The answer may actually be a little system-dependent. On UNIX systems, it's up to the command shell to interpret "*", whereas on Winders, it's up to the individual application (last I knew, anyway.) "." means the current directory, and that definitely could include .dotfiles in the current directory; but "*" means only visible files, so .dotfiles in the current directory would not be included.
In both cases, though, recursive handling of the contained directories would be the same. So on UNIX-like systems, anyway, there is a small difference: .dotfiles in the top level directory (only) may be included by ".", and omitted by "*".