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Shifting Wilds

Pokies have all sorts of different themes, symbols, bonus rounds and patterns, but on most of them, one thing remains the same: the symbols stay where they are. It’s rare to find a poker machine where symbols will actually move around the machine, surprising you with how they help make new winning combinations. But that’s exactly what happens when you play a game that features shifting wilds, a feature that sees valuable simple move across the reels spin after spin.

What Are Shifting Wilds?

Shifting wilds are essentially a special kind of sticky wild. A sticky wild is any wild symbol that stays on screen for multiple spins, remaining in place even after the triggering spin ends. However, while sticky wilds will stay in the same position spin after spin, shifting wilds instead move after each spin, only leaving the game after either a set number of spins or when the symbol moves off of the display.

How Shifting Wilds Work

A shifting wild starts as a standard wild symbol, and has the same function as one, acting as a substitute for any normal symbol on the pokie. However, the similarities with a normal wild end after that spin. With a shifting wild, the wild symbol will stay on the reels, shifting to a new position after each spin. Typically, the wild will move one position on each spin, though shifting wilds could take on other patterns as well.

The most common type of shifting wild is one that starts on the final reel and moves to the left. This is probably due to the fact that this arrangement produces the most excitement for players: each time the wild symbol moves to the left, it becomes more likely to help make winning combinations before finally exiting the pokie on the left side.

Online Pokies With Shifting Wilds

Perhaps the most famous example of a pokie with shifting wilds is Dolphin Cash, a game created by Playtech. As the name suggests, the game features an ocean theme, and in particular, uses the dolphin as its most important symbol: the shifting wild.

On this machine, the shifting wild dolphin symbol can only appear on the fifth reel. On its first spin, it acts as a wild. On the next spin, it will move one position to the left, taking up a symbol slot on the fourth reel. This continues until the dolphin moves to the first reel; on the next spin, it will jump off the screen.

It is possible to have more than one shifting wild move across the reels at the same time on this pokie. While you’ll only ever activate one dolphin per spin, you can activate a new one even while others are still on the machine. If you ever manage to get five in a row on the same payline, you can win 4,000 coins for every coin wagered, one of the largest jackpots on the machine.

Another variation on this theme is the idea of shifting reels. In these games, rather than having a single wild symbol shifting across the poker machine, most of the reels will move after each win, allowing a new reel to slide in and potentially make more winning combinations.

One great example of this feature is the NetEnt pokie Robin Hood: Shifting Riches. This poker machine starts as a fairly standard game, but things rapidly change whenever the player scores a winning combination. After this happens, the reels each move one row to the right, and a new first reel is spun. If another winning combination is made, this process repeats itself again and again until a spin ends without any wins. As an added bonus, these extra spins come with a multiplier, starting at 2x and eventually growing as high as 5x.

Shifting wilds and other shifting symbols can be some of the most exciting features found in online pokies today. They often offer the chance for continuous wins, as these moving symbols change the layout every time the reels are spun. If you’re looking for a special feature that can earn you big wins and always adds some potential drama to every spin, a poker machine with shifting wilds might be exactly what you’re looking for.

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