Even the biggest slot fans probably don't remember, but the first slot machines in history didn't have symbols as we know them, but simply playing cards. By spinning the reels, the player would get a winning or losing poker hand. This system quickly evolved into the well known slot machines displaying a 7, fruit, bell, diamond and various BAR symbols.
A few years later, as gambling and online casinos have grown tremendously, the way slots work is regularly revolutionized with new technologies.
The Wild was one of the first original features to appear amidst the classic symbols. Like a Joker, it quickly became one of the most popular slot machine features in online and land-based casinos.
Online game developers have come up with a number of ideas to improve the Wild and make it more original, even to the point of radically changing the way their slots work by orienting them around this famous symbol.
Today, Lucky7Bonus presents you with the different Wilds in the online casino world and how they work.
What is a Wild?
Similar to the Joker in a card game, the Wild is a symbol that makes your life easier. In the vast majority of slot games, you need to match, collect or simply get a minimum number of identical symbols to win. The main role of the Wild is to replace most of the pay symbols to make your connections easier.
In a classic slot machine, where paylines are used, you will, for example, need to line up at least 3 identical symbols on one of these predefined lines. If in our example the 1st and the 3rd symbol are identical, but the 2nd symbol is different, no connection will be made. On the other hand, if one of the 3 symbols is a Wild, in this case the connection is valid. In the example below, the Wild is placed between two wizard symbols and two 10's allowing 2 valid connections.
The principle is the same for cluster connections, where a group of identical symbols in contact is necessary to make a connection. A Wild in contact with this group of symbols can reach the minimum number of identical symbols to validate the connection.
What are the different types of Wild?
Developers have decided not to stop at this simple function and have created many special and unique Wilds to enhance the gaming experience on their slot machines.
The classic Wild is still present in most slot machine pay spins, but of course it still has a place in most games. Providers have taken to adding their original Wilds during free spins bonuses or special features, to increase the volatility and potential.
Let's take a look at the different Wilds you may encounter in slots and understand how they work.
The Sticky Wild is a Wild that will hold its position on the grid for a given period. It allows to facilitate connections during several rounds or respins by staying on the same place. It is then not rare to be able to obtain several Sticky Wilds in order to fill little by little the grid of Wilds to obtain a great number of different connections, or a great number of ways per turn of play.
On which slot machines are there Sticky Wilds?
A good example of a Sticky Wild can be found on the slot machine The Dog House and its little sister The Dog House Megaways. The famous niches that players are looking for are present in the base game as a single Wild and make the whole point of these slots in their bonus. Indeed, each Wild niche that appears during the free spins is sticky, the goal being to get them on the 3 or 4 central reels in order to make complete lines of the same symbol. These Sticky Wilds can also carry a multiplier, which we'll see just below.
Indeed, as explained above, some Wilds can carry a multiplier to enhance the potential winnings from a connection with that Wild. It is not uncommon for these Wilds Multipliers to also have other features listed in this article. This type of Wild has become very common and is found in a large number of slot machines and often has a progressive multiplier enhancement system. The value of the multiplier can increase with each login, each spin or with each new Wild won.
A Stacked Wild is actually a Wild that occupies multiple spaces on a reel, just as some classic symbols do. Several Wilds are stacked on top of each other within a reel, sometimes filling the reel completely. In a slot where the connections are made on paylines, this allows you to act on several different lines, whereas in a slot using Megaways technology, this feature increases the number of ways.
On which slots are Stacked Wilds found?
The Stacked Wild is a fairly rare Wild, but can be found on the Kiss slot from the provider WMS.
The Expanding Wild is a Wild that expands to occupy the entire reel. Although it is similar to the Stacked Wild, the Expanding Wild always occupies its entire roll. It will usually stretch to do so.
Some Expanding Wilds differ and stretch sideways to occupy their entire line, so they have the advantage of always guaranteeing a win.
On which slot machines are Expanding Wilds found?
It is quite common to see an Expanding Wild on a slot machine, the famous 1429 Uncharted Seas with its 98.5% RTP features an Expanding Wild that can appear on reels 2, 3 and 4 with a beautiful animation. The boat represents the Wild and is attacked by a giant snake that expands to occupy the entire reel.
The Fate of Fortune slot offers many original features, among them an Expanding Wild that extends, not vertically, but horizontally to fill its line and guarantee a connection.
The xNudge technology is very similar to the Expanding Wild and the Stacked Wild. In fact, a xNudge Wild is a Wild filled that will also always move until it occupies its entire roll. The special thing here is that the Wild has a multiplier and the value of the multiplier increases by 1 for each move or nudge of the Wild. It is then in your interest that the Wild appears by occupying a single square on its roll, so that it moves as much as possible to increase its multiplier.
On which slot machines are there xNudge Wilds?
This technology was developed by the developers of Nolimit City, so you'll find this type of Wilds on some of their slot machines like Deadwood or Tombstone for example.
The Wild Scatter, as the name suggests, is simply a classic Wild that also acts as a Scatter. To get the free spins bonus, you will often need to see a minimum number of Scatter symbols appear, in some slots, this Scatter is actually a Wild, making it easier to connect the other symbols.
On which slot machines are Wild Scatters found?
You will find a Wild Scatter on most "Book of" slots. Indeed, these types of slots, which have become common thanks to the worldwide success of the Book of Dead, often have a similar operation and the Scatter, in the form of a book or other, often acts as the Wild.
The Walking Wild is a Wild that moves laterally across the grid from one roll to the next between rounds or respins. This Wild is often an Expanding Wild in addition to moving. It allows to facilitate different connections, to chain respins or simply to create a little surprise when moving.
On which slot machines are there Walking Wilds?
A good example of a Walking Wild can be found in the Golden Genie and the Walking Wilds slot from Nolimit City. During each free spin of the bonus, the Wilds move one reel to the left until there are no more Wilds on the grid and the bonus stops. In addition to this, each Wild that disappears from the grid passes on its multiplier to the next Wild. The operation of the Wild Walking is therefore at the heart of the bonus in this slot.
Harlequin Carnival, from the same provider, is also an excellent example of a Walking Wild. During the bonus the Wild combines the xNudge, Walking Wild and multiplier features!
Similar to the Walking Wild, the Jumping Wild is unique in that it moves randomly across the grid and not necessarily sideways or only one reel at a time.
On which slot machines are Jumping Wilds found?
Ironically, the Wild Walker slot from Pragmatic Play features Jumping Wilds in the bonus round, not Walking Wilds. They become Sticky Wilds when a new Wild is obtained.
Release the Kraken offers a free spins bonus with Jumping Wilds, which can move randomly anywhere on the grid between each free spin. Each new Wild increases the total win multiplier at the same time.
Contagious Wilds are interesting and quite rare at the moment. When a Contagious Wild appears on the grid, it will turn some of the symbols it comes into contact with into Wilds.
On which slot machines are Contagious Wilds found?
This type of Wild is still quite rare at the moment, but the provider Aristocrat has made good use of them on their Werewolf Wild slot. During the bonus, each werewolf Wild will turn the human symbols around it into werewolf Wilds, before they do the same in turn, causing a chain reaction.
This Wild is very special and is only present in one slot machine: Fire in the Hole by Nolimit City, using xBomb technology. As you can probably guess from the name of the technology and the Wild, the latter explodes destroying the symbols around it. At the same time, it will destroy the boxes blocked by the stone in order to make new symbols appear. As the free spins bonus is quite particular, this explosive wild is only present in the base game.
As you can see, Nolimit City likes to create new things to surprise its players. This provider is certainly the most inventive and its slot machines are among the most original. The latest Wild to date is the xSplit Wild, reminiscent of the razor blades of the San Quentin slot.
This Wild, found in xWays Hoarder, cuts the symbols on its left to split them, increasing the number of ways and can also increase their multiplier.
xSplit Wilds also allow Scatter symbols to become Super Scatter to enhance the starting potential of the bonus.
In addition to these features, they are of course a substitute for any symbol.
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