What Are Expanding Symbols Pokies?
In some video slots, symbols can grow from being one row high to two or more rows. Usually, expanding symbols cover the entire reel. Symbols that stand on their way are removed creating a new combination of symbols and additional opportunities to collect payouts.
How the Feature Is Used
Symbols usually acquire this characteristic during the bonus rounds which are typically either respins or free spins. Often the quality is assigned to a random symbol that is selected before the round begins. This is how it works in the famous Book of Dead slot. Once free spins get triggered, one random symbol is selected that will expand to award more payouts.
But there’s another way expanding symbols are used in pokies. In Starburst and Starburst XXXtreme, there are respins which get activated once a wild lands on the reels. This wild expands and sticks for the entire respins round. Expanding wilds are often used by developers as they ensure more excitement than regular expanding symbols.
In some slots, symbols can grow in height only on certain reels, usually on three central reels. Other slots offer this feature on any reels. Moreover, these symbols sometimes pay regardless of their position practically turning into scatters.
Best Pokies with Expanding Symbols
- Starburst XXXtreme is an upgraded version of the timeless hit, Starburst. While the original had just expanding wilds paired with respins, its new version adds more features to add more fun. One of the additions is an up to x150 multiplier that is available during respins. Up to 3 wilds can drop randomly on reels 2-4. Plus, it’s possible to select the standard betting option as well as betting modes with 1 or 2 guaranteed wilds. The slot has an incredible 200,000x win potential.
- Book of Dead, released in 2016, is still convincing and largely popular. Symbol expansion is one of its key features and is only available in the bonus round which is triggered when three scatters land on the reels. Unlike Starburst, it’s not the Wild symbol that expands, but any regular element that is randomly selected before the free spins begin.
- Katmandu Gold is an exciting pokie that features expanding wild symbols along with a range of multiple other bonus options. The game offers several wilds: one is regular and three others can expand up, down, and both ways. This is a highly entertaining video slot that has much more to offer, including expanding reels, up to 4×4 giant symbols, avalanche, free spins with up to x12 multiplier, and symbol replacement feature.
- If you would like something a bit more aggressive and intense, try Infectious 5. Its xWays engine is built around expansion. But the developer added its unique twist to the feature. Instead of replacing other symbols while expanding, it expands the reel height. A single xWays symbol transforms into other symbols that accommodate two or three rows. An upgrade to this engine is Infectious xWays that are also present in the slot. After transforming and expanding, they infect other similar symbols to expand. This game is packed with multiple bonus options that you can test any time by buying one of three bonus rounds that cost x75, x140, and x555.
- Book of Shadows is another great pokie. During free spins one of the symbols becomes Golden and it expands to cover the entire reel. Two upper rows are initially locked and New Zealand players can activate them any time but they will have to pay an additional price for that. Every extra row gives 5 additional win lines. Players from New Zealand can also lock reels they want to keep if they think they’ll get lucky with them in the next round. Along with the standard 50/50 Gamble feature, the slot offers a Wheel of Bonus with chances of winning depending on the win that is being gambled.