Labouchère System. A Betting Strategy

The Labouchère system was made famous by Ian Fleming´s James Bond (a fictional character remember!). It´s also known as the Cancelation System, Labby (short for Labouchere of course) or Split Martingale.

This strategy is a negative progression system (like The Martingale). What does that mean in English? Well, it means that you increase the bet size after a loss in order to claw back losses, as opposed to a positive progression strategy, in which you increase your bet amount after a win with the aim of riding your luck on a winning streak. it´s often used in roulette, but can also be used in other casino games like craps and baccarat.

In the Labouchere System, you define how much you wish to win during the session and plan your bets accordingly as follows:

Write down a list of numbers that add up to your profit target. You then bet the sum of the first and last numbers on the list. If there is only one number left, that number is the bet. When you win, you strike off the 2 numbers from the list (the first and last numbers). IWhen you lose, you tack the amount you just bet onto the end of the list. So if you hit a winning streak, you will get a longer and longer list. if you hit a purple patch, your list becomes shorter and shorter until it (hopefully) just vanishes once you have crosed out all of your numbers.

One important note- you must set yourself a strict budget for the session. If you lose, you obviously cannot add numbers to the end of the list ad inifintum. Set yourself a firm stop loss before playing the Labouchère. , the amount lost is appended to the end of the list. This process continues until either the list is completely crossed out, at which point the desired amount of money has been won, or until the player runs out of money to wager.[1]

The theory behind this strategy is that since the player is crossing two numbers off of the list (win) for every number added (loss) that the player can complete the list, (crossing out all numbers) thereby winning the desired amount even though the player does not need to win as much as expected for this to occur.

The Labby is most often played on even money Roulette bets such as Even/Odd, Red/Black or 1-18/19-36.

The Labouchere system has similar pitfalls to the Martingale- you have to increase your risk if you lose to get out of the hole, plus there are always betting limits at online casinos that limit your ability to cover losses. You may arrive at a point where you can no longer make the next bet due to table limits. To counteract this, you either need a high limit table, or you need to build in low numbers into at least the beginning of your Labouchere Progression.

Again- a word of caution. the Labouchère is not going to change the odds of the game you are playing. But it may help you to play to a rigid set of rules- it´s particularly important to make sure that you have a clear idea of your stop loss and profit targey before you play. If the Labouchère will help you do this, it´s worth a test.