Fruit machines have target percentages which the software actively works towards, so if you lose £100 on one (or £800 as Cavey did
), then it is actually closer to paying out, and eventually it will have to drop big wins.
Whilst very broadly
correct, that's a very risky assumption though, as we both know to our cost mate, and I'd never recommend anyone works on this basis, chasing their losses in the belief that the pre-determined code 'compensator' will come to their rescue.
It's a complex area and certainly not something I'm an expert in, but it is now widely known that many fruit machines had so-called 'exploits' and 'emptiers' whereby totally counter-intuitive strategies (like constantly refusing jackpots on certain machines in a very specific way, or only collecting one 'feature', or 'reversing' hi-lo gambles, in certain circumstances etc. etc.) always pay. So the player who happens to be 'in the know' isn't really 'gambling' at all; this is 'knowledge', not 'skill'. (Many old machines that AE scoffs at were
largely based on true skill elements - stopping really fast skillstops, knowing the reels and features inside out etc., but these are long gone).
However, these 'guaranteed wins' are still usually accounted for, meaning that the hapless other players using this machine will always lose, as it 'catches up', ready for the next pasting.
In addition, as you know of course
, many machines - especially clubbers and casino variants - have very long
pay cycles, so they're not going to give back any value for a very, very long time, following a nasty 'suck period'. (If FME is to be believed - actual physical meters on some machines bought by FME scene members for graphics resources etc. come to that - there are machines that don't seem to make anything like percentage, too AFAIK?)
Ironically therefore, a random machine is a leveller and therefore much 'fairer' in these circumstances. (Such machines usually have a much higher payout percentage to boot).