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Cascading Reels

The term “cascading wilds” has been thrown around a few times in the world of online poker machines, but there’s no one definition that applies to all of these cases. Sometimes, we’re talking about pokies that have features that can increase the number of wilds on screen; in other games, the feature is better described as cascading reels, with the wild symbols just being along for the ride.

No matter exactly what it is that is happening in a particular game, though, all of these features have one thing in common: they give players more ways to win, and a better chance at winning big prizes. Let’s take a look at a few different kinds of cascading wild features and how they make their pokies more fun for players.

Adding New Wilds to the Board

Several games that are described as having cascading wilds utilize features that can add additional wilds to the reels after one or more initial wilds appear. In this way, you can think of the wilds as “cascading:” one can cause another, which might in turn be able to cause another, and so on.

Perhaps the perfect example of this feature is the Jeopardy poker machine, created by IGT. This pokie features an interesting layout, as though the game uses a pretty standard five reel layout with four positions on each reel, every symbol position is spun randomly and independently of each other, meaning that there are effectively 20 different reels resolving every time you make a spin on this machine.

But sometimes, one symbol can impact the others. Every time a wild symbol is spun, it greatly increases the chances that the symbol below it will also be a wild. It’s not a guarantee by any stretch, but the percentages are pretty high: a wild that appears on the top position of a reel often leads to a full reel of four wild symbols as they cascade down one after another. This feature adds a lot of variance to the Jeopardy game, making this a good pick for players who like a lot of risk and potentially big prizes.

A similar but less powerful feature is also seen in Demolition Squad, a poker machine created by NetEnt. This game features a standard wild symbol that only appears on the second, third and fourth reels of the game. However, if two wilds appear, one each on the second and fourth reels, they can create a bonus “demolition wild” symbol. This only occurs if the two wilds have a standard symbol lined up in between them, creating either a horizontal or diagonal line. In that case, the symbol in between the wilds also becomes wild itself, making it likely that some big wins will occur on that spin.

Cascading Reels

Other games offer a cascading feature that isn’t directly related to the wild symbols on the reels. For instance, the Crystal Forest poker machine< from WMS has a feature known as cascading reels, one that can potentially offer players wins again and again, continuing indefinitely as long as your luck holds up.

In a cascading reels feature, the initial spin is a normal one, with wins being awarded for any left-to-right combination of symbols that triggers a prize. However, while most pokies end their spins here, the cascading reels feature means that these spins have only just begun. After scoring a win, all winning symbols are removed from the reels, causing other symbols to fall down – and for new symbols to come from off the reels to fill in the blank spaces.

These new symbols can once again cause wins to occur, and if they do, they will score more wins for the player—once again causing the winning symbols to disappear and for new ones to take their places. This can go on again and again, until the reels are full and no wins are possible. Only then will the spin end.

All of these wild and cascading features are different, but they have one key thing in common: they offer bigger and bigger wins to players, constantly generating more winning opportunities. These pokies may not be the most common, but cascading wilds are always popular thanks to their huge winning potential!

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