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Wilds popping up on a slot machine’s screen sure gets one’s heart racing. Such symbols hold an element of surprise and create anticipation and excitement. When you see them bouncing across the reels, you’re always wondering with what they’ll pair and just how much you’ll win.
This review looks at the different kinds of wilds that you get in free slot games. So, the next time you play, it won’t be confusing when you see terms like sticky, expanding, or moving wilds.
They wildly increase your chances of hitting some juicy wins.
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Wild is the boss of all icons. Except for bonus and scatter symbols, it stands in for all other symbols. It can complete sequences and orders on reels and lines. The completion of these can give players big winnings (if they’re playing for real money).
In short, it can complete matching chains. Imagine that you hit matching symbols on reels one, four, and five. Sadly, reels two and three don’t fall right. If you had wilds on reels two and three, that would give you a five chain matching win over five reels.
There are different types you’ll find. You get sticky, expanding, stacked, moving, random, and straight or diagonal categories. Is your head spinning yet? Don’t fret. We’ll discuss each type of wild in detail. So, buckle up and have a look.
A colossal wild expands or fills reels. This type is usually triggered during a bonus round or free spins. In most games, colossals fill two or three reels. This feature boosts your wins during free spins or bonus rounds.
Walking wilds usually pop up during free spins or bonus rounds with free spins. Essentially, they retrigger free spins. So, as long as you have one of these wandering across your reels, free spins will be triggered and added to your remaining free spins.
An expanding wild ‘stretches’ from the top to the bottom of a reel. It replaces all other icons on that reel and makes them wild. In some games, you’ll find expanders on all reel and across all pay lines.
Other games will only have these expanders on certain reels, like the first and the last. Some slots also require a ‘stack’ of a certain amount before the expanding wild is triggered over the reel.
Stickies can be a bit ‘sticky’. They’re not included in the base games, which means you need to trigger free spins or a bonus to activate them. However, when you hit a sticky during free spins or a bonus round, they stick.
Thus, you can collect stickies that remain in place on the reels and pay lines for the duration of the free spins or bonus round. This feature can give you some pretty impressive wins.
Stacked wilds are similar to the expanding ones. They cover an entire reel, from top to bottom. Stackers can appear on one or more reels. The term ‘stacked’ basically refers to the wilds piling up to fill a reel. Like expanders, these can result in some really great wins.
This wild feature can occur during a base game, free spins, or a bonus round. These types are randomly added on reels. Because they’re random, you can’t tell whether you’ll get a lot or a little.
During a base game, randoms are usually valid for one spin. Random wilds can also turn into stickies during free spins or a bonus round.
Straight and diagonal wilds are somewhat new to the gaming scene. These types are represented by different icons. A straight one only occurs on a selected reel (for example, reel 3). Like an expanding or stacked wild, it fills that reel. Diagonals can occur on two reels (like reels 2 and 4, for instance). A straight wild can also trigger diagonal icons on the chosen reels.
A duplicating wild does just that — it duplicates. If you hit one of these symbols, it will multiply and randomly add more wilds. These symbols can be triggered in the base game, free spins or bonus round, all depending on the specific game rules for the slot you’re playing.
Spreading wilds are similar to walking ones. These wilds spread from one side of the screen to the other. It can turn other wilds into additional wilds. In some games, these icons are called contagious wilds.
A specific ‘floating’ or ‘flitting’ symbol floats across the screen. When the reels stop spinning, this special symbol lands on symbols and converts them to floating wilds. They occur in base games and special games like free spins.
Some games have constant wild reels. The number of wild reels varies from game to game. Some give you one, while others can give you up to three wild reels during bonus features. In base games, you’ll most likely get one wild reel. This reel is constant and no other symbols can appear on it.
A cool feature where wild generator icons that are part of winning chains turn into wilds during the next spin. This spin is usually a free avalanche-type spin that is triggered by the wild generator.
There are some basics to increase your chances of winning on slots with wild symbols. Start with smaller (even minimum) bets to plot the ‘behaviour’ of the slot machine. Determine how frequently or infrequently these icons occur and what the payouts look like when they do.
Also, have a look at whether the wilds are more prominent during base or bonus rounds. In short, you need to determine the volatility (basic payout ratio) and RTP (return-to-player) rates of the wilds slot.
A stacked symbol covers an entire reel, from top to bottom. The symbol can result in some really great wins.
You need to first check its volatility (basic payout ratio) and RTP (return-to-player) rates.
Check the above table where we have picked up the best free slots with wilds.