The Labouchere Strategy

The Labouchere is a roulette strategy also known as the split Martingale, American Progression, or Cancellation System. It is a negative progression system as it involves increasing stakes after a loss. The idea behind the Labouchere is that a player should be able to recoup his losses after a few rounds of wins. The Labouchere system doesn’t attempt at recouping all the losses with a single win, unlike the Martingale strategy.

How to Use The Labouchere Betting System

When using the Labouchere, we suggest that you keep visual notes as it can be a bit hard to keep track of your best without help. Start off by writing down a sequence of numbers that add up to your preferred betting unit. Let’s say that your betting unit is $10, in which case we can make the sequence:


From here, you take the first number and the last number in the sequence and add them together. This brings us the number 5, which will be our first bet size. Using only even-money bets, like red-black or odd-even, you place your first bet. If you win, you cross out the two numbers. If you lose, you take the sum of the numbers that you bet and add it to the sequence:





From here, you use the same method and add the first and last number to get your next bet size, and place another even-money bet. If you won your last bet, your bet size is now 2+3=$5, and of you lost, your bet size is now 1+5=$6. Would you have won the last bet, and win once again with your second bet, you are now $10, or one unit, richer. Congratulations! In this case, the first round of the Labouchere is over, and you are free to start another round if you wish.

The Labouchere - Giving You an Edge Over The House

he Labouchere Strategy is a beautiful betting strategy that cancel losses with wins in a calm fashion, and is subject to less volatility to other betting systems. Let’s take an example where you didn’t win the first two rounds, and the game kept on going:

Number SequenceBet SizeOutcomeNet Profit

As you can see: Even though you lost 4 bets, and won 4 bets, you still came out with $10 profit, which can be interpreted that you actually created yourself an edge over the casino. This is also visible in the second to last round, where you actually had more losses than wins, and still came out a winner!

What’s even more impressive with the Labouchere, in comparison to other strategies, is that you never exceed your comfort level of betting unlike in the Martingale Strategy.

Drawbacks of The Labouchere

Although there are many strengths with the Labouchere strategy, there is always some risk involved in a negative progression system. The fact that you need to increase your bet while losing obviously means that there is a risk for your bankroll to run out, or hit the table maximum. Therefore you should always keep track of your bankroll and use a bet unit that you are comfortable with.