Any Game of Nerds reader has most likely played more than one round of slots in his or her life. The question is, how many of you have paid attention to the different types of wild symbols? I mean more than it’s sometimes a rabbit, cat, or very often, the game logo as in Game of Thrones. The “wild” symbol by the game manufacturer impacts not only on the overall entertainment value of the game but as the wild triggers various combinations, it also impacts how much we potentially can win playing the game. Playing slots you’ve noticed the wheels often start to spin all by themselves and hopefully you end up winning something you didn’t expect. The special features, like the wild symbols, are what make online slots so fun to play. Each slot comes with different unique and exciting features, and one of the most common ones that the majority of modern online slots usually feature is the wild symbol.

What is a Wild Symbol

The wild symbol is a symbol in slot machines that can fill in for any other paying symbols in the game. To further explain what this means, let me paint a picture. Let’s say there is a slot machine that pays players for landing three or more identical symbols from the leftmost reel to the right across an active pay line. Landing two matching symbols arranged accordingly across a payline, without a third similar symbol the game will not payout. However, if a wild symbol occupies the third position across that payline, the wild symbol will act as the required third symbol and trigger a winning combination. 

You should note that although the wild symbol can replace many symbols within the game, scatters, free spins or any other bonus game symbols are usually an exception. Interestingly, aside from replacing symbols to form winning combinations, some slot’s wild symbols are also capable of paying players for some sort of combination and are usually the highest paying symbol.

Different Types of Wild Symbols

The popular wild symbol has been around since the invention of mechanical slot machines. Since then, various types of wild symbols have been developed and are now used by many software providers in a variety of online slot games. These symbols have progressed from simply substituting symbols to form winning combinations to complex and exciting ones. Many of these wild symbols only appear during bonus games, which means that games with good wild symbols should be played over a longer period of time rather than just a few spins to increase the chances of the wilds triggering. This is difficult with a thin wallet, so we’ve included a tip from TrueNorthCasinos: use free credits and no deposit bonuses when playing these types of slots instead of relying solely on your own deposit.

Highlighted below are some of the most popular forms of wild symbols you will often come across in online slots machines.

1. Regular Wilds

The regular wild symbol is the most basic form of wild symbol you will most likely come across in many online slot machines. They simply substitute for the regular symbols in a game to increase the number of wins.

2. Reel Specific Wilds

These types of wilds can be found in some slot games online. The wilds in such games can only appear on certain reels, usually the first, third, and fifth reels, though other configurations are used, based on the provider’s preference.

3. Sticky Wilds

Sticky wilds are often also referred to as locked or frozen wilds, and as their name implies, they generally stick to their position on the reels. Once a player manages to land a sticky wild in a position anywhere across the reels, the wild symbol will stay locked in that position for a predetermined number of spins. It becomes even more fun when a player manages to land more sticky wilds in different positions across the reels because this will essentially increase the chances of such a player landing winning combinations.

4. Stacked Wilds

Stacked wilds are basically two or three wild symbols piled on top of each other on a single reel. This usually means that the entire reel is covered in the same symbol. Stacked wilds usually appear in more than one reel to create the potential for a lot of wins. For some slots, the entire reels can be covered with stacked wild symbols.

5. Expanding Wilds

This is another common variation of the wild symbol. Just like the stacked symbol, the expanding wild symbol also increases in size, but unlike the stacked wilds that increase vertically, the expanding wild symbol is free to multiply and expand in any direction available. In many cases, the wilds can even trigger a slot machine jackpot by occupying the whole reel set.

6. Multiplier Wilds

The multiplier wilds is an extra feature that can come overlapped with any of the other types of wild symbols. This is one feature that you want to come across when you play online slots. In addition to helping to create winning combinations, multiplier wilds also boost the payout value of each win they help create. These wilds are amazing because they not only increase a player’s chances of winning but also the amount a player can win.

7. Colossal Wilds

The colossal wild symbol is another type of wilds you will often come across in online slot machines. The symbol appears as large symbols, usually about 2×2 in size or bigger. 

Other types of wild symbols include;

  • Trailing wilds
  • Shifting wilds
  • Duplicating/Replicating wilds
  • Moving wilds, etc.

So, now that you know more about how wild symbols work, you can go ahead and try out any online slots with this feature, knowing that it increases the hopes of creating big wins. We don’t mention online slots in our article about Top 5 Free Online Games but you can play free slots, including those with wild symbols, at basically any online casino operator. It’s a great way to enjoy the game without the risk of losing any real money!