A short history of wilds
It is thought that the idea of a wild symbol developed from the wild card in poker that can be used to make a winning hand. When slots went digital and developers found they could really push the boundaries of what slots could achieve, the concept of the wild symbol began to emerge as a way to create exciting gameplay.
Go big, go wild
If you love to play free slots, the chances are that you have played a game with a wild symbol in it. Along with the scatter symbol, the wild is one of the foundations of any good slot game. It is an incredibly useful symbol and one that opens up the possibility for one or more winning combinations when none previously existed.
As wild symbols slots are so highly valued by players, developers are always happy to bring new and innovative gameplay to the table. The humble wild that substituted for another symbol has evolved into four major innovations that have added extra value and flexibility to a wide range of games.
Explosive gaming with expanding wilds
Expanding wilds are becoming a more and more familiar sight as modern slots keep pushing the boundaries. Imagine spinning a wild that expands to fill the entire reel to create all kind of winning mayhem - lovers of Starburst will know what a great gameplay feature expanding wilds can be.
Expanding wilds can trigger in different ways and are often used in conjunction with stacked wilds to unleash some serious wild symbol action. By turning an entire reel wild, you are obviously looking at multiple ways to create a winning connection between symbols across a payline - or on adjacent reels if you are playing a multiways win-type slot.
Some developers are also beginning to put a different spin on the expanding wild, so now you are beginning to see them spread sideways to cover an entire block of symbols or even to spread across every reel on the screen. The Wild on Wilds feature in Divine Fortune is a good example of a wild symbols slots game.
Stacks of fun with stacked wilds
Stacked wilds work in a similar way to expanding wilds, which is why they are often found together. Basically, the wilds are stacked one on top of the other to create winning opportunities on multiple paylines and the chances are that you will spin more than one stack of wilds across your five reels. These symbols can appear both vertically and horizontally to spin some massive wins.
Fishin’ Impossible makes great use of stacked and sticky wilds in the free spins feature to create some serious winning action in this fun and frantic Fishing Slots game.
Stick to a win with sticky wilds
As the name indicates, these are wilds that stick around on the reels for several spins. This builds up plenty of winning opportunities, especially if more are added each time you spin the reels. Unlike stacked and expanding wilds, they will not create multiple winning combinations; however, you will know that there is a wild ready to land on your next spin.
Some of the best sticky wild symbols slots are Dead or Alive and Troll Story. Dead or Alive is a high volatility slot that adds sticky wilds to the free spins bonus to create more ways to win and to retrigger the free spins feature. Troll Story adds up to five sticky wilds in the bonus round, each of which tells you the number of spins it will stick around for.
Over the top with wild overlays
Wild symbols slots such as Guns ‘n’ Roses are an absolute blast to play thanks to the innovative wild overlay feature. These wilds are not stacked or expanding; instead, they appear in a distinct shape, such as a circle, a cross or an X, to occupy several spaces on the reels for some blazing wild action. They are slightly different from other wilds because they are not organic to the game and tend to appear at random.
The wild overlay takes the form of a cross in Guns ‘n’ Roses, occupying symbols on reels two, three and four. This can appear fully or partially on the reels and does not overlay any base game wild symbols on the reels. What it does create is some stunning opportunities for multiple winning combinations across several paylines.
Base game and bonus features
Wilds are no longer confined to the base game. Expanding and stacked wilds sometimes pop up in the base game, but sticky wilds tend to be a bonus feature and overlay wilds trigger quite at random. They can be a little confusing to get your head around at first; however, once you do, you will appreciate how invaluable these wild symbols are when you are spinning for big wins.
When and where
Wilds are just crazy symbols that appear totally at random, with no saying where or when; for example, the wild will only land on certain reels or substitute for certain symbols in some High 5 casino slots. The scatter can’t usually be substituted by a wild. If you want to know more about this feature in wild symbols slots, access the paytable for more information.
Desktop, mobile and tablet
The wild symbol can be found in just about every slot, from Chinese good luck games to classics such as Book of Ra. This means you can spin some massive money-winning combinations whatever kind of slots you play and wherever you play them.
From humble beginnings in poker to the all-conquering world of online slots, the wild symbol is fundamental to all great gameplay. If you love wild symbols slots, we have plenty to play for free here at Online Slots NZ!