The Wild symbol was introduced to classic slot machines to improve the return to player percentages, and give players a more exciting game where this special symbol could take the place of the other symbols to create a win. This made the slots games more exciting and became a positive marketing force for the slots game. Eventually this became a standard part of slot machines and one of the first things one did when playing a new game was to see what symbol was wild.
Before long, and as technology improved, slot machine became ever more fancy and the software capable of ever greater advances, so the Wild effects began to improve and become enhanced too. The online casino developers came up with new, original ways to attract attention and use the Wild symbol. Wild symbols were capable of more and more actions, and various descriptive expressions were devised to explain these behaviours. Cascading wilds, expanding wilds, sticky wilds, and stacked wilds all became a thing.
Coming to Terms with Shifting Wilds
Shifting wilds are the latest type of wild to grace the reels. Thought to have been introduced first by software developer Playtech, shifting wilds are a fresh behaviour set that wild symbols can be given. Shifting wilds are effectively an extension of the slightly older sticky wilds.
A shifting wilds is similar in that it stays on the reels for a number of spins, like the sticky wild. However, where the sticky wild remains in a single position on the reels, the shifting wild moves around the reels. Once landed on the reels, a shifting wild will move one position to the side, up or down, in any direction for the number of spins, until it moves off.
A sticky wild is so named because once it appears on the reels, it ‘sticks’ there for a length of time, continuously applying its effect to a number of spins. This continued effect is obviously beneficial to the player, and a wild already in position on the reels when the spin starts is always more likely to be a winning spin. The sticky wild, however, stayed in the same position on the reels all the time.
Clearly this provides a major addition to the winning combinations that are likely to be achieved during these spins.
The Wild Symbol’s Role
The Wild symbol in each game of slots will have its particular value to the game. Cascading wilds, for instance, are much like the video game Tetris, for when a winning combination is formed then it disappears and new symbols cascade into the spaces vacated. This generates more wins, at the same time making the game more unpredictable and entertaining.
Expanding wilds function similarly, in terms of using ever improving video graphics to make things ever more interesting for the player. These expanding Wild symbols are often animated and expand to fill the entire reel, giving players more wins and developers an opportunity to make a better graphic with a larger size and space.
Sifting wilds should therefore be highly appreciated in the flow of more and more exciting Wild symbols available on slots. It was not the first type of wild and surely will also not be the last.