Slots wild symbol from an Everygame Casino slots game

How Do the Wilds in Slots Affect Strategy?

One of the best features of online slots is the wild symbol.  This symbol is similar to a wild card in poker in that it takes on the identity of the other symbols or cards as it were.  In slots, the wild symbol takes on the identity of all other symbols except the scatter symbol but, unlike the wild card in poker, the wild symbols in slots do much more!  There are many ways the wild symbol can help you score big wins in slots.

One of the great advantages of playing casino games at an online casino is that you can go from game to game without leaving your seat.  At a land based casino, you have to relinquish your seat to try out a different slot.  So, at Everygame Casino, you can go from slot to slot looking at the different ways our game provider, Real Time Gaming, uses the wild symbols.


A common way the wild symbols add to your wins is by having an automatic multiplier connected to every win the wild symbol creates.  When the slot you’re playing has this feature, the multiplier usually increases in the free spins bonus round.

Multipliers are not connected only to wilds.  They may be connected to all wins in the bonus round.  Multipliers are one of the great features of many slots so we recommend that you look for them as you sample all of our slots.

Important Thematic Symbols

One of the reasons so many gamers love slots is that slots afford players the chance to experience many different themes vicariously.  You can travel back in time or far into the future.  You can have a deep sea adventure or orbit the Earth in outer space.

Whichever slot you’re playing, the wild symbol will be the most intrinsic symbol of the game.  Since the wild is the most intrinsic symbol for that theme, the payout for getting three, four, or five wilds is the highest payout in the regular game.

This of course changes in a game with a progressive jackpot but it is generally true.

Stacked Wilds

Aside from having a multiplier connected to the wild symbol, having stacked wilds may be the common feature of wilds in slots.  Stacked wilds simply means that three or more wild symbols are “stacked” one on top of another.

This helps create a lot of wins with wilds as you can easily imagine.  Sometimes an entire reel is stacked of wilds!

Many slots have single wilds in the regular game and stacked wilds in the bonus round.  Some have three-high stacked wilds in the regular game and full-reel stacked wilds in the bonus round.

While in some games, the wilds might be stacked on only one reel, in other games the wilds are “freer” to become stacked on multiple reels.  In those games, the entire screen may occasionally be full of stacked wilds.  Naturally, this gives you a massive payout on all paylines.

Betting Strategy

Here we encounter one of the strategic areas in slots.  You have to decide how many paylines to bet on and how much to bet on them.  In a game with stacked wilds on all reels, it is best to bet the maximum on all paylines.

In other slots, it may be best for good money management to bet less on all paylines or the maximum on fewer than all paylines.

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Expanding Wilds

This feature may be present in the regular game but it is a lot more common in the bonus round.  In this feature, the wild symbol may suddenly become enlarged to cover more than one spot on the reel.  The most common expansion size is three spots on the reel.

Sometimes the wild symbol expands into the reel next to it.  In short, a slot with an expanding wilds feature can get you many big wins in the bonus round.  This leads to another strategy decision you have to make in slots.

In the bonus round, the paylines you bet on in the regular game count and you can’t add paylines once you arrive at the bonus area.  In a slot with expanding wilds in the bonus round and especially if the wilds expand horizontally as well as vertically, it is best to bet on all paylines and if your bankroll allows it to bet the maximum on all paylines.

A variation on this feature is sometimes called travelling wilds.  In this variation, a different reel becomes wild on every individual bonus round spin.

Sticky Wilds

This feature is almost exclusively part of some bonus rounds.  It generally means that once a wild symbol has appeared in a bonus round spin, it sticks to the reel until the round is over.  As you get more and more wild symbols during your free spins, your winning chances increase exponentially.

There are a few variations of this feature but the one described above is the most common.  Since you retain all the wilds you got on all of your free spins, your last few spins in the bonus round may be very lucrative indeed.  So, again, if you’re playing a game with many free spins and sticky wilds in the bonus round, it’s a good idea to bet on every payline.

Exploding Wilds

This is a feature of the bonus rounds.  In it, the wild explodes and consumes the adjacent symbol turning it into a wild as well!

A variation of this feature is when another symbol automatically becomes a wild symbol in the bonus round.

Betting Strategy

The number of paylines and the extra features of the wild symbols may often determine your betting pattern.  For example, on a standard five reel slot, if there are a relatively few paylines they won’t be squeezed into the reels.  If there are a lot of paylines, they will naturally overlap a lot with other paylines.

So, in a game with a lot of paylines, each wild symbol becomes more powerful.  Then, any extra feature of the wild symbol will add to the power of a single wild symbol.  Since you have to manage your bankroll wisely, you need to decide how much to bet on every payline in whichever slot you’re playing.

Generally, it is good to bet on all paylines especially when there are the types of wild symbol features that create big wins in the bonus round.