The Labouchere System

The Labouchere betting system uses a form of cancellation in order to beat the odds in gambling. It is a system particularly popular with the game of roulette. When a player uses this system, they need to only win just over a third of their bets to reach a predetermined betting goal. However, although I have won sessions in the past using the Labouchere system, I no longer employ it because I have come across better systems due to the fact that with the  Labouchere, if one hits a losing streak, it will cause you to be forced to make larger bets than expected if you want to continue to play.

How the Labouchere System Works

To make the best use of the Labouchere system, the first thing you need to do is set a goal as to how much money you wish to win. The easiest way to understand this is to break it down into units. The value of the unit can be whatever you decide. For example, you want to win $10 a session, you would set the value of the unit at $1, so your goal would be 10 units.

Once you have determined how many units you would like to win, you then break that into smaller numbers, and write those number out in a straight line. Following the above example it would look something like this:

1 2 3 2 2

The key to the whole thing is that all the numbers add up to 10. When you can cross all the numbers off your list, then you have reached the goal. Like a number of other systems, the Labouchere betting system has the player make even bets, like red/black or odd/even. To figure out how much to bet, you take the first and last numbers on your list and add them together, then bet that amount. So if you take 1 and 2 that makes 3 units; so your first stake would be $3.
Now if you win the bet, you can cross those 2 numbers off the list. Now your list appears like this:

2 3 2

If you follow the system, your next wager would be $4, (2+2=4) But say this time you lose the wager, so then the number of units you lost goes on the end of the row, and therefore looks like this now.

2 3 2 4

So when you continue, your next wager will be $6 (2+4=6 units)

To follow the system through to the end, you have to continue to wager until the line or row is completely gone. It is at this point that you have concluded the Labouchere system, and therefore reached the goal you set to begin with.

Advantages to the Labouchere System

The main benefit of the system is that you don’t have to win constantly in order to reach the goal. Due to the fact that you only add a single number when you lose, and remove two numbers when you win, one only needs to win 1/3 of the games to continue the row. Generally you will win more than that in the long haul, you can rest assured that you will eliminate the line after a while and reach the goal you set.

Should You Use the Labouchere System?

I don’t recommend it, but you could try on a good demo table such as the live demo table at Dublinbet. The system is similar to the Martingale, in that you have to increase the wagers if you start to lose. Fortunately, the effect here is considerably less than the Martingale, where the wagers double every time. In the Labouchere system, the change in the size of the wagers is more gradual, which makes it much easier for the players. However, like the Martingale, with the Labouchere you might find the bets become too large for your bankroll.

So is the  Labouchere system a winning roulette strategy? In my opinion, No. It looks good on paper, and you can have a bit of fun with it on a demo table or on a table where tou can play with very small stakes, but it does met my criteria to be described as a winning roulette system.

Although the system does look like you would win a majority of the time, and you often do – when you lose it could well cost you quite a bit of money. Now your wagers won’t increase as fast as they do in the Martingale, but they can become rather large. Additionally, a simple win will not reduce you to the minimum betting amount, but you may have to make several large wagers to get back on track again. You should also bear in mind that when playing this system, you might need many hours of play to win 10 units. I have found from experience the most effective systems are those that require a minimal amount of play, because the longer you are at the table the more likely it is that the casino edge will kick in.