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The Labouchere Betting System - A Full Guide to the System

The Labouchere system was famously used by James Bond and is one of the most widely used in the gambling world. Despite its rather complex nature the Labouchere Betting System can work, provided of course that it’s used properly. Interested in learning about it? Then take a look at our full guide! Once you’re done choose a casino from our list and start gambling for real money.

What is the Labouchere Betting System?

the labouchere betting system

Originally developed to be used at the Roulette table, the Labouchere betting system falls in the negative progression category of betting systems and takes its name from its own creator - Henry Labourchere. Yet, it’s also known by many other names such as the Cancellation System, the Split Martingale and the American Progression. However, they are all ultimately the same strategy.

The main concept behind this system is that of being able to recover losses from losing bets through a small number of wins. This is quite a similar stance as the one the Martingale betting system operates under. However, this betting system does not attempt to recover any losses with one single win.

What’s most striking about this particular betting system is the fact that it’s much more flexible than other betting systems. Instead of following a particular sequence, followers of the Labouchere system are instructed to come up with their own sequence based on the amount of money they aspire to make when using this system.

Facts about the Labouchere Betting System:

  • It was originally designed to be used at the Roulette table on even money outside bets;
  • Is designed for even money bets or the pass line in Craps;
  • Complex betting system;
  • Negative progression system;
  • Does not attempt to recover all previous losses with one single win;
  • Flexible betting system;
  • Allows you to come up with your own sequence.

The Logic Behind the Labouchere Betting System

labouchere system

The Labouchere Betting System rests on the principle that if a player wins more often than they lose, he/she will be able to eventually cross off all the numbers in the sequence which thhe/she has decided to use whilst implementing the system during their gameplay. It’s important to note that this system was designed to be used on even money bets as the odds of winning are more or less equal to your chances of losing.

18+ | Play Responsibly | T&C Apply
18+ | Play Responsibly | T&C Apply
18+ | Play Responsibly | T&C Apply
18+ | Play Responsibly | T&C Apply

Which Casino Games can the Labouchere Betting System be applied to?

Although this system was originally created in order to be applied to Roulette, the Labouchere Betting System can be used when playing plenty of other casino games too! These include table games Blackjack, Baccarat as well as the dice game Craps.

How to Use the Labouchere Betting System

The Labouchere Betting System was designed by the avid roulette player Henry Labouchere back in the late 19th century. This particular system was developed to be used at the Roulette table to be placed on even money outside bets, such as even or odd, red or black.

Fundamentally, this particular system uses very basic mathematics. During the first steps of using the Labouchere system, you’ll be required to think of a sequence of numbers to represent how much you’re going to wager. Technically, you can choose any sequence you want. However, our experts at CasinoTop10 highly recommend that you put some thought into the choice of numbers which will compose your sequence. In order for you to reflect on the numbers you’d like to choose, we recommend that you take out a sheet of paper to write on. Before you make your choice, consider these 3 things when employing the Labouchere Betting System. Namely, these include:

  • How much money you’d like to make;
  • How much money you’re prepared to risk in the process;
  • The betting limits of the game you’re playing.

For the sake of our argument, let’s say that you have a total bankroll of $100 you’re prepared to risk whilst playing a game of Roulette with a minimum bet of $10. So, you decide to write down this sequence on your paper:

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

The ten ones in the sequence represent 1 Betting Unit. So, in this case $10 each bet. If you had to take into account how much the money would add up to, it would be the total of your bankroll: $100.

Now there are essentially three rules to follow once you’ve decided on your sequence. Have a look at the Labouchere betting system's rules below: 

1) Add the First and the last numbers in your sequence to know how much to bet.

In order to decipher how much you need to bet, all you have to do is to add the first and the last numbers in your sequence. So, in this case you’ll need to bet a total of 2 units on commencing your game.

2) Cross off the first and last numbers when you win.

If you place your bet and manage to generate a win, you’ll then need to cross off the first and the last numbers in your sequence. Once you’re done, you’ll then need to decipher how much to bet by adding the first and the last number in your sequence again. So, in our case you’ll need to add 1 1 and place a bet of 2 units again.

3) Add a new number on the right side when you lose equal to the amount you lost.

Provided that you lose, you won’t need to cross off any numbers instead you’ll need to add on to your sequence. The new number you’ll have to add to the right of your sequence will be equal to the amount of units you lost.

The Goal of the Labouchere Betting System

Ultimately, your goal when using this system is to cross off all the numbers in your sequence. This will obviously require you to possibly go on a winning streak. Yet, this will fundamentally be dependent on whether you’ve got lady luck on your side or not. If you manage to do cross off all the numbers in your sequence, you’ll be able to double the investment that you had made initially. So, if you’ve invested $100, you’ll end up with $200.

Example of the Labouchere System when applied to a game of Roulette

 labouchere system

If you’re still unsure of how to use the Labouchere betting system, perhaps it would be best to read an example. This particular example is all about the Labouchere system when applied to the game of Roulette.

Let’s say that you’ve chosen to play Roulette with a minimum bet of $10 and a maximum bet of $200. Your total bankroll consists of $210 and your primary goal is to double it to $1,000.

As stated before, the first thing you’ll have to do is come up with a sequence. So, it’s best you take out a sheet of paper to make some calculations. After some deliberation, you manage to decide on the sequence below: 


Now one thing you should note is that each number represents the number of betting units. Take a look below to see what I mean:


So, if you’ve decided to use the minimum bet as your base stake which in this case is equivalent to $10, you’ll have to times this by the number of units that you have in your sequence.

When it comes down to deciding on how much to bet during the first round in this case, you’ll have to bet 1X 6X. If you’re not so good at maths, you needn’t worry as you’ll basically have to work out the total of 1(10) 6 (10). When calculated the total sum is equal to $70. So, you’ll be placing this amount on an outside bet. Let’s say for the sake of argument that you decide to choose to put the amount on the ‘Odd’ compartment of the outside table.

Now let’s say you win your first round and you’re up by $70, what are you to do next? As stated by Rule 2, you’ll basically have to cross off the first and the last numbers of your sequence. Ergo, you’ll end up with the sequence below as a result.


Now during the second round, you’ll have to bet the first and the last numbers in your sequence. So that’s the total of 2X 5X. Again your base unit, $10, will represent 1 Unit. Thus, you’ll be required to substitute your ‘X’ with 10. The sum of your total score in the end will again be equal to $70. So, this is the amount you’ll be placing on the ‘Red’ compartment on the outside of your betting table.

Once the Roulette wheel is spun by the dealer, the result is a loss as the ball lands on black and you now find yourself minus the $70 you had won previously. So, according to Rule 3, you’ll then have to add the first and last numbers and write down a new number on the right of your sequence. In this case, your new number will be equal to 2 5. Hence, you’ll have to add a 7 to the right side of your sequence. Your new sequence will be the one below:


On your third spin, you’ll now have to add the 2(X) 7 (X) and your total bet will be $90. Let’s say that you end up betting on ‘Red’ again and you experience another loss. So now, you’re - $90. Thus, you’ll once again have to add another number to your sequence. In this case, it will be the score of your first and last number which will be equal to 9. Now your sequence will look like so:


As you keep playing, you’ll have to continue to do the same three things each time you play a round:

  1. Add the first and last numbers to decide how much to bet.
  2. Cross out the first and last numbers in your sequence every time you win.
  3. Add a new number to the right side of your sequence every time you lose.

Once you’ve crossed off all the numbers in the sequence, you would have successfully doubled your initial investment.

Have a look at the table below in order to be able to get a good idea of new lines and total wins or losses.

Original Line
Bet Size
New Line
Total Win / Loss
First 1-2-3-4-5-6 $70 Win 2-3-4-5 $70
Second 2-3-4-5 $70 Loss 2-3-4-5-7 $0
Third 2-3-4-5-7 $90 Loss 2-3-4-5-7-9 -$90
Fourth 2-3-4-5-7-9 $110 Win 3-4-5-7 $20
Fifth 3-4-5-7 $100 Loss 3-4-5-10 -$80
Sixth 3-4-5-7-10 $130 Win 4-5-7 $50
Seventh 4-5-7 $110 Loss 4-5-7-10 -$60
Eighth 4-5-7-10 $140 Win 5-7 $80
Ninth 5-7 $120 Win N/A $200
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Does the Labouchere System really work? - CasinoTop10’s Opinion

The Labouchere betting system can possibly work in order to generate some short-term profit. However, we don’t recommend using it in the long run as it does have its own problems. We must warn you that you’re most likely to run into some sort of table limits when using this type of betting system. A lot of games will have betting limits ranging from $5 - $100, so you should definitely take this into consideration.

Advantages & Disadvantages of the Labouchere Betting System
The Advantages of the Labouchere Betting System
  • This betting system is one that’s flexible
  • Allows you to start off by basing your sequence on the min
  • Adds an interesting element to playing your game of choice
The Disadvantages of the Labouchere Betting System
  • Complicated Betting System
  • Does not influence the odd
  • Still prone to losing streaks when using this system
  • It’s possible to reach table limits before you cross out all your sequence

Play our Free HTML games to practice using the Labouchere Betting System

The reality is that there are so many betting systems out there with their own advantages and disadvantages that making a decision about which one to use is ultimately quite hard. However, the solution to this problem is actually closer than you think. Indeed, the best way to decide whether or not the Labouchere betting system is for you is by actually trying it out for yourself. Luckily, CasinoTop10 gives you the opportunity to play its HTML5 casino games both on desktop as well as on mobile without having to actually spend a dime. Try out our Free Roulette game or any other one of our casino games to get a better idea of whether this particular system is for you.

Use the Labouchere Betting System and start Winning!

If the Labouchere Betting System has piqued your interest and you’re willing to take a gamble on it, you should try to use it whilst playing your favorite game for real money. Whilst our experts mostly recommend playing Roulette or Craps when using the Labouchere betting system, you can try using it whilst playing other games too. Interested in finding a real-money online casino to gamble at? If you’ve found yourself nodding your head in agreement, then head over to our online casino toplist above, read some reviews and start winning some hard cold cash! By clicking on one of the casinos in our toplist, you could benefit from the best online casino bonus on the net! So, what’s not to like? Start gambling today!