests, such a wild will also double as a multiplier symbol, doubling or even tripling your wins. The winning potential of a multiplier wild is huge and that’s why they’re so rare. You can enjoy this feature in the Tower Quest slot by Play n GO.

Multiplier Wilds

  • Reel-Specific Wilds. Last but not least, you have the reel-specific wilds. While not as valuable as the rest of their “siblings”, these symbols are still fun to play with. They will appear only on specific reels and trigger wins from that position. If you want to see them in action, we recommend the Magic Wilds slot from Red Rake Gaming.Reel Specific Wilds

FAQ

1. What does Wild mean in slots?

In slots, the Wild will substitute for any other symbol (except the Scatter and the bonus ones), helping you form winning combinations faster and more often. Think about the Wild as the Joker in a card game.

2. Can I play slots with Wild symbols for free?


You sure can! All the slots with Wild symbols on this page are free to play for as long as you like. However, once you find a slot that really catches your attention, we’re sure you’ll appreciate an upgraded version in our Real Money Slots section.

3. What is the oldest slot machine symbol?

It’s not the Wild, that’s for sure. Wilds are a new addition that came with the birth of video slots. The oldest symbols are actually the bells, cherries, horseshoes, spades, hearts, and bells. They were the first icons to ever grace the reels of land-based slots.
 

4. How many Wild symbols are there?

There are a few types of Wild symbols you’ll find in slots. You have sticky wilds, shifting wilds, stacked wilds, expanding wilds, multiplier wilds, and reel-specific wilds. They all come with their respective advantages and disadvantages but one thing is for sure - they’re all great fun to play with!