Wild Symbols in Online Slots

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Wild Symbols in Online Slots

June 1, 2010

Today it is inconceivable to think of an online slot game that does not have a wild symbol.  Wild symbols substitute for other symbols and thus help in making winning combinations.  However, wild symbols have many more properties that add excitement to the online slot game.  Some of these properties are discussed in this article.  It must be noted that in every slot game the wild symbol would not have all the properties described.

In most online slot games the wild symbol is the most important to the theme of the slot game.  It offers line payouts just as any other symbol.  Usually the wild symbol offers the largest payouts.  In many games the wild symbol acts as a multiplier.  When this symbol is used in a winning combination then the usual payouts given in the payout table are multiplied by the specified multiplier.  Usually the multiplier is fixed and is stated in the payout table or in the rules of the game.  In some innovative online slot games the multiplier depends on the number of wild symbols used in the winning combination.  In such cases the payouts can be really very large.

The stacked wild symbol is a special type of wild symbol.  In this case the wild symbol does not appear singly on a reel but in stacks of two or three. When it appears in a stack of three the entire reel consists of wild symbols. This tremendously increases the payout potential, especially if the stack appears in the first reel. Summer Holiday from Microgaming is a popular slot game that has stacked wilds. Summer Holiday is a 100 payline slot game that has four rows on the reels and hence the stacks can be of four wilds.

 A similar special form of the wild symbol is the expanding wild. In the stacked wild there are three distinct wild symbols on the reel. However in the expanding wild symbol the wild symbol expands to occupy the entire reel. The effect on calculating the payouts is the same but the visual effect is completely different. Using computer animation the small symbol grows to occupy the entire reel. Samba Nights from Cryptologic has an expanding wild symbol. The dancer symbol normally displays the face only. But when it expands the full length figure of the dancer is seen gyrating wildly.

Exploding wilds are yet another type of wild symbol. After the reels come to rest an event takes place and some symbols are randomly changed to wild symbols. The payouts are then calculated. One of the first slot games to have this feature was Call of Duty 4 from Cryptologic. In this game randomly a soldier would appear on the reels and trigger an explosive. After the smoke settled the player would find some normal symbols changed to wild symbols. Hence the name exploding wilds was coined. The changing of normal symbols to wilds need not always happen so violently. Recently Vegas Technology released a slot game called Butterflies. In this game when the Pupa symbol appears on the first reel a butterfly emerges from the pupa and randomly flits to other symbols converting them to wilds.

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