Online slot machines have all sorts of special features, from free spins and re-spins to pick-me games, mini-games and jackpots. A particular feature that the majority of modern video slots have is the wild symbol. It is a particular symbol that boosts your chances of winning. On this page, we’ll run you through the basics of how these special symbols work, what types of wilds there are and how they can help players increase their winnings.
Keep on reading to learn all about wilds and find out how they can help you get paid when playing online slots.
What Is a Wild Symbol?
Wild symbols are special symbols found in most online video slots. They are very useful because they can help you form winning combinations on the playing grid; they can also extend existing combinations and make your payouts bigger.
So how do they work? What these symbols can actually do is substitute for all of a slot’s regular paying icons. Whenever a wild icon lands, it will act as whatever regular symbol will give you the highest win per payline. They usually can’t substitute scatters and bonus symbols; though, there are always exceptions.
For example, let’s say you land the following symbols on a payline from left to right: Q, Q, wild, J, K. You need three matching symbols on a payline going from the left to win. You only have two Qs on the payline, but the wild acts as a third Q symbol to give you a win.
In some slots, the wild is themed, just like the standard symbols. In others, the wild isn’t themed as such and instead takes on a more generic appearance; it may simply appear as the word ‘WILD’, for example.
Most of the time, wilds can appear on any spin, so you can see them during a slot’s base game and while the free spins round is active. Some special wilds (more information on these below) may only land on the reels during a special feature. In some slots games, these symbols can appear only on specific reels, for example, from the second to the fourth. More information on the types of wild and their functions is discussed in the next section.
Types of Wild Symbols
Most wilds fill in for other symbols and have no special features. However, there are quite a few different types that can be found in some online slots. Have a look at the table below to see what these are and how they work:
All of the wilds mentioned in the table above substitute for a slot’s standard symbols. Most wilds don’t give any payouts; however, some do. If you’re playing a slot and its wild has payouts, this symbol will usually pay in the same way that the slot’s standard symbols do. So, if you need to line up three or more matching symbols on a payline to win, doing this with three or more wilds should give you a win. If a wild does give payouts, they tend to be the slot’s biggest ones.
There are slots that have different types of wilds in their gameplay or the same wild with different functions. There are also games with only one type of wild—for example, a nice animal-themed game by Pragmatic Play. The Top Dog slot game has just one wild symbol, and it’s represented as a bulldog with a competition judge in the background. Its first function is regular, which means that it fills in for all of the slot’s standard paying symbols. The only symbol it doesn’t substitute for is the chocolate Labrador scatter. The wild can only land on reels 2, 3 and 4, and can appear during both the base game and the free spins round.
Before you play any online slot, check out the paytable to see what the slot’s symbols, payouts and special features are. The paytable should also tell you if the slot has wild symbols, what they do and when they appear.
Play Slots with Wild Symbols
Now that you know a bit more about wild symbols and how they work, play some free slots no download required, and see these symbols in action. Try out free slot games first and play as many times as you like without having to pay. Playing for free is great because it gives you a taste of what slots are like, plus it gives you the chance to see which ones you prefer.
Slots with wilds come in just about every kind of theme you can imagine. From ancient Egypt and outer space to under the sea and animals of Africa, the list of slot themes is exhaustive and wide-ranging. If you’re into dragons, why not give our free Dragon slots a go?
After you have learnt everything about the gameplay, including the functions of special symbols and payouts in demo modes, its time for spicing things up. Switch to playing with real money at an online casino, and hopefully, wild symbols will help you bring in some winnings and get paid.