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Stacked Wilds

Stacked Wilds do exactly what they say on the tin: they act as substituting Wild icons and help complete winning combinations. The difference is that they come stacked on top of one another on the reels.

As a result, hitting a whole reel of Stacked Wilds gives players the chance to bump up their winnings.

Many developers offer online slots with Stacked Wilds, some appearing in the base game and others during the bonus features. As long as you understand what they mean for your game, they can be a good tool for giving your wins a little push.

Find the best Stacked Wild slots at

  • Complete winning combinations
  • Improve your chances of winning during the base game
  • Hit big bonuses during the feature rounds

How Do Stacked Wilds Work?

Most modern online video slots contain a Wild symbol. It's a symbol occupying one spot on the reels that substitutes for all regular icons in the game (except any bonus symbols or Scatters, usually).

Manufacturers make each slot differently, so you could find one slot that has a lot of Wilds programmed in, or another which is pretty miserly on the Wilds. Other games have Wilds that only appear on selected reels.

Stacked Wilds ups the ante by taking up two or three spots on the same reel. If you're playing a slot with lots of paylines, therefore, and you hit Stacked Wilds, you can complete many paylines you wouldn't have done otherwise.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Stacked Wilds

OK, first the good news: Stacked Wilds can complete multiple paylines and turn losers into winners. You may also get a multiplier on any win formed using a Stacked Wild symbol (2x, 3x, etc).

But, like Stacked Symbols, Stacked Wilds aren't always good news. As most online slots pay from left to right, you have to first hit the right symbols on Reel 1 or 2 to start off the winning line. If the Stacked Wilds keep landing on Reel 4 or 5, your big wins might end up being a distant memory.

Top Tips:

  • Check the Paytable: A good rule of thumb is to check the paytable before you start playing. There, you'll find information on where the Stacked Wilds land and how much they pay out.
  • Play For Free: So, how do you know how many Stacked Wilds are actually on the reels without risking any cash? After all, the slots developers aren't going to give up that information lightly. If you want to test out a Stacked Wilds slot, try the play-money version first. Give it 100 or 200 spins and count how many times the Stacked Wilds pay out. You'll then get a better idea of whether the game is worthy of your funds.
  • Understand Volatility: Volatility is the frequency of when slots pay out big wins. A low-volatility slot pays out lots of small, regular wins. A high-volatility slot, meanwhile, doesn't pay out that often but will reward big wins when it does.

Stacked Wilds can drastically alter the 'payout percentage' of an online slot: if there are lots of them on the reels, the bonus features might not trigger that often. On the flipside, having fewer Stacked Wilds might mean they pay more coins.

Typical Online Stacked Wilds

Stacked Wilds are now a feature of many developers' slots. You can find basic Stacked Wilds in many NextGen and Blueprint slots. But the usual Stacked Wilds have been adapted by some developers. Let's take a look at a few popular examples.

  • Random Stacked Wilds
  • Sinbad's Gold (Cayetano)

Cayetano's colourful Arabian Nights-themed Sinbad's Gold features a regular Wild AND a Stacked Wild symbol (a dagger) which triggers at random. There are two advantages: the Stacked Wilds cover four rows, and it substitutes for ALL symbols in the game.

  • Stacked Symbols Become Stacked Wilds
  • Zeus III (WMS)

WMS's (Williams Interactive) Zeus III has an innovative reel pattern featuring six reels consisting of 2-7 symbols as you progress from Reel 1 to Reel 6.

Because of the reel layout, it allows players 192 paylines to bet on. However, most of the symbols are also stacked on the reels. When you cover a reel with Zeus icons, every icon turns Wild. This means you can potentially have a reel of seven Stacked Wilds.

  • Bonus Stacked Wilds
  • Basic Instinct (iSoftbet)

iSoftbet has made a name for itself making big-name tie-ins like Rambo, 24, and Basic Instinct, based on the classic 90s thriller.

Stacked Wilds in Basic Instinct appear on just three reels - 1, 3 and 5 - but there are three different variants: BONUS WILDS, FREE SPINS Stacked Wilds, and WILD DROP Stacked Wilds.

When a WILD DROP appears on all three reel spots, it will 'nudge' down a position while the remaining reels spin.

Free Spins are activated if the FREE SPINS Stacked Wild covers all three positions on a reel. Finally, the BONUS WILD activates a special bonus feature if it covers all three positions.

  • "Striking Wilds"
  • Football Star (Microgaming)

Released in time for the 2014 World Cup, Microgaming's Football Star features Stacked Wilds on three of the reels - 3, 4, 5. As the slot plays across 243 paylines (i.e. winners don't have to start from Reel 1), they can seriously increase players' wins.

However, there's also a "Striking Wilds" bonus game that triggers at random. Here footballers take pot shots at three reels with footballs. If their balls are on target, the reel will turn into Stacked Wilds.

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