They need to cheat from time to time if they're going to close the gap... In ZX Spectrum forums such as sinclair, this phenomenon (real or imagined) is known as "cheatingbastness".
This can be a quick-and-dirty method of achieving a "level" playing field against a skilled human player (especially in older games, where hardware and AI capabilities were limited and prone to Artificial Stupidity), but can also create Fake Difficulty when the computer has access to moves that a human player (in the same context) clearly does not.
In order to make up the gap and still present a challenge, cheating is required.
Compare Gang Up on the Human, Rubberband AI, and Spiteful A. Note: when adding examples here, please make sure whatever you're planning to claim is does.
The phenomenon making you feel that way is almost definitely Confirmation Bias, as any of the various people who have done actual testing with hundreds of data points can tell you.
), but it's something that was specifically given to the computer as an advantage over the player, rather than random chance.
Sometimes this is justified due to the Rule of Fun.