The Labouchere System

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History of Labouchere system

During the 19th century, Richard Labouchere was a wealthy British aristocrat who worked as a politician, a newspaper editor, a publisher, and even ran his own magazine.
He was also an adept gambling player – specializing in roulette.

During his career, he is remembered for developing and utilizing a winning wagering strategy that is named in his honor today.

If you’re looking for a cancellation system that can work with nearly any casino game, Labouchere is a great choice. It’s a bit more complicated than Martingale and Fibonacci, yet it can be mastered with practice.

The Labouchere Strategy

It can be used on Red/Black, Even/Odd, and 1-18/19-36. However, it is a risky strategy to use on the inside bets because the numbers don’t add up, so you might lose a significant amount of money.
An approximate 50% chance of winning is needed.

First, you need to determine how much you wish to win. Ready? Then, break it down into smaller numbers that add up to your total goal. This is, for example, the sequence if you want to win $10.

1 – 1 – 1 – 2 – 2 – 2 – 1

You determine how you split money along your sequence – and how much you want to win eventually.

Simply add the leftmost and rightmost numbers from your sequences when you start the game. Your wager for the spin will be this amount. Our first spin requires us to wager £2, as per our example above.

If you are successful at your bet, then give up the numbers in the sequence that you just used – since you have achieved part of your goal. The sequence of events could look like this if we won (£2):

1 – 1 – 2 – 2 – 2

We should now bet on the leftmost and rightmost numbers from the previous round – in this case, 2 + 1 is 3. It is necessary to cross out all the numbers until you finish the process.

In this case, you have achieved your objective and won your set amount. It is absolutely fine to create a new sequence and start from scratch.
You should, however, not cross out any numbers if you lose the bet.

By contrast, you should simply place your bet on the rightmost line of the sequence. Because you have to make up for the money you just lost, you should include it in your bet. Here’s what our sequence of events would have looked like if we had lost the first bet.

1 – 1 – 1 – 2 – 2 – 2 – 1 – 2

Labouchere’s strategy works this way. As soon as you learn it, it’s fairly easy to follow and execute. Make sure you follow these two steps:

  • After each win, cross out the left and right numbers
  • In the aftermath of a loss, add the number you’ve just bet to the right side of the sequence instead of crossing it out

Let’s examine this system in more detail and determine the advantages and disadvantages.

Benefits of Labouchere system

You don’t have to make any mistakes with the Labouchere system; if you don’t miscalculate yourself, the numbers always add up nicely and give you a feeling of accomplishment. Following the steps correctly will lead to a profit if you win as much as you lose. Additionally, you shouldn’t lose a lot during the game.

The progression is not as steep as it is with the Martingale strategy. The fact that you don’t double your bet each time you lose doesn’t make losing streaks so big when using the Labouchere. Most players find this to be manageable.

Problems with the Labouchere Strategy

Other roulette strategies suffer from the same issues as the Labouchere system. Losing streaks can lead to long sequences. You won’t be able to cross out all your numbers unless you have a great winning run.

Roulette has an inherent house edge, which is why it has such a high house edge. It is very useful for keeping track of your win/loss ratio and how close you are to making a profit, but will not improve your odds of winning.

Long term, casinos always have the advantage. But to say that you can’t play good games and grow your bankroll does not mean you can’t do it.

Changes & Modifications

You can eventually understand some of the variations of the Labouchere strategy and even devise your own after gaining a bit of experience playing it and getting comfortable. In this article, we shall show you a few popular variations on this classic betting system.

You determine the initial bet sequence, as we previously explained. A lot depends on how you create it. It might impact the game in a significant way.

You will undoubtedly make a greater profit after each successful completion if you choose high numbers and a long sequence. The game will also be more dangerous because your bets can escalate very quickly.

You can try out the Johnson progression, which is a particularly safe sequence. Initially, bets were placed as follows:

0 – 0 – 0 – 0 – 0 – 0 – 0 – 0 – 0 – 1

In the event of a loss, your next bet will be 1 as well. It would be worthwhile to explore this variation in a separate article.

Losing and splitting

Losing streaks can cause your bets to cost an absurd amount, as you are already aware of. There is a way to mitigate the effects of potential catastrophic losses when playing with such high stakes, using the Labouchere strategy. Let’s imagine that you have a bad sequence after several very bad games.

25 – 29 – 37 – 40 – 58 – 62 – 79
Total: 330

This sequence can easily be broken down into several sequences, each of which can be followed individually. It doesn’t matter how you sequence them, so long as they equal the sum you had in your original sequence. Let’s say we want to reach our goal, but we do not want to overbet, so we can create 3 safe sequences.

10 – 15 – 20 – 25 – 30 – 35 – 40 – 45
Total: 220

15 – 15 – 15 – 15
Total: 60

5 – 10 – 15 – 20
Total: 50

Those are the first ones we should bet on after creating them. Upon completing it, we will move on to the next, and after the rest are finished, we will start over again. You can see from the images that the numbers in the three new sequences are not as scary as the numbers in the regular sequence.

Labouchere’s Reverse

As you lose, Labouchere increases your bets. Someone designed a Reverse Labouchere system when they had nothing better to do – they increased bets when they won. As follows:

If you win, add the sum of the bet at the end of the sequence

If you lose, erase the numbers you bet

It is very unlikely that you will lose money using this system. It is possible to win an amazing amount of money if the wheel turns in your favor on more than two occasions. There is rarely a chance of that happening due to the edge of the house.

You Shouldn’t Expect Miracles from Labouchere

Generally speaking, the Labouchere system is good at setting up and organizing your games, but it’s not much else. If you are hoping for some magical solution that will improve your odds of winning, you will probably be disappointed.

Although it is less interactive than your average roulette strategy, it can be a good way to work your brain a little. The game can be really enjoyable on top of all that.

Roulette is made more enjoyable by crossing out numbers and drawing closer to your target.
Despite its popularity, we do not expect miracles to occur with the Labouchere strategy.

You can find out about other strategies + of their pros and cons over here.

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