It's your lucky day! You've dropped a couple of pound coins into the fruit machine in your local pub or arcade, and you're a winner! Three blue sevens on the winline for a 5 win!

But wait! Before you collect that fiver, the machine is offering you a chance to "gamble". If you guess the right way, you could increase that 5 win to 10, 15 and finally the 25 jackpot. The machine has a number reel, with numbers from 1 to 12. On the reel a "10" is showing. Should you go Higher, or Lower?

The answer, of course, is "It makes no difference". The machine has already determined whether you're going to win or lose. If the machine has decided you're going to lose and you choose "Higher", the machine will spin in a number lower than a 10. If you choose "Lower", it'll spin in a higher number. There's absolutely nothing you can do about it. It's not a "gamble" at all. It's fraud, and it's illegal. You're being robbed.

Of course, we've all suspected at one time or another that this is the case. But it was impossible to prove it, because once you've made your choice and pressed the button, there's no way of going back in time and seeing what would have happened if you'd pressed the other button. Until now, that is.


Fruit machines cheat you on practically every spin of the reels. Almost every spin is entirely predetermined - which symbols are going to drop in, whether you're going to be awarded nudges, which numbers the "random" stop will land on, the lot. Ever had two cherries on the win line, not held them, then watched the third one drop in on the next spin and thought, "Damn, if I'd held them I'd have won"? Well, you wouldn't. If you'd held the two cherries, the machine would have dropped in a different symbol. And now we can prove it.

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