Wild symbols in slot machines explained

Slot symbols have undergone a revolution ever since slot games moved online in the mid-1990s and took on the guise of video slots. Technological advances mean that these games now have better graphics and more active symbols than ever before – play online slots UK now.

Slot Symbol Changes

The first slot symbols in early slot games were mostly based on playing card faces and lucky charms. Fruits later joined these symbols thanks to gambling bans. During this time, slots became vending machines, and all symbols associated with gambling were replaced with fruits. These fruits proved so popular that they remained on the reels once the bans were lifted, and they still appear on slots right to this very day.

However, most other traditional symbols such as playing card faces have also survived. These have gradually been joined by an array of other slots symbols that have slowly been introduced over time. The 70s and 80s saw video slot games become the norm, and these slots displayed the reels and gaming action on modified television screens. This format allowed slot developers more scope to invent different symbols. Once slots moved to online casinos in the mid-1990s, the advancement in the technology used to create these games, meant that different slot symbols exploded on the scene, this included Wild symbols.

Wild Symbols: A Closer Look

Wild symbols have a basic function in slot games and the purpose of their presence is to mimic any slot symbol on the reels. The inclusion of Wild symbols helps to create winning lines even if there is not enough of one symbol lining up on a pay-line. If 2 of the same symbols land next to each other and 3 are needed to award a cash prize, the Wild symbol can land on the row to complete the winning sequence.

Some wilds serve this basic function but can also be the trigger of a bonus round, such as in Book of Christmas, Book of Ra, and Book of Dead. Usually, 3 or more are needed to do this and if they land during the bonus round itself, in the same number, then the bonus is retriggered.

More Wild Symbol Functions

Some slots include special Wild symbols in their bonus rounds, such as the Roaming Wilds found in The Invisible Man slot game. Here the Wilds slide across the reels one position at a time until they fall off the reel platform. Games like Eye of Horus employ an Expanding Wild symbol and if this lands during the free spin bonus round, it adds extra spins to the bonus.

Sticky Wilds are extremely popular as well and they behave exactly how their title suggests. Once these symbols land on the reels, they stick to that position. This feature is the basis for some slot bonus rounds. Rumpel Wildspins employs Sticky Wilds during the free spin bonus round and depending on where they fall on the reels, they can create huge winning sequences. Wild West Gold and slots like The Doghouse, take this a step further by loading the Sticky Wilds with multipliers.

Final Thoughts

It is hard to imagine a slot world without Wild symbols. Winning would be even harder and games would be a lot less interesting in their absence.

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