Wild symbols have been around since forever! They are far from a new invention and have featured on many a video slot, especially in today’s modern machines. In fact, remember those classic three reel slots, or ‘one-armed bandits’ as they were called? Basically, they’ve been featured on some of those too.

The Wild Card

For those of you unfamiliar with the concept of a Wild symbol, just think about it in terms of the role the Joker plays in a pack of cards. Just like the Joker can take the value of any card you wish, Wilds can also substitute for any other symbol on the reels to create winning combinations and thus, give you cash prizes. This means, that if you land three matching symbols and your fourth icon is a Wild (on an active pay-line, of course) then you will be awarded a four of a kind win. Some Wilds even come with their own prizes and, in most cases, serve as the highest-paying symbol on the paytable, therefore, the more Wilds appear on a win-line, the bigger your payout will be. In a nutshell, these symbols are there to augment your gaming experience, making it more exciting, and to boost your winnings.

Many Functions

Wild symbols cannot be controlled as they appear randomly as do the other icons – that’s what makes them so exciting – they can appear and work their magic at any time. As mentioned earlier, they can substitute any standard symbol, apart from some special icons which include the Scatter, Free Spin, and Bonus symbols.

Sometimes, they are even restricted to appearing on specific reels. For example, in Playtech’s Ghost Rider online slot, the Wild can only appear on reels 2, 3 and 4. It’s extremely important that you take a look at a slot’s paytable before you launch the game, all the information you require on the slot will be featured there, including what type of Wilds are present and on which reels they feature. Furthermore, lining up five Wilds on your reels will trigger the slot’s, ultimate prize, the jackpot!

Not only do they help you form winning combinations, some Wilds may act as multipliers, as well. In Microgaming’s Thunderstruck, for example, Thor is the Wild symbol and comes with a 2x multiplier, therefore, your payout is automatically doubled when he appears on a win-line. These Wild icons can really do no wrong!

Take a Ride on the Wild Side

Game developers are always looking for new methods to upgrade even the most basic features, like Wilds, for example. Nowadays you can find a range of these symbols which tend to be associated with bonus games and bonus features. Some of these new upgraded features include Expanding WildsSticky WildsStacked WildsWalking WildsTransferring Wilds and Shifting Wilds. Remember, that they function in the same way as the standard Wild symbol, meaning that they appear randomly and take the place of all icons except the Scatter and Bonus symbols to form winning combinations. Below is a brief description of each type Wild.

Online video slots featuring Expanding Wilds, do exactly what their name suggests, when they appear, they expand to fill the length of the whole reel, turning it Wild in the process. Sticky Wilds, on the other hand, will ‘stick’ to its position on the reel that they appear on for the next spin forming more winning combinations. The Stacked sort of Wilds are players’ favourite as they usually appear in stacks of two to five Wild symbols, one on top of the other, to give you some massive wins. In some slots, a Wild may crop up on your screen and will move one position after awarding you with your prize. You will then receive a free spin each time the Wild moves until it disappears off your reels. These are called Walking Wilds, which bear a close resemblance to Shifting Wilds, which will definitely benefit your bankroll. Transferring Wilds work in a similar way as they have the ability to transfer from one location to another, significantly increasing your chances of hitting big in the process.