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Wild Symbols in Slots

Slot game wild symbols have existed since the first "One Armed Bandit" slot machine appeared on the scene. These colorful symbols are like the joker in a deck of cards - they can be used with any symbols on the reels to create winning combinations. For example if you have a symbol on reels 1 and 3 and wild on reel 2, this will then create a winning combination of. What's more, some wild symbols even come with prizes all of their own.

The Purpose of the Wild

The wild symbol has the power to substitute for all other symbols on the reels and in doing so, complete winning paylines that otherwise wouldn't result in a win. Usually, the only exception to this rule is that the wild can't replace scatter symbols, free spin or other bonus symbols. In some slots, the wild carries no individual value of its own, but in others, it serves as the highest-paying symbol in the game.

Wild symbols can be the most lucrative in slots as they substitute for most other symbols. This slot's wild is Zeus sitting on his throne

How and Where Wilds Appear

Unfortunately, there's no way to control the appearance of wild symbols, as they appear randomly on the reels. However, in some games, they only appear on certain reels, such as the center ones numbered 2, 3 and 4 on a five-reel slot. Check the game's paytable to find out exactly where the wilds appear and what they will and will not substitute for. This can vary greatly from game to game.

Types of Wild Symbols

In addition to the standard wild described above, slots can feature a number of special wilds, each contributing something exciting to the game. Expanding wilds grow to fill up an entire reel, making every spot from top to bottom wild. Sticky wild symbols "stick" in place over multiple spins, thus increasing the chance to complete more paylines. Shifting wilds are a type of sticky wild, but instead of staying in one place, they move horizontally across the reels with each spin until they disappear off the final reel. Stacked wilds appear one on top of the other on a single reel, normally filling up the entire reel.

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

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