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Why Wild Symbols Are Important when Playing Slots

Why Wild Symbols Are Important when Playing Slots
Photo by DEAR on Unsplash

Slot machines embrace a lot of features to define their payouts and best slot bonuses. One of the most common elements included in the sets is the wild. The wild is the most popular of all slot incentives. This bonus appears in the form of wild symbols that can replace others to complete their winning combinations. Sometimes, the icon is restricted to appear in specific reels, such as the second through fourth ones, and they have no value unless they are part of another symbol’s combination. Wilds can create combinations by themselves in other pokies, and they often lie among high-value characters. Some slot games also feature more than one wild.

Wilds have grown to become staple additions in pokies since the entry of bonus features in the sets. The significance of wild symbols in slot machines lies with their ability to trigger any character’s combinations. Therefore, punters do not have to depend on the standard characters solely to complete winning combinations. The symbols can also drive up the combinations’ value if they have other bonus features attached to them. 

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Types of Wild Icons

The significance of wild symbols in slot games varies depending on how they function. All wild characters have the same primary function of substituting other items to activate their payout clusters. Slot developers customize these symbols to amplify their features, and the most common variations include;

  • Standard wilds

These wilds are the regular version that only replaces other symbols aside from the bonus ones to complete their combos. The icon can create its own combinations or not, depending on the pokie machine.

  • Sticky wilds

Sticky wilds remain on the grid for one or more rounds after they land on the grid. In some pokies, it sticks around for a specific number of rounds before exiting the playtable. In others, the symbol remains in view until it is part of a winning combination.

  • Stacked wilds

Stacked wilds appear on the grid covering part of or an entire reel. The icons appear on top of each other and can be restricted to specific areas of the grid. Stacked wilds exit the screen with the rest of the icons after a round.

  • Walking wilds

Walking wilds stick around for more than one round when they come into view. Usually, they move from one reel to the next one with each spin until they exit the playtable. In most cases, the walking wilds award respins that play for as long as they are in view.

  • Roaming wilds

Roaming wilds are similar to the walking ones, but these move around the grid in no specific order. They can also grant respins for as long as they are on the reels or appear for a predetermined number of rounds.

  • Expanding wilds

Expanding wilds are somewhat similar to stacked wilds since they cover the entire reel on which they appear. However, expanding wilds are usually a single character that stretches over the column rather than several. Most slots with expanding wilds allow the icons to nudge others off the grid once they appear. In others, they can cover the reels partly.

  • Replicating wilds

Replicating wild symbols turn other regular icons into wilds. The characters can be adjacent to the wilds and create specific shapes and objects related to the theme. In others, the wild replicates on random tiles.

  • Wild multipliers

Wild multipliers have multiplier bonuses attached to them. When they trigger payout combinations, the multiplier is applied to the cluster value. If more than one wild completes a winning combination, their values are multiplied together before being applied to the won amount.

  • Jackpot wilds

Slots with jackpot wilds use these icons to award progressive payouts. The appearance of the icons activates a bonus round that proceeds to grant the pooled amount. These wilds can be provided alongside regular wilds.

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Popular Slots with Wilds

Wild symbols can be used to make or break a game. Numerous slot games thrive thanks to their innovative use of these features, and some of them include;

  • Narcos

Narcos slot by NetEnt comes as jam-packed with flying bullets as the Netflix series it is based on. The pokie has a standard five-by-three playtable that tells of Pablo Escobar’s chase by the FBI. The pokie’s bonus features are linked to the theme, including the wild symbols. The first wild is a police badge with an eagle emblem. The character pays 20 to 300 times the line bet for its own combos and can replace all standard icons. The second one is a walking wild, which appears as a flaming police badge. Any walking wilds that are part of winning combos remain on the grid and slide one reel to the left with each spin.

  • Cat Wilde and the Doom of Dead

Cat Wilde and the Doom of Dead show just how adventurous Rich Wilde’s daughter can be. The young belle explores Egyptian royalty tombs in hopes of landing treasure and splitting it with gamblers. The pokie machine is one of a kind featuring a separate wild and scatter, unlike nearly all others in the “Book of” styled list. The wilds appear as undead mummies draped in pricey fabrics. The wilds expand on their reels once they appear, and if all five reels are covered in them, they award 10,000 times the line stake.

  • Guns N’ Roses

The NetEnt slot Guns N’ Roses is based on the American band of the same name that boasts an iconic career tracing back to the eighties. The pokie machine is set as a concert with some of the band’s most popular sings playing in the background. The slot wild is its logo, which can appear on any reel aside from the third one. The icon expands on the column it appears on. The pokie also includes the Appetite for Destruction Wild, which features a replicating wild in the form of a cross.


Most of these games can be tested on free slots no download sites. Wild symbols continue to cement their place as staple additions in slot machines. Online gaming software providers continue to push the boundaries of how valuable these icons can be, which builds on their importance in the games.

Featured Photo by DEAR on Unsplash

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