Wild Symbols in Slots

Wild Symbols in Slots

Symbols that spin on the reels and form winning combinations are at the heart of the gameplay of any online slot machine. Usually there are both simple and special ones, which often serve to implement the bonus functions of the slot machine.

The following types of special symbols can appear on the reels:

  • Scatter
  • Wild
  • Bonus
  • Jackpot
  • Giant
  • Multiplier

In this article, we’ll focus on Wild symbols. Often, several of these icons can bring you profit when they appear on the playing field at once. However, the Wild’s main purpose is to substitute for the simple symbols that are needed to create a winning combination.

Wild substitutes for the regular symbols
Wild helps you form a winning combination

For example, if the same symbols fall out on the 2nd and 3rd reels and there is a Wild symbol in front of them, the latter replaces the three symbols that are needed to form a winning chain, providing you with a cash prize corresponding to its value in a payout table. However, these Wild features don’t apply to Scatters and other special symbols of the slot machine.

Wild Symbols Functions in Slot Machines

Although we have already decided on the Wild’s main purpose, it may also have additional functions; for example, this symbol can activate various bonus slot mechanics when making certain combinations with its help.

Wild is one of the first special symbols that appeared in modern slot machines. Its prototype was the Joker card.

Key functions of the Wild symbols are:

  • Replacing other symbols. If the Wild symbol appears as part of the expected prize chain in place of a simple icon, it replaces the missing one and brings you a payout.
  • Increasing the payout ratio. In some slots, the Wild symbol is used as an auxiliary multiplier, which allows you to receive a multiply increased cash prize.
  • Replacing the nearest symbols. The extension of the Wild to adjacent cells provides you with an increase of your winning chances.
  • Launching the bonus features of the slot machine. Landing several Wild symbols on the reels at once can activate the bonus round of the slot machine.

As you can see, there are quite a lot of functions that Wild can perform. You can find out in the Information section which of them are embedded in a particular slot.

Different Wild Symbols

If you want to better understand the specifics of Wilds and the peculiarities of their use, you should study each of their popular versions in more detail.

Expanding Wild
Expanding Wild symbol

Expanding Wild

Expanding Wild fills several sectors at once when activated. It can expand to the entire reel on which it fell out or in the other direction, depending on the features of the slot machine. This can provide you with a big win.

Sticky Wild

Sticky Wild is usually available in the bonus game of the slot machine. All the time the free spins last, it continues to stay in place, helping to form winning combinations. In addition, it’s able to activate additional spins.

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Shifting Wild

The only difference between Shifting Wild and Sticky Wild is that its position is not fixed during free spins, but changes after each new spin. This allows you to further increase the probability of forming winning combinations.

Stacked Wild

The Stacked Wild differs from the regular one only in that it includes several symbols at once. Usually there are no more than 3 Stacked Wild symbols on the reels. However, their number can reach 5 in some slot machines. This allows you to significantly increase the likelihood of receiving a winning combination.

Where and When Does the Wild Drop

The appearance of the Wild symbol on the reels of the slot machine is completely random; therefore, it’s impossible to predict. However, according to the rules of some slot machines, it can land only on certain reels, for example, the odd ones. You can find comprehensive information regarding the features of a special symbol in the Info section of a particular slot machine.

How to Choose a Slot Machine With the Wild Symbol

Wild is an important element of a successful game, as it allows you to increase the number of winning combinations you collect, especially if it’s available in the bonus game of the slot machine.

Your gaming experience largely depends on functions the special symbol has.

Here are a few tips on how to choose slot machines with Wild symbols:

  • The higher the RTP of a slot machine, the better. This criterion reflects the percentage of the invested funds that it returns back in the long run.
  • The more special symbols, the more interesting the slot. If it has not 1, but 2 or more Wild symbol mechanics, you can win more frequently.
  • It is desirable that the Wild can activate bonus features; they are often the most profitable in the slot machine.
  • It’s good if the slot has additional popular mechanics that increase the profitability of the slot machine that aren’t associated with special symbols; these can be Megaways or Cascading Reels.

These are the main recommendations that will allow you to find a slot that not only has an exciting plot but is also very profitable.


In conclusion, we can note that the Wild symbol plays an important role in slots, providing you with a unique opportunity to increase your winning chances. Moreover, if you can activate free spins with its help, according to the rules of the slot machine, Wild allows you to make your cash prizes larger and more frequent. Therefore, when choosing a suitable slot for the game, pay attention to the special symbols that are available in the slot machine. After all, the more of them there are, the more exciting and profitable your game will be.


Yes. Some slot machines offer you at least 2 types of Wild symbols. There may also be a situation when the same Wild symbol performs several functions at once.

Yes, of course. Although the most common are Wild and Scatter, the slot machine can have a number of other special symbols.

Although the picture of the Wild symbol has a corresponding caption, this is not necessary. Therefore, to verify if it’s there, you should go to the information section of the slot machine.

Oh sure. It’s not difficult to understand the functioning of Wild and other special symbols. However, the more of them in the slot, the bigger and more often your winnings will be.

Despite the value of this special symbol, slots can also offer a lot of other impressive bonus features, including Scatter, risk game, free spins, respins, etc. Many of these options can be just as lucrative as Wilds and their associated bonus features.

Publication Author
Donald Peterson
Author of articles
Donald Peterson is an avid gambler from Edmonton, Alberta, who also writes about his experience with casinos. He’s been in the business for over 10 years, following the ever-changing industry landscape. His articles are aimed at helping beginners with choosing casinos, suitable games, and strategies.
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