What Is A Wild Symbol?

Published 15 Oct 2018, 1:10 p.m.

More experienced players remember the classic slots of old that relied only upon three symbols matching up across the reels. However, new video slots have made some drastic changes. For example, they’ve adopted a five reel layout, featuring stunning graphics, animated video introductions, and exciting bonus rounds. But there’s nothing players love more than a Wild. The question is - what is a Wild symbol? Here’s your explanation:

What Is A Wild Symbol And What Does It Do?

In theory, a Wild reacts with the symbols closest to it to create a win. In reality, different games have different Wild features, but all have the potential to make a losing game turn into a winning one.

Wild usually works as a substitute for any other card in order to complete a hand or to make a run. Slots players are hoping to achieve a line on the playing board with two or more symbols on the same line. This is when Wilds come in hand. They can complete a standard line by substituting for another symbol. Wild symbols can turn a three-match win into a combination of four, or give you two or more line wins from different symbols by completing multiple lines at once.

What Do Wild Symbols Look Like?

A Wild symbol can take many forms and is usually related to the game’s theme. For example, the Wild symbol in Lion’s Share online slot is a lion; in Zany Zebra is a zebra; in Crazy Crocodile the Wild is – you guessed – a crocodile. In some slots the Wild symbol can represent some sort of deity, for instance in Thunderstruck slot the Wild is Thor, the Norse god of thunder; in Mermaid’s Millions it is Neptune, the Roman god of the sea; in Isis, it is Isis, the Egyptian goddess of fertility.

Types Of Wild Symbols

Aside from the standard Symbol Substituting Wilds, here are other common types of Wilds and their usage:

Colossal Wilds

In Spinata Grande slot, the Wilds are depicted by a giant skull. Only appearing during free spins rounds, the Colossal Wilds substitute for all other symbols (except for Colossal bonus symbols), resulting in massive wins.

Wild Generators

In addition to the unusual layout featuring a pyramid shape rather than the usual 5×3 layout, Pyramid: Quest for Immortality also has a unique set of Wilds - Wild Generators.

If the winning combination includes any of the top symbols on rows two, three or four, these will convert into Wild symbols for the avalanche feature where they disappear from the reels and others drop into their places. If these Wilds then create further wins, they will stay put on the reels for another avalanche.

Sticky Wilds

In Stickers, when Wild symbols appear on the reels and create winning combinations along bet lines, they also ‘stick’ and remain where they landed on the reels. A free spin is triggered and, if further Wilds appear, they too will stick and free spins will continue.

Expanding Wilds

Why settle for one wild when you can have many? Secret Code slot is one example of these Expanding (or Cloning) Wilds. They can appear in either the 2nd or 4th reel of the game and, as well as expanding up to two places vertically, also duplicate the symbol to the right of Wild stack and mirror it on the left, thus creating a Colossal Wild.

Stacked Wilds

Similar to Colossal Wilds, Stacked Wilds take up more space on the reels than standard symbols. In Dracula slot, these Wilds only appear in the centre reel during free spins rounds and, when they cover an entire reel ten free spins are instantly triggered.

Walking Wilds

When the Walking Wild symbol pops up on the reels during a game, you will get a re-spin. As this happens, your Wild will ‘walk’ across one place to the left, continuing the re-spins.

Random Wilds

As the name suggests, Random Wilds can be hard to predict. In games such as Zombies, the only thing you do know about Random Wilds is that they can pop up during any spin where no Stacked Wild appears. Fortunately, they can appear on as many as six symbols at once to create winning combinations.

Straight/Diagonal Wilds

These are two types of Wilds. Straight Wilds can run vertically down reel three alone, while Diagonal Wilds can crop up across reels two and/or four. If the Diagonal Wilds appear while there is a Straight Wild in play, the Straight Wild will punch the Diagonal Wilds across the reels, transforming any other symbol touched by the Diagonal into Wild.

Wild Duplication

In Wonky Wabbits, if a Wild shows up in one spot, a delightful rabbit will burrow its way through to another position and convert that symbol into a Wild too.

Spreading Wilds

Wherever the Wilds appear in EggOmatic slot game, neighbouring symbols will also become Wilds in order to help form winning combinations.

Floating Wilds

During both standard game play and free spins mode in Lights slot players can see fireflies drifting across the reels and randomly selecting between two and four symbols to convert into Wilds.

Overlay Wilds

In South Park: Reel Chaos, each of the characters has a feature attributed to them; Cartman has Stacked Wilds, Kenny has a Multiplier, Stan has Multiplying Free spins, and Kyle creates Overlay Wilds. Overlay Wilds can be zapped anywhere onto the reels, covering between three and five symbols which then combine with the neighbouring symbols to, hopefully, create wins along any one or more of the bet lines.

Wild Reels

In games such as Secret of the Stones, entire reels can be covered by Wild symbols which maximises the opportunities of creating winning combinations.

Golden Wilds

Anything touched by a Golden Wild does turn to gold. Golden Wilds typically turn up in the centre reel on games and can form multiple wins at once that are usually subject to a 3x or 4x multiplier.

Linked Wilds

Linked Wild symbols can turn symbols on adjacent reels into Wilds. In Frankenstein, Linked Wilds can take two different forms; Lightning Wilds which appear during main game play on reels two, three or four and spread across the reels to form wins, and Fire Wilds which again appear in the same reels, but only during free spins rounds.


Whether standard or expanding, sticky or stacked, wild symbols make bigger wins possible and should trigger excitement whenever they randomly appear.

Now that you got the answer to the question "What is a Wild symbol?", all that’s left for you to do is pick a game and start discovering those Wilds yourself!