Wild Reels Explained: What It Is and How it Works

Wild Reels Explained: What It Is and How it Works
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Are you struggling to understand the difference between a wild symbol and wild reels when it comes to online pokies?

Well, you’re in the right place! Our experienced team has gathered all the info you need to know about wild reels in pokies, including what they are, how to activate them and why they’re a great feature to look out for.

Plus, we’ll let you know some of the top pokies games where you can find wild reels, so you can sign up to your favourite Australian online casino and start playing today.

Let’s get started…

What are Wild Reels?

A wild reel gives you the chance to turn entire reels into wilds rather than just one or two wild symbols.

An entire reel full of wilds can dramatically increase your chances of winning big on the pokies.

Each online pokie game is set up slightly differently, so depending on the specific pokie game you’re playing you’re likely to have a slightly different experience when the wild reel goes off.

How Do Wild Reels Work?

When you’re lucky enough to get a wild reel, the reel will spin for much longer than your usual game.

The pokie game will randomly select a reel to turn every reel symbol into a wild symbol, giving you more chances to create a pay line and secure a win!

Based on our experience playing pokies with wild reels, you’ll usually find there’s a maximum of three active wild reels during any one spin.

Top 5 Pokies With Wild Reels

Based on many years playing pokies with wild reels at online casinos worldwide, here are some of our top picks, where we’ve experienced first-hand the thrill of the wild reel in action!

Reel Desire

Released in February 2021 by Yggdrasil, Reel Desire offers you the chance to relive (or experience for the first time) the golden era of disco, with a ‘70s and ‘80s nightclub theme that’s lively and energetic.

Neon bulbs light the way to the winning symbols, including typical nightclub characters, Casio-inspired timepieces and slotted sunglasses.

Players will find near-countless ways to win, with 1,024 pay lines available to build winning combinations across the reels. Combined with the fantastic bonus features available in Reel Desire, it translates to a huge maximum win of 20,480x your original wager.

There’s an average RTP value of 96%, around what we expect for the funky nightclub pokie. Volatility is rated high in the game, and with such a large maximum win, it’s clear to see why – it’s a fantastic game that’s complimented by those wild reels.

Find your winning combination with this popular slot game.

Secret Of The Stones (MAX)

Powered by NetEnt and released in early 2020, Secret of the Stones (MAX) is the sequel to the original – turned-up to maximum settings.

The pokie game offers a theme that is loosely based around Stonehenge, the prehistoric monument in the South of England and takes cues from the history surrounding the site. Symbols include plenty of stone figures ranging from snakes to wolves in this unique pokie.

There are 5 reels combined for a fixed number of just 25 pay lines. While plenty of games with more pay lines are available, the NetEnt team knows what they’re doing to keep up the excitement while playing. And thanks to the wild reels offered, there’s a giant maximum win of up to 25,000x the original wager placed, 10x the original game.

The RTP value is great, too, sitting above average at 96.81%, a whole 0.6% up from the original version. The variance may be the biggest difference between the two games. The original was a low volatility pokie, while this version is a high volatility game.

Try to generate your winning combination and access wild reels on this popular slot.

Caishen’s Arrival

The release of Caishen’s Arrival from Betsoft follows the theme of the protagonist of the Chinese God of Wealth, Caishen (also known as Cai Boxing Jun).

Symbols are exactly what you’d expect from a slot following Caishen, with wealth, gold and jewels as the common denominator.

The 5-reel pokie has just 25 paylines available, but this is overshadowed by the maximum payout available. Thanks to those wild reel bonuses, an enormous maximum win of 33,817x the original wager is up for grabs!

The RTP sits slightly lower than the industry average for this type of pokie at 95.74%. As you may expect, volatility is high, with such a large maximum win and theme focused on wealth, making this a great choice for high rollers and risk takers.

Watch out for big payouts with Cashiens Arrival.

Riders of the Storm

Released in late 2019 by Thunderkick, Riders of the Storm is a fantastic pokie offering you plenty of control over the reels.

The theme is based around Steampunk, with the ‘Riders of the Storm’ identified as four unique characters, each offering a different bonus.

There’s the Mechanical Engineer, the Huntress, the Patriarch Captain and the mystery option, all waiting for you to enjoy.

With 243 different pay lines available across 5-reels, there’s a massive maximum win of 26,426x the original wager. Players have the bonus rounds to thank for that, with plenty of wild reels and walking wilds available during play.

The RTP is 96.14%, and volatility can be altered between low, medium and high thanks to the variety of bonus features available in the game.

There are plenty of wild symbols and other features on offer in this exciting online gambling game.


Released by ELK Studios back in 2017, Hidden is plenty of fun. It gives you the chance to enjoy a thrilling pokie packed full of features.

We’ve seen the Ancient Egypt theme countless times before, but it’s still a lot of fun. You’ll find the reels based outside of Cairo, at the Great Pyramids, with camels, sphinx and pyramids themselves featured as symbols across the reels.

There are 5 reels and 178 different pay lines available to build your winning combinations. A maximum payout of just 2,150x the original wager is available in a single spin, with those wild reels offering plenty of excitement!

The RTP sits at 96.3%, with a medium volatility rating, giving players of all bankroll sizes the chance to give Hidden a chance and see what all the hype is about.

See if you can score a winning payline with this popular slot.

Stacked Wilds vs Wild Reels

Stacked wilds are kind of like wild reels, but they don’t affect all the symbols on the reel like a wild reel does.

When you get stacked wilds, it basically means that wild symbols will appear on top of one another. Because they’re stacked, they can form a whole section of wilds on your reel. They may even cover the entire reel like a wild reel if they’re stacked three wild symbols high (or more).

Why Play Pokies With Wild Reels?

Wild reels can help to increase your chances of winning by giving you more chances to create pay lines with wild symbols.

Depending on the pokie game and sometimes the online casino, some wild reels combine with multipliers or other game features – giving you a chance to win BIG money and collect some serious payouts.


Wild reels are just one of the many features you can find at online casinos when you spin the reels.

Many pokie games have bonus rounds that feature different wild symbols, to make it as entertaining as possible for players.

Games with wild reels offer plenty of excitement because you never know what a spin of the reel will reveal! For many people playing these types of pokies, experiencing a wild reel is the highlight of the game!

Just remember to play within your limits and choose a game with a volatility level that suits your playing style and budget.

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Ryan Anderson
Ryan Anderson
Pokies Expert
82 Articles
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Ryan is our resident pokies expert. Not only does he provide readers with the latest insights, innovations and technology news related to pokies, but he also knows all there is to know about pokies game developers.

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