JeffBet by Matthew Gover |
Date of Publishing: 17 May 2023

5/5 - (10 votes)

The Ultimate Guide to Wild Symbols in Slots


Wild symbols are among the most sought-after symbols in slot machines since they give slot players the chance to multiply their winnings. Almost all online slots games are equipped with wilds, and many slot players will only consider playing slot titles where wild symbols are included. Wild symbols are an exciting feature and are available in different types, so slot players can choose their preferred slot games based on the wilds that feature.

If you play slot games regularly, you would have probably noticed that wilds feature in most slots. For this reason, it is important to understand their specifications so that you have adequate knowledge about what is going on in the background. Wild symbols serve as bonus symbols and are usually accompanied by visual effects, adding to the gaming experience.

Since wild symbols have become an integral part of casino slots, having a little background on their working mechanism can benefit players. This article will cover everything you need to know about wild symbols, and we will discuss everything from their meaning, benefits, and types to the strategies players can utilise.

What are Wild Symbols?

Wild symbols are special symbols in slots that have the power to substitute the other symbols in the game. This can help turn the game around for players. How this happens will be discussed in the next section. If you want to enjoy the benefits of wild symbols, you will need to look for slots that are equipped with them. All game developers do not provide wild symbols, relying on other special symbols like scatters and multipliers.

Wild symbols do not have any specific theme or appearance. The wild icons are designed according to the overall theme of the slot, but you will be able to recognise them because they tend to stand out. If you are unsure, you can check the online reviews of individual slots. Wild symbols can have multiple functions, while other symbols, like scatter symbols and multipliers, have specific functions. 

As mentioned above, the design of the wild symbols depends on the specific theme of the slot game. The slots we provide at JeffBet come with special wild symbols. The wild symbol in Rainbow Riches is a leprechaun emblazoned gold coin, Gonzo’s Quest has a grey square wild symbol with a question mark, Mega Moolah has a Lion wild symbol, and Fruit Salad has a star-shaped wild symbol.  


How Do Wild Symbols Work?

The main purpose of wild symbols is to substitute all regular symbols in the game. Doing so can help achieve winning combinations, as the wild symbol can complete winning paylines. Remember that every symbol can be replaced as long as it is not a bonus symbol. This means that wild symbols cannot replace scatter symbols, free spins, multipliers, and other bonus rounds. 

If you want to score multiple winning combinations, you may need to land multiple wild symbols. A single wild symbol may not be sufficient to score a winning combination, but landing multiple wilds can increase the chances of doing so.

The payouts of wild symbols differ greatly. In Rainbow Riches, the wild symbol is among the highest-paying symbols, paying out a maximum of 25x the wager. The wild symbol in Gonzo’s Quest can pay a maximum of 15x the wager. In Mega Moolah, the wild symbol is designed to double the winning combination of that particular line. Similarly, wild symbols in other slots have different payouts. 

Types of Wild Symbols

There are different types of wild symbols, each with their specific features. These have been discussed below with examples of the most popular ones.

Sticky Wilds

Sticky wild symbols are also referred to as locked wilds because they do not have the power to change their position. The sticky wild appears during the bonus round, usually during the free spins round, and remains in place even following multiple spins. NetEnt’s Dead or Alive is a popular video slot that features sticky wild symbols with multipliers.

Stacked Wilds

The speciality of stacked wild symbols is that they can pile on top of each other, occupying the entire reel. Slots with a stacked wild provide a higher payout than sticky wilds because more wild symbols mean more opportunities to create matching combinations. Microgaming’s Stardust and IGT’s Wolf Run feature stacked wilds.

Expanding Wilds

Expanding wild symbols take it a step further than stacked wilds. Instead of just piling over each other, expanding wilds have the power to multiply in different directions. Sometimes, the expanding wild symbol alone can fill the whole reel and form a winning combination. Popular examples of expanding wilds include Playtech’s Fantastic Four and IGT’s Monkey Prince. 

Grouped Wilds

Grouped wilds are a mixture between expanding wilds and sticky wilds. They can occupy multiple positions on the reels but cannot change their place. This means that despite occupying multiple positions, they are sticky. Examples of grouped wilds include NetEnt’s Fruit Spin and Guns n’ Roses.

Multiplying Wilds

Multiplying wilds are those wild symbols that add multipliers to the reels as well. In a way, these symbols serve the purpose of both wild and multiplier symbols. When a winning combination is formed, these symbols will increase the winnings too. The Dead or Alive slot by NetEnt has a sticky wild that also acts as a multiplier.

Duplicating Wilds

Duplicating wilds are also referred to as replicating symbols, and they have the ability to turn regular symbols into wild symbols. Any regular symbol can be converted into a wild symbol, increasing winnings. Fair Win’s slot Yggdrasil features duplicating wild symbols.

Shifting Wilds

Shifting wilds are another variation of sticky wilds because they cannot leave the reels during a spin. However, they can change their position by moving horizontally, leading to a higher payout. Playtech’s Dawn of Justice features shifting wild symbols.

Walking Wilds

Walking wild symbols are wilds that can “walk” over the reels until they fall off from the edge. They are an exciting variation of the regular wild symbols, and a few slots also provide free respins with walking wilds. NetEnt’s Halloween Jack slot features walking wilds.

Overlay Wilds

Overlay wilds are those game symbols that combine to form a shape, replacing regular symbols. They cannot replace regular wild symbols but are designed to activate bonus games in a slot machine. NetEnt’s Go Bananas is a popular game that features overlay wilds. 

Other Wilds

There are a few other wild symbols with special features that can be found in slots. Random wilds are an honourable mention. As the name suggests, random wild symbols will appear on the reels randomly during bonus rounds, increasing winning opportunities. Colliding wilds are another type of wild symbol, and their purpose is to come together side by side and activate bonus features like a free spin.

Strategies for Using Wild Symbols

When you choose a slot to play, go through its paytable to check which symbols function as the wild. Some slots may have more than one wild symbol. Wild symbols usually appear during the bonus round, but you can never be sure when they will land on the reels. This means that there is no specific strategy you can employ to increase your chances of winning. 

There is no doubt that wild symbols can significantly increase your winnings. This is because by substituting other symbols, these can form wild reels, which help complete the payline and achieve a winning combination. Wild symbols, therefore, can potentially trigger jackpots, free spins, and other bonus features. 

If you are new to slots, we recommend that you test out the wild symbols in the demo version of the slot before investing your funds. In many video slots like Mega Moolah, Book of Dead, and Rainbow Riches, the wild symbols appear during the bonus game, substitute one other symbol, and provide demo modes to help players grasp how the slot symbol works. Lastly, understand that responsible gambling is paramount.


Wild symbols are some of the highest-paying symbols in slots, so it is necessary to understand their purpose for slot fans. Even though there is never a guarantee of winning, they have the potential to multiply your winnings by a significant amount. Check the paytable of the slot you want to play to see the payout of the wild symbol. Remember that wilds cannot replace the scatter symbol and other bonus symbols. 

Now that you know everything about wild symbols, it is time to head over to JeffBet and try out exciting slot machines that come with wild symbols.

About the Author

Author: Matthew Gover.

After graduating, Matthew began working as an English teacher abroad, initially in Spain and then Vietnam before finally coming back to the UK to settle. Matthew has always had a love for writing and an even bigger love for the igaming industry... Read More

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