Roulette strategy 101: What is the Labouchere Betting System

It essentially works as a negative progression system, where the stakes increase every time you lose.

But the betting pattern differs a lot from the Martingale or Fibonacci system. Let’s take a closer look at this intriguing and complex staking plan.

What is the Labouchere system?

Henry Du PréLabouchere was a nineteenth-century politician and writer who had amassed incredible wealth in the banking sector thanks to the origins of his family.

His bizarre staking plan was designed to maximize profits after a relatively small outlay.

Like the Martingale, the Labouchere system is played on even money bets on the table such as Red / Black and Even / Odd. These pay 1/1.

Players use a sequence of numbers to calculate their initial and subsequent bets based on whether they win or lose.

There is no hard and fast rule as to which sequence of numbers you should start such a system, but it’s ideal to write them down or use a word processing tool to keep track.

The higher the numbers in the sequence, the more you will bet Malaysia online gambling.

Use the Labouchere system

Bets are determined by the FIRST and LAST numbers in the sequence. These need to be added up to create your stake.

For example, write down the numbers, £ 1 – £ 2 – £ 3 – £ 4. Your first bet will be £ 1 + £ 4, or £ 5. If the bet wins, you delete the first and last numbers from the sequence.

If you lose the bet, add the bet to the end of the sequence. So our sequence should read:

Rotation # 1
After a win: £ 1 – £ 2 – £ 3 – £ 4
After a loss: £ 1 – £ 2 – £ 3 – £ 4 – £ 5

For your next spin, apply the same rules.

If you win the first spin, you would bet 2 + 3 = £ 5. If you were to lose your first spin, you would be betting £ 1 + £ 5 = £ 6.

You can see that following a losing round, the stake increases slightly.
If you find that you have only one number left in your sequence, simply bet that amount. If it is a winning spin, you have to clear the final number and start the sequence again.

As you can see the sequence does not have to be in ascending order.
You could have a sequence with 2-1-2-4-1-4-1. Bigger players can also opt for bigger numbers if they want to aim higher.

The objective of the Labouchere is to keep the winnings and finish with your final amount or the digits removed.

With our first sequence, if you cross out the numbers (1, 2, 3, 4) you end up with a profit (£ 10) equal to the sum of the numbers (1 + 2 + 3 + 4). That will be the case regardless of which numbers you choose.

In our table, over 10 spins, we will win five bets and we will also lose five.
Total losses are £ 40 and total winnings come to £ 50, so we have a profit of £ 10, which is exactly the sum of our first four numbers.


With only 50% of the winning bets, we still make a profit in our table.
By increasing the stakes related to the sequence, we are able to keep a check on what we are betting.


As with all roulette systems, especially negative progression ones, there are drawbacks.

Two things roulette players cannot change are luck and the house edge.
It is possible for a player to go into a long losing streak, and it can get very expensive when constantly adding numbers to the Labouchere sequence.

The house edge in European roulette is 2.7%. Even playing even money bets (eg Red, Black, Odd, Even) the house wins if a green zero appears.

Try the Labouchere system

Like all roulette strategies, Labouchere carries risks.

There is nothing to prevent long downswings, and you will also need to keep tweaking your number list as you play.

But if there is a goal in your mind to clear the sequence, it gives you an alternative method of playing roulette.

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