Expanding Wilds are single substitution symbols, which expand and cover a whole reel. They usually move up or down, depending on where they're landing.
If they hit the right reel, e.g. Reel 1 where you can bag some serious wins when they can be most successful. You will also be presented with some cool animation when you watch the counter ticking upward for coin wins.
Expanding Wilds may occur in the base game, or as a special feature in a round of Free Spins, but they often behave as normal Wilds:
substitute all normal symbols except bonuses and Scatters
Multiply winning combinations by 2x or higher
As technology advances on both web and smartphone platforms, a few developers have introduced Expanding Wilds into their slots. In general, they operate the same way: to take up an entire reel to complete several winning combos. Each developer has its own unique take on the feature, though.
Expanding Wilds may bring in a welcome bonus cash during a base game, or add an exciting dimension to a free spins bonus feature. The great thing about expanding wilds is that they will turn up online in both low and high volatility online slots. Let's take a look at some notable examples of Expanding Wild in our traditional Hall of Fame as well as Top-4 Best slots with Expanding Wild symbols countdown. Notable online slots that have expanding wilds: Fruit Zen, Hitman, Wild Wild West - The Great Train Heist, Jingle Spin, Hall of Gods, etc.
Top-4 slot machines with Expanding Wilds feature (and why play them)
4. Rock On / Gushers Gold by Rival Gaming
Significance: Base Game Expanding Wilds.
While some slots display Expanding Wilds as an extra icon, the Expanding Wild is the Wild in some highly volatile games. Rock On slot by the Rival is a music-themed game featuring a guitar symbol that occupies the whole reel as it appears on the screen. The extra 2x multiplier is added to every win it contributes to.
Another Rival's slot machine Gushers Gold also features Expanding Wilds that appears only on Reels 1, 3, and 5. Developers balance out the fact that Wilds only feature on three reels by way expanding these wilds to award major potential wins. Viaden also provides a popular online slot, Treasure Trove, featuring an Expanding Wild that appears on three reels in the middle position.
3. The Dark Knight Rises by Microgaming
Significance: Movie Based Slots / Movie Tie-Ins
Where slots feature 3D animation or a video clip from a Hollywood film, expanding Wilds will also improve the whole gaming experience. An outstanding case in point thereof is the Microgaming's Batman tie-up called The Dark Knight Rises. Played over five reels and with 243 paylines, the game features a free spins bonus round.
But it's the Expanding Wild-which only occurs on the central reel that will complete big payouts. This online slot demonstrates that Expanding Wilds are not just reserved for the classic 5-reel and 30 payline slots.
2. Captain America by Playtech
Significance: Bonus Spins Extending Wilds.
Comic-themed slots often tend to contain at least one feature that will boost player wins. In the case of Captain America, influenced by the iconic Marvel comic book and now film series, two separate Expanding Wilds have a free spins feature: Captain America and Red Skull.
These substitute the regular icons and unleash different types of animated goodness around the reels to improve your wins. The same is valid for another Playtech slot Banana Monkey.
1. Sparks by NetEnt
Significance: Expanding Cloning Wilds
Not satisfied with mere Expanding Wilds, some developers have awarded players with far bigger wins with the feature on.
When it happens, filling an entire reel will either continue as a single symbol, or extend up or down (or both). It then clones the symbols to the left on the reel, and replicates them to the right on the reel. This then obviously shapes winning paylines composed of at least three similar symbols.