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Roulette – The Labouchere System Explained

July 3, 2024

The roulette table is often the one most visited by visitors to the casino, even though it is a game of pure luck.

Yet this has not stopped the mathematicians, gamblers and theorists devising a plethora of dauntingly complex probability and statistical methods, systems and strategies supposedly designed to give the player the best possible chance.

The Labouchere System is a betting strategy for roulette, that although very French-sounding, was created by an English journalist named Henry Labouchere.

If players are willing to put in the practice and experiment, then these tactics can help turn the game into a much more rewarding, nuanced experience, be it at a land-based or top online casino.

Continue reading for further information about the Labouchere Strategy.

What Is The Labouchere System?

The Labouchere System is a roulette betting system where the player arranges their bets, and is sometimes called the split Martingale, the American roulette progression or the cancellation system.

Like the Martingale, it involves players increasing their bet after a loss.

The theory is that, when you increase the stakes, you are sure to win eventually, losses can be balanced out by not playing so many hands.

The Labouchere system is like the Martingale system in many ways but much more complicated than some other systems. 

How To Use The Labouchere System

It is more difficult than the Martingale, Fisher and D’Alembert systems to understand, let alone master. It takes a great deal of practice for a player.

Essentially, a player’s bets are placed on the outside bets with even odds – such as evens,/odds, reds,/blacks, lows/highs.

All these bets at the roulette table are around 50% likely to win – as good as you’re going to get in roulette!

After selecting their bet, the player needs to determine their desired prize.

The player must break down that number into smaller parts that will total the amount they are trying to win.

Using an example will aid in providing a clearer explanation.

The pattern could be: 2, 2, 3, 3, 4, 4, 2. in order to receive £20.

Players will add the first number in the sequence to the last number in the sequence. In this scenario, a player would start by placing a bet equal to the total of 2 plus 2, resulting in 4 (£4.00).

Before each round of betting starts, players choose one even-money bet (such as red/black, odd/even, high/low) and place their bets.

If there are any victories, the sequence will progress to the next round without the numbers 2 and 2, and will instead start with the next two numbers using the same format as before, in this case it would be the numbers 2 and 4.

If the wager was not won, no numbers would have been eliminated and the player would have added the number to the end of the original sequence, creating a list of 2, 3, 3, 4, 4, 4.

For the second bet, players will continue using the same method as the initial bet, combining the first and final numbers in the sequence, 2 and 4 (£6), again betting on outside/even bets (red/black, odd/even, high/low).

Labouchere System

As with all roulette strategies, the best players can really hope for is that a run of luck coincides with the betting strategy they have decided to use. 

Roulette is a random game where chance and luck feature highly, and if players do have a losing run, then it is probably best to walk away as some recovery strategies can eventually lead up to actually even bigger losses.