A gaming device including a award mode in a primary game that increases the probability of obtaining an award in the primary game. The gaming device includes a plurality of reels having several symbols where the symbols include award symbols, at least one trigger symbol and at least one wild symbol. The gaming device activates the reels and initiates the award mode when the trigger symbol is indicated on one of the paylines associated with the reels. In the award mode, the gaming device re-activates all of the reels except the reel including the trigger symbol until those reels indicate a wild symbol on the payline. The gaming device then re-activates the reel including the trigger symbol until an award symbol is indicated on that reel. The gaming device provides the award associated with the indicated award symbol on the payline on that reel to the player.