To paraphrase a popular song: "We love big pokies and we can not lie...." Maybe we love pokies so much because the interior of the great Australian continent is such a wild place or simply because Aussies love pokies above all other online casino games. The vast majority of the players at Springbok, THE Aussie online casino, play pokies regularly and we hear that they simply love the many ways Real Time Gaming, our games provider, uses pokies wild symbols.
Many Different Types of Wilds
One of the main features of Real Time Gaming’s pokies, perhaps the single one that has made RTG so famous around the world, is the many exciting ways they use wilds. So, let’s look at some wild ways from RTG, shall we?
Like a Wild Card in Poker
Just as a wild card in poker can become any other card, the wild symbol in slots can become any other symbol with the exception of the scatter symbol. The reason for this proviso in the rules governing wild symbols in pokies is simply that the scatter symbol takes you to the bonus rounds where you can win big money with free spins.
If the wild could be used to do that, the pokies would have to have a very low win rate in the regular game. That would reduce the overall entertainment values of the game and entertainment is the primary reason anyone should play casino games including pokies.
After the most basic wilds which simply act as wild cards, the most common extra feature of wilds is stacked wilds. In some games, the wilds will be stacked three high. In other pokies, the wilds might stack so high that they occupy the entire reel. In the most basic stacked wilds feature, the stacked wilds will appear at random and then they are gone for the next spin.
In games with stacked wilds, the stacked wilds should appear quite often as they are invaluable aids for winning spins.
Another happy feature of stacked wilds is that they might expand into neighboring reels. Some developers call this feature Expanding Wilds. It proved so popular when it was first introduced that it is now fairly common.
In many pokies, a win with a wild symbol has an accompanying multiplier. The multiplier is usually 3x which is very welcome. In the bonus round, the multiplier for a win with a wild might be higher than the multiplier in the basic game. The multiplier might also increase incrementally on every win with a wild.
Multipliers have a wild range! In some pokies, the multiplier can get into three or even four digits. This is not common but when it hits, the lucky player is in for a very big win.
This is not the same as having a multiplier for a win with a wild. It is a feature in which the pokies itself adds wild symbols at random. The game providers have many creative ways to use this feature. In some pokies, it appears in both the basic game and in the bonus round whilst in other pokies it appears only in the bonus round.
It is not the same as stacked wilds because stacked wilds occupy space on the same reel whilst multiplying wilds can appear on more than one reel and usually do. This increases your winning chances for that spin even more than stacked wilds do.
One of the best variations on this theme is having a symbol other than the wild act as a second wild in the bonus rounds.
This feature has proven to be possibly the most popular of all the newer ways that game providers use wild symbols. Sticky wilds simply stay in place for spin after spin. This variation is usually on the bonus game. A wild appears and stays in place so, if you have moderate luck in the early free spins, you’ll be in very good shape to score big wins in the later free spins.
The wilds stick even if they didn’t help you win on that particular spin.
As popular as the many ways game developers use the wilds on their pokies, they do add to the volatility of the games. That means that since there are more ways to win with wilds, there will be fewer ways to win in a regular fashion. Volatility also means that you have to budget for it. This is a classic trade-off.
Also, the more paylines there are in a game, the more valuable one of the newer wild features becomes. Stacked wilds with 20 paylines have more winning potential than stacked wilds with 10 paylines. The potential for wins increases as the number of paylines increases.
Players need to take all of this into account when they play more volatile games. Most statisticians who study pokies advise betting on all paylines when the game has added features for the wilds. For instance, if the multiplier for the bonus round jumps dramatically, it’s a good idea to play all paylines since you can’t add paylines in the bonus round.
Expanding and Sticky Wilds also create a lot of big wins.
The adventurous Aussie spirit shows up in the pokies Aussies like to play. Of course, there are Aussies who like every type of pokies game. But Aussies tend to like the games that test one’s inner strength in combination with a more playful attitude toward life.
The many variations in the way the wild symbols work are perfect compliments to the general spirit of challenge and fun at the core of Australian culture.