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Shifting Wilds

Once upon a time, Wilds were the biggest innovation in video slots. They substituted for most symbols, helped fill in the gaps in losing combinations, and boosted players' bankrolls.

Then, Sticky Wilds - which remained in place for another spin - and Expanding Wilds (stretching to fill a whole reel) came along to keep gamblers interested.

The Shifting Wilds feature, pioneered by Playtech, is the next step in the evolution of Wild bonus features. As the name suggests, the Wilds substitute for other symbols but also move across the reels to link up paylines.

Try out the best slots with Shifting Wilds for free at

  • Trigger one Wild, hit multiple bonus cashes
  • Hit more bonus features like Free Spins
  • Boost your bankroll and work off a welcome bonus

What are Shifting Wilds?

Shifting Wilds are substituting icons that act Wild in one spin, then move along one reel for another respin. It will continue moving along the reels before disappearing off the end of the reels.

Essentially, players who trigger Shifting Wilds get five bites of the Wild cherry.

Shifting Wilds can start at the fifth reel and work their way left towards Reel 1, or start at Reel 1 and go right. Whatever direction they move in, they can seriously add big wins to your bankroll, especially if you land two or more at the same time.

Finding Shifting Wilds Slots

Playtech are the go-to developer for Shifting Wilds slots. But the feature can appear slightly differently in each slot. Let's look at some of the other big developers trying out new Wild features.

  • Basic Shifting Wilds
  • Dolphin Cash (Playtech)

In Playtech's Dolphin Cash slot, the Shifting Wild appears on Reel 5 only and will shift across one reel on subsequent spins to help fill winning combos.

Players don't have to worry about 'covering' bonus icons, either: in Dolphin Cash any Scatters appearing beneath Shifting Wilds will come into play.

Where Dolphin Cash really excels is in its 'XtraWin' feature. Activated at any time, XtraWin requires an additional bet of 50% on each spin. If a Wild appears on the fifth reels again it clones one more Wild. Depending on where it appears, it will expand up or down to fill the adjacent spots.

  • Shifting Reels
  • Robin Hood Shifting Riches (NetEnt)

Although it's showing its age now, Robin Hood Shifting Riches adds an intriguing twist on Shifting Wilds: shifting the entire reels.

In Netent's Robin Hood Shifting Riches, any win results in the reels shifting right one reel. The reel left behind will then re-spin for free.

A prize multiplier also climbs based on the number of consecutive winning spins. You can therefore have three or more reel shifts and earn a 5x multiplier on your win. If the Wild appears, it will also move as part of the reel.

  • Sliding Wilds
  • Easy Slider (NextGen)

NextGen's 25-payline slot also features a regular Wild which substitutes for every regular symbol in the slot.

So far, so basic.

However, the game comes into its own with the 'Slide a Wild' feature. By clicking on a motorbike icon on the top of the reels, you can move Stacked Wilds and multipliers to the reel of your choice. Effectively, it's like picking your own Shifting Wilds.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Shifting Wilds

Increasing your Wilds is always a good way to give your winnings a boost. And if they 'shift' along the reels you are basically getting free Wilds without forking out extra cash.

What you have to remember, though, is that you can only win relative to what you put in. It's important, then, to always increase your bets to take advantage of the feature as you're effectively getting a 'free' Wild for four consecutive spins. If you're playing a slot with a progressive multiplier, like Robin Hood, it's even more vital to up your stakes.

If a game has Shifting Wilds but is pretty volatile in paying out wins, it might be worth avoiding. You can get ahead of the game and give some of our free-play online slots a try. By testing out our big range of games you'll find the right slots for you and take a chance at some big Shifting Wilds wins.

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