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Oct

24

2017

Getting Wild in Stacked Reel Slot Machines

One of the tools slot machine designers use to keep the games fun and interesting is the stacked reel, where a number of consecutive symbols are the same.

Things can really get interesting when the stacked symbols are wild, matching any other symbols to help form winning combinations.

A slot-playing reader wrote to say she’d recently had a stack of wilds on the last reel of her penny video slot.

“I said to myself more than anyone else, ‘I hate when that’s on the last reel,’ she wrote. ” I guess I was loud enough for others to hear, because the lady next to me said, ‘Really? I like it there. I always think that’s my chance at five of a kind.’

“Is there anything to that? I always figured you wanted the wilds on the first reels so they could start off winning combinations. But maybe if you get more five of a kinds, that makes up for it.’

I wrote back to tell the reader her instincts are correct. You will win more often and win more money if your stack of wilds is on the first or second reels, giving you a good start toward winning combinations.

Even with wilds on the fifth reel, you still need matching symbols on the first four to make five of a kind. And you’re a lot likely to get three on a row or the four in a row necessary before the fifth reel is even considered if your wilds come early.

Let’s say you have wilds on the first reel, then 7s on the same payline on the second and third reels. You have a three of a kind winner. However, if the wild is on the fifth reel, it does not help form a winning combination with the 7s on the second and third.

A wild on the first, second or third reel can be part of any three-, four- or five of a kind combination. A wild on the fifth reel can be part of a winner only if the complete combination is five of a kind.

May your wilds come early, often, and on the first reels.

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