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Wild Symbols in Online Slots | LeoVegas

Wild symbols in online slots

If you’re a keen online slot player, you likely already know what Wild symbols are, but if you’re a beginner or less experienced slot player, you may still have a lot of questions about Wild symbols. Such as, what are they? Which games feature them? And what do they add to an online slot game?

You may also be wondering about Sticky Wilds, Stacked Wilds and Expanding Wilds. What do all these different Wild symbols do exactly, and which are the best ones to look out for?

We’re going to take a closer look at all the different types of Wild symbols and how they play out in the various online slot games they feature. Read our short but detailed guide to find out everything you need to know about playing online slot games with Wild symbols.

The history of Wild symbols in online slots

Wild symbols have been present in slot games for many years. In fact, there were Wild symbols in slot games before there were online slot games or online casinos. Real-world slot games, traditionally known as one-armed bandits, have existed in some form for well over 100 years. The modern slot machine is generally thought to have been invented by Charles Fey, an American inventor who started out as a mechanic in San Francisco building slot machines in his basement.

Fey built his first slot machine in 1894 and was soon seeing enough success to quit his job and open a factory producing the machines. Early slot machines were similar to modern ones but would have had a very limited number of symbols and features.

Over time, more symbols were created, and the concept of Wild symbols was introduced. Both real-world and online slot machine games include Wild symbols, but the invention of online casino gaming has led to a whole range of new features that are easier to build into virtual games, and many of them involve Wild symbols.

What do Wild symbols do in online slots?

The main purpose of a Wild symbol is to substitute for all other regular pay symbols in the game, therefore increasing the player’s chances of forming winning combinations across the reels. Wilds don’t usually substitute for scatters or bonus symbols, but for any other symbol, they can step in and form a winning line.

In some games, Wild symbols have other properties. They can offer higher potential payouts, especially if you land multiple Wilds on the reels, and they can also ‘stick’, stack or expand to offer more opportunities to win (more on how that works soon).

How exactly do Wild symbols work in online slots?

There’s no set Wild symbol, so each game will use a different symbol as it is Wild, but it will usually be obvious which one it is. It may well have the word ‘Wild’ written on the symbol itself.

When a Wild lands on the reels on any payline, it can take the place of other symbols that you would have needed to land in that place to form a winning line. So, if a Wild lands between two other matching symbols on a payline, you automatically get three of a kind. In some games, landing three or more Wild symbols will also result in a payout, and you may even find that this is one of the biggest payouts that the game offers.

What are the different types of Wild symbols in online slots?

The basic Wild symbol you’ll find in most online slot games is the most common type of Wild. However, there are also different types of Wilds that can appear across the reels, and they can sometimes behave in different ways, and offer various bonus features. Some of the different types of Wild symbols you’ll come across include Sticky Wilds, Stacked Wilds and Expanding Wilds. Let’s take a closer look at each one.

What are Sticky Wilds in online slots?

Much like you might expect from the name, Sticky Wild symbols ‘stick’ or lock in place when they land on the reels, meaning that all the reels without Wilds spin again while the Wilds stay in place. This gives you a chance to land more Wilds, which also stick in place, and this, in turn, enhances your chances of landing a winning combination on any of the available paylines.

Sticky Wilds can occur in the base game, but often crop up as part of a bonus game, sometimes in combination with other features, such as a respin option. So, the Sticky Wilds would lock in place, and the reels would respin to give you a chance of a winning line.

What are Stacked Wilds in online slots?

Stacked Wilds happen when the Wild symbols in an online slot come in twos or threes and appear ‘stacked’ on top of each other. They can substitute for multiple symbols at once. Stacked Wilds can give you extra chances to form paylines when they land on the reels.

What are Expanding Wilds in online slots?

Expanding Wilds are generally part of a bonus feature in online slot games and are a favourite with many slot players. Again, it’s simple to work out how they behave. When one or more land on the reels, they expand out across the grid, providing the player with more chances to win.

Sometimes, they’ll expand to cover an entire reel, and sometimes, they’ll expand across the grid in a set pattern. Either way, they’ll usually form some new winning combinations as they do so, making Expanding Wilds a feature to look out for when looking for new slot games to play.

Are there other types of Wild symbols in online slots?

We’ve already mentioned the most common Wild symbols that you’re most likely to find in online slot games, but you will sometimes come across other types of Wilds, such as Side-By-Side Wilds, or Grouped Wilds, which come as pairs or groups. They are similar to Expanding Wilds, but they don’t expand out from one single Wild. Instead, they drop onto the reels already paired or grouped, often in a 2x2 or 3x3 pattern on the grid. Despite occupying multiple positions, grouped wilds are sticky and lock in place as the reels spin again.

Which online slots can I play with Wild symbols?

Many slots have Wild symbols. In fact, it’s unusual to play a slot that doesn’t have them. Look for games with special Wilds if you can. Danger! High Voltage is a great game from Big Time Gaming that incorporates both Sticky Wilds and Stacked Wilds in different bonus rounds. Book of Dead is a highly popular slot with Expanding Wilds that can spread out over an entire reel or even the whole grid, resulting in a payout of up to 5,000x your stake. You can take a look at some of our most popular slot games to see the various themed slots we have on offer.