Labouchere Roulette Strategy – Negative Progression for a Positive Game

Welcome to our guide to the Labouchere roulette strategy. Here we will explain to you how Labouchere system can help you with the task and when you can use it.
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Last Updated on 1 Jun 2021 by Chief Editor Benjamin Webb

We will now set the foundations and tell you what the Labouchere system actually is. The main idea is that you have to decide what amount of money you want to win before you even start playing. Sounds confusing, right? Wait because at the end of this page, everything will be completely clear, and you will be eager to test the system!

The Labouchere strategy is meant to work with even bets only. This means that it can be used when you are betting on red and black, even and odd or the numbers from 1 to 18 and from 19 to 36. They are the ones with a probability of win consisting of a bit less than 50%. To use it with inside bets is not really a good idea, and it can result in a big loss.

What you have to do is, if you want to win a total of £100, let’s say, to split the amount into smaller pieces and to put them in a list. Like for example 10 – 10 – 10 – 20 – 20 – 20 – 10, which again sums up to a hundred. We will explain you all about the logic in the following paragraphs. To avoid any confusion, we feel the need to mention that the Labouchere system is known also as ‘the crossout strategy’, ‘the cancellation system’ and ‘the split martingale’.

How to Use the Labouchere ‘Crossout’ Strategy

To explain to you how to use the Labouchere system, we have created a short guide with the steps you must follow. We tried to be as clear as possible and hopefully, you will not have troubles in understanding it. It is always advisable, though, to try whatever new strategy for free the first time, or if it is not possible, at least to be on a table with low stakes. Back to the steps now.

Choose Your Bet and Create a Sequence Crossout Numbers or Add Them to the Sequence
  • Step 1: Decide the Amount You Want to Win This really is the first thing you should do. For the sake of the guide, we will take the amount of £100 as our goal.
  • Step 2: Divide the Number Into Smaller Sections You must split our hundred into smaller sections that must add up to the total amount of your desired win. So, here we go: 10 – 10 – 10 – 20 – 20 – 20 – 10.
  • Step 3: Place a Bet To understand what the amount of your bet must be, you should sum up the first and the last number of the sequence above. In this case, it is £20.
  • Step 4: Win: Cross Out Numbers If you win, you must cross out the numbers which formed your bet. And you will be left with a sequence of 10 – 10 – 20 – 20 – 20, making your next bet £30.
  • Step 5: Loss: Add the Number If you lose, you should add the loss in the rightmost part of the sequence and include it in your next bet. Like this: 10 – 10 – 10 – 20 – 20 – 20 – 10 – 20.

How the Labouchere System Can Help You and How It Can Fail You

The Labouchere system is quite good. We like the way it is formulated, and we find it easy to follow. Of course, when you learn how to play with it well enough, you can always use it when you play high stakes online roulette with much bigger bets. Also, the progression is not very steep, so it is applicable also by inexperienced players or people that don’t like to risk too much. What you need, though, is a lot of luck so the ball can land exactly where you need it to be. Otherwise, the system starts showing faults and becomes less appropriate for newbies.

Advantages and Disadvantages
  • Flat Progression
  • Keeps Tabs on Wins/Losses
  • Sequence Can Be Endless
  • Does Not Improve the Odds

If your luck cheats on you and you go on a losing streak, the Labouchere sequence will become way too long, and in one moment you will have hard time in meeting your bets. Technically, in case of many repetitive losses, you will still have to be increasing your bet to compensate. The question is how much you are ready to bet so you can win back your money.

Labouchere System – The Odds of the Crossout Strategy

The Labouchere system is a great way to keep tabs of what is happening with your bets. But we cannot say that it can improve your odds in any way. Yes, the bets that you are making, since it works just with outside bets, are less risky than the inside ones. And following the sequence, you can have more structured way of betting and winning or eventually regaining your losses. Still, nothing can remove the house edge.

Bet Number Sequence Stake Losses Wins
1. 10 – 10 – 10 – 20 – 20 – 20 – 10 20 40
2. 10 – 10 – 20 – 20 – 20 30 60
3. 10 – 20 – 20 30 30
4. 10 – 20 – 20 – 30 40 40
5. 10 – 20 – 20 – 30 – 40 50 50
6. 10 – 20 – 20 – 30 – 40 – 50 60 120
7. 20 – 20 – 30 – 40 60 60
8. 20 – 20 – 30 – 40 – 60 80 160
9. 20 – 30 – 40 60 120
10. 30 30 60
Total: 460 180 560
Net Gains: 100

As you can see in the table above, we made an example of ten rounds, of which 6 resulted in a win and 4 in a loss. It is a quite believable example, and as you can see you will have to be ready to wager a total of £460 in the hope of a win that is almost five times smaller. And a losing strake of more than three times like the one that we showed can make the things even harder. As we said, the house edge cannot be beaten, and it says its word. The Labouchere system is still a good way to start, though. We want a win of a hundred here, but things (and especially bets) are different if your desired win is £10. And as far as luck is on your side, the scheme is actually a great one to follow. And yet, it cannot help you break the bank and turn the odds in your favour. If you want to learn more about this and also how to make some calculations all on your own, visit our page about roulette odds.

Modifications and Improvements of the Labouchere Strategy

A good thing about the Labouchere roulette strategy is that it is flexible, and you can modify it to fit your needs better. In case you start losing too much, the main worry is that the bets will become very high, bringing way too much risk in your gameplay. In such case, you can split the numbers. In the meaning that you can create several smaller sequences that will anyway result in the same numbers if summed up. Like this, instead of betting ridiculous amounts of money, you can bet few but longer.

Reverse Labouchere System – A Brand New Strategy

No one actually knows when, where and who, but someone came up with the brilliant idea of a reverse Labouchere system. In this one, instead of removing the numbers when you win and adding them when you lose, you do the exact opposite. You remove them from the sequence in case you get unlucky, and you add them if you actually won. This will result in two things. First, your losses will, supposedly, be very small as amounts. And second, if the ball of the roulette decides to cooperate, you will leave the table with a hefty sum in your pocket.

Henry Labouchere – The Creator and His Inspirations

Henry Labouchere – The English Roulette Lover

Since we are reviewing the system, it might be a good idea to share with you also who invented it. Henry Labouchere was born in 1931 and was a well-known English politician, writer and even an owner of a theatre. The only thing on which we are not certain is whether he was known for good or bad. He studied at Eton and Trinity College, but he had his degree withheld because of cheating during an exam. At the same time, he himself admitted to have lost more than six thousand pounds because of gambling for barely two years in college. Yeah, you got it right, Labouchere loved to gamble.

He was offered a diplomatic status, started a political career and also occupied himself with journalism and editing. Labouchere even had his own weekly journal called ‘Truth’, and his style was liked by many. His ideas, on the other hand were not accepted by many, since Henry Labouchere was a homophobe, an anti-Semite and an opponent to feminism as well. His entire life was literally on the roulette wheel, constantly spinning and changing. And we don’t know when or how he developed his roulette strategy, but it must have proven useful since he left around half a million pounds sterling to his daughter when he died in 1912.

Labouchere Theory Compared to Other Roulette Strategies

We thought that it will be a good idea to make some sort of comparison between Labouchere and the other famous betting systems that are around. Below you can check out the most important differences and how you can benefit from each.

Labouchere vs Martingale

The Martingale system is the easiest one to use according to many roulette lovers. The idea behind it is that you double your bet every time you lose. So, the bets can go sky-high. Still, when you win, you will recoup your losses. The difference between the Martingale and the Labouchere is that the latter happens to be a bit more complicated and harder to follow and you might need to train a bit before hitting the roulettes in Las Vegas with it.

Labouchere vs Fibonacci

The Fibonacci system, compared with the Labouchere one, seems even more complicated and is hardly useful to inexperienced players. Unless you don’t really plan to go with a notebook on the roulette table, of course. There is a sequence, the Fibonacci numbers, where each is the sum of the two previous ones. When you win you move two numbers backwards and when you lose you go to the next number. And those are your bets, which is why we say that is a quite complicated task to follow the Fibonacci strategy. The Labouchere system, on the other hand, is more straightforward, and you will have fewer troubles.

Labouchere vs D’Alembert

The D’Alembert strategy is very similar to the Martingale one, making it, by default, easier to work with than the Labouchere one. It works on even bets as well. What you have to do is to decide your bet (between 0.33% and 0.50% of the total amount of your funds). Then you bet and if you win, you don’t change your next bet. If you lose, you must increase it with one unit.

Roulette Strategy to Win: Find the Best Casino Operator to Test It

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Frequently Asked Questions

The final part that we would like to show you is our section with frequently asked questions. We know how frustrating it can be to search for your answer all around the web so we thought that we might gather the common queries so you can have easier access. We hope that you enjoyed our guide and good luck on the wheel.

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