What are Expanding Wild Symbols?

  • Elina B.

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Online slot games have evolved since they became popular. Nowadays, they introduce numerous features, so that you are kept engaged and entertained. One such feature is the Expanding Wild symbol. If you are from the US and wonder whether you can legally play such slots online, you can do so in sweepstakes casinos, where you can win real money for free.

In today’s topic, we will take a closer look at what it is, how it works, and what benefits you can expect from it. Let’s get it on.


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Mystic Chief

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Wild West Duels

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Wild Walker

What are Wild Symbols?

Before diving into the expanding wilds, let’s cover what wild symbols are in general. In slot games, they serve as a substitute for other symbols to create winning combinations. By replacing other symbols on the reels, wilds increase your chances of landing winning combinations and potentially securing big payouts.

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Day of Dead Slot Bonus Round – Example of Expanding Wild 

How Expanding Wild Slots Work?

Hitting an expanding wild for the first time may seem unusual to you as it behaves like no other symbol, despite that initially, it looks like a regular wild.

Expanding wilds take the concept of wild symbols to the next level. When such a symbol lands on a reel, it expands vertically upwards and downwards to cover the entire reel, transforming all symbols on that reel into wilds.

This expansion can lead to multiple winning combinations across various paylines, boosting your chances of scoring a significant win.

Not all slot games feature expanding wilds, and the specific mechanics may vary between games. For example, some slots may have expanding wilds on particular reels only, while others on all reels.

Some expanding wilds may trigger bonus features or come with additional multipliers, so it’s essential to understand the rules and paytable of each game.

Advantages of Expanding Wild Symbols

We have gone through how the expanding wilds work, so let us take a look at the benefits you get from them.

Increased Winning Potential

As expanding wilds cover entire reels, they create multiple winning combinations and increase your chances of securing a large payout.

In games where wilds serve as a jackpot symbol, winnings are boosted even further.

Enhanced Excitement and Anticipation

The appearance of an expanding wild on the reels adds a layer of excitement as you eagerly watch to see if it will lead to a big win. This results in more dynamic gameplay, as these symbols add an additional layer of unpredictability.

Visual Appeal

Usually, expanding wilds come with eye-catching animations and graphics, along with exhilarating sounds which make your gaming experience even more enjoyable.

Disadvantages of Expanding Wilds

iron bank slot expanding wild

Iron Bank Bonus Round – Example of Expanding Wild 

Of course, expanding wilds have their drawbacks too, so here we will list the most significant ones.

Increased Volatility

A common aspect of the expanding wild slots is that they are highly volatile, meaning that your winnings can be more substantial but less frequent.

Potentially Lower Base Game Payouts

In some cases, the presence of expanding wilds and other special features may result in lower payouts for regular symbol combinations in the base game. This trade-off can be worth it if you seek more significant wins through special features but may be less attractive to those who prefer more consistent, smaller wins.


Today we shed some light on the specifics of the expanding wilds slot symbols, how they work, and how they can affect your winnings. We also discussed their pros and cons to enlighten you completely on what you can expect from them.

There are numerous sweepstakes casinos offering slots with expanding wilds, so you can play them online legally if you are from the US.