Expanding Wilds in Online Slots + Best Slots Rating
The new generation of slot machines is very different from the classic slots. First of all, the differences lie in the plane of the set of symbols and winning opportunities. New generation video slots contain many special symbols with special functionality that are not found in classic slots. For example, this is an expanding Wild symbol, which is increasingly seen in modern web-based slots.
Best online slots with Expanding Wild Feature
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Expanding Wilds Explained
The vast majority of online slots contain special symbols, in particular, the Wild symbol, which can be regular and expanding. The latter belongs to the category of special-purpose symbols. It can be used to complement combinations that lack the desired images. There are some common rules when it comes to these symbols – they can’t substitute a scatter symbol, and in most scenarios, they can’t replace free spin or other bonus icons. Find out other peculiarities of expanding Wilds in this article.
How Does the Expanding Wild Feature Work?
Special Wild symbols work pretty simply: any missing symbol can be replaced with them to complete a winning combo. The expanding Wild is capable of simultaneously complementing winning combinations on different paylines. The fact is that when it falls out in any position of the playing field, this symbol fills the whole reel. Some slot games only have them on certain reels, for instance, most 5-reel games only allow them on reels 2, 3, and 4. Thus, Rival's Gushers Gold features Expanding Wilds that appear on Reels 1, 3 and 5 only.
Expanding Wilds can appear in the base game, or as a special feature in a Free Spins round. The expanding Wild symbol, like the classic Wild, under certain conditions, can act as a multiplier x2 (in rare cases, even higher). When this image appears on any line, it is paid twice as much, that is, any winning combination that appears here brings the player double income.
It should be noted that the Wild can be dropped as often as any other symbol. The algorithms of slot machines do not distinguish between special and ordinary symbols, so both types of symbols can appear with the same probability. This contributes to frequent wins, since with the regular appearance of the Wild symbol, many new opportunities for composing prize combinations are created. The expanding Wild symbol can not only make other combinations more expensive but also create its own prize sequences.
As they can reward big wins, Expanding Wilds tend to feature in slots that have high volatility. As such, you might not see an Expanding Wild for a while, then one or two will land, and you'll bag a seriously big win.
In what Directions Can They Expand?
Most often, when activated, these special Wilds expand to the entire reel on which they fell, that is, they expand by three cells vertically. Sometimes, the expanding symbol can expand in other directions - it all depends on the imagination of the game developer.
Expanding Wild vs Stacked Wild
Many developers have incorporated both stacked and expanding symbols into their slots, as technology improves on both online and mobile platforms. Yet, there is a difference between these two. Let’s take a closer look at the mentioned types of Wilds!
Stacked symbols are Wilds, which do not fall out one by one, but all at once, closing the reel in whole or in part. As a rule, such Wild symbols appear in groups of 2, 3, 4, and even 5. In some slots, stacked characters can appear on all reels, in others - only on certain reels. Where such Wild symbols can appear on any reel, volatility is generally higher.
There are also slots where stacked symbols appear only during free spins, while multipliers are also applied at the same time, which in general greatly increases the winnings. It so happens that thanks to the stacked Wilds, the player becomes a millionaire!
Stacked Wild symbols are similar to expanding symbols, with the only difference that the expanding Wild looks like a single symbol and then expands to the entire reel, while a stacked Wild may not fill the reel completely (for example, only 2 or even 1 sector). The specificity of both expanding and stacked Wild symbols in each slot is different, and you can find it out in the "Payouts" or "Help" menu, which is located at the bottom of the game screen.
How Does this Feature Get Triggered?
Usually, the expanding Wild feature is triggered every time a Wild symbol lands on the reels. To give an example, in the Legendary Excalibur – Red Tiger slot, the feature can be activated only if a symbol of a sword appears on the screen. That is, you cannot influence or accelerate expanding Wilds’ activation in any way. With proper luck, you can use the feature to make several combinations and significantly increase the size of your payout.
Another interesting fact is that while some slots feature Expanding Wilds as an extra symbol, in some volatile games, the expanding symbol is the usual Wild. For instance, Rivals' music-themed Rock On slot features a guitar icon that fills the whole reel when it appears on the screen. A multiplier of 2x is also attached to any win it helps form.