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Wild Symbols: What Are They and How They Work

Iulia Ionita
Written by Iulia Ionita
Liliana Costache
Reviewed By Liliana Costache
Vlad Mihalache
Fact Checked By Vlad Mihalache
This guide is suitable for beginner players. Beginner Percentage of users that found this guide helpful. 88% Estimated reading time based on the average reading speed. 6 Min
Wild Symbols: What Are They and How They Work

You may have come across the term Wilds while playing online casino slots. As these are the most loved games in the iGaming industry, many players want to find out and understand more about them. Therefore, in this guide you will learn everything you need to know about Wild symbols, an integral part of most online slot games.

As a disclaimer, we would also like to recommend you to read and study each slot’s payline, in order to learn more about the Wilds’ nature.

Wild Symbols - Definition

Before we get into the technical details, try to think of Wild symbols as of the Jokers in card games in order to better understand their inner workings. This means that Wilds replace certain symbols in online slot games.

To be more precise, a Wild will imitate the symbol closest to it in order for you to make a win. A Wild can change a whole game’s fate, and it can turn a losing turn into a winning one. Online slot Wilds can come in many shapes and sizes, each with different attributes. Down below, we have dedicated a section for each kind of Wild symbol you can come across in slots. This section is split in two, as some of them are usual and can be found in many games, while the other ones are more rare. 

Popular Types of Wild Symbols

Let’s begin with the more popular types of Wild symbols:

Sticky Wilds

Sticky Wilds form winning combinations by showing up strategically across the bet lines. They stay in the same place they landed. If other Wilds appear during free spins, these will also stay in place while the bonus continues. All of the winning combinations stack and complete each other. To illustrate, we have NextGen’s Rise of the Mountain King pictured below:

Rise of the Mountain Kind slotColossal Wilds

These are the Wilds that get bigger while triggered, as they take over a whole section of the slot’s screen. Think of colossal reels, as they are much alike in appearance. This expansion usually takes place during free spins bonuses. In the picture below you can see Red Tiger Gaming’s Rio Stars as an example in order for you to see some Colossal Wilds in full action:

Rio Stars slotStacked Wilds

Stacked Wilds are very similar to the Colossal Wilds. These take a big part of the game screen, but vertically. This way, the Stacked Wilds cover an entire reel and this will generate higher payouts for you. Most of the Sticky Wilds will trigger during free spins mode gameplays in various games that feature them. A few games that support Stacked Wilds are Money Train by Relax Gaming, Story of the Hercules by Spinomenal, Lil Devil by Big Time Gaming, and others.

Expanding Wilds

Also known as Expanding Cloning Wilds, these are the types of wilds that extend. These will duplicate or occupy a whole reel, depending on the combination that was just made. Usually, this brings you more and more wins. Expanding Wilds can be found in Wild Blood by Play n Go, Starburst by NetEnt, and others.

Spreading Wilds

Spreading Wild symbols  have one golden rule you need to remember: no matter where Wilds appear in one game with this feature, all of the symbols near them will also become Wilds. Therefore, it is up to you and your luck to make the best winning combinations! Spreading Wilds can be tried in Big Win 777 by Play n Go, Minin Fever by Rabcat, The Wolf's Bane by NetEnt, and many other slots.

Random Wilds

These are the Wilds can pop up from anywhere, without any reason, in order to trigger more and more winning combinations for you. Random Wilds can be found in Reactoonz by Play n Go, White Rabbit by Big Time Gaming, Voodoo Gold by ELK Studios, and others. As an example, we have pictured NextGen Gaming’s Pillars of Asgard slot for you:
Pillars of AsgardAs these were the Wilds you are more likely to come across, the section below is all about less often occurring Wild symbols. These are uncommon and you may not always see them featured in slots, but many of them are related to what we already discussed in the categories above.

Other Types of Wild Symbols

  • Linked Wilds will turn other symbols from adjacent lines into Wild symbols and spread across the reels in order to generate payouts.
  • Straight Wilds will run vertically, while Diagonal Wilds run across various reels in order to transform any symbols they encounter into Wilds.
  • Overlay Wilds will cover other symbols with Wilds that get combined to the adjacent symbols in order to trigger a bet line.
  • Wild Duplication will just generate another Wild for you, covering many parts of a slot’s symbols into Wilds, depending on the game.
  • Wild Generators  occur while playing certain games where you may trigger a particular combination. What happens next? Well, some additional Wild symbols will replace the initial winning combination, all while stacking both wins. This is  known as an “avalanche”. 
  • Walking Wilds are very rare Wilds which can be found in a few games only. These will generate a re-spin for you once one of them shows up in your game. The process is unlimited, as each Wild will give you a re-spin.
  • Wild Reels are just another version of Stacked Wilds, where entire reels get covered with Wild symbols for you to get maximum winning chances.

Final Thoughts on Wild Symbols

We hope’s guide helped you get in the hang of Wild symbols and all they are about, along with Wild symbols types, where these can be found, and why they show up. Slots are very logical and easy to understand, especially when you read the paytable carefully.

Think about playing but don’t know when to start? Just take your time playing in our free slots category, where you can enjoy your favorite games and also try new ones in demo mode. Once you find what suits you best go on, choose one of’s best casinos determined by real players’ reviews and start playing now. 

Now go get ‘em Wilds and good luck!

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Iulia Ionita

Iulia Ionita

Senior Content Writer, Video Producer, Slots & Casinos Expert

About Iulia Ionita

  • iGaming expert with more than 6 years of experience in video production and over 4 years in content writing;
  • Has contributed as a Senior Content Writer, expanding her skills into creating compelling written content, with over 20+ articles written for our website;
  • Has written 100+ slots impressions, explaining games in-depth;
  • Reviewed 1000+ slots (both video and written);
  • Specializes in crafting true, bold, and informative content that showcases the world of online casinos and games.

Read Full Bio
Liliana Costache

Liliana Costache

Online Gambling Content and Localization Manager

About Liliana Costache

  • Over 10 years of experience in the iGaming industry of which 5 years as a Content Manager;
  • Certificate of competency in German, Swedish, and EU Gambling Regulatory Framework by the iGaming Academy;
  • Over 15 years of expertise in crafting engaging and SEO-optimized content;
  • 25+ years in translation and localization.

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