There is a betting system called the Labouchere system which is used widely by roulette players. This system is not for a novice though as it can take some understanding and indeed, time to actually feel confident enough to implement it. It can be used with close to even bets but is predominately used on even-money payoff bets. These are bets like black or red, odd or even and then 1 to 18 and 19 to 36.

How to play the Labouchere system – A player selects a starting bankroll and by using a numerical sequence makes a bet which equates to the first and last numbers in that sequence. If, for example, a player starts with 1,2,3,4,5,6 as their sequence then the first bet is 7 (1+6). If this bet were to win then the player ticks off the numbers used (1 and 6) and continues with a bet of 7 (2+5). If, however, the bet loses the player adds 7 to their numerical sequence, at the end, so this would now look like 2,3,4,5,6,7. Obviously, as a result of this change, the new bet is 9 (2+7).

The system is ongoing until all of the numbers are crossed out or the bankroll which the player started with is lost. If you want to try to complete the sequence successfully, ticking off all of the numbers, then you will need a large monetary fund to start with. As the wagers increase with the losses this system is known as a ‘losing progression system’.

Theory of the Labouchere system – The figures and theory behind this sytem is that the player only needs to wun 33.34% of their wagers. Even-money bets on a roulette wheel offer 18 chances to win and 20 to lose. An even-number bet returns 47.37% which is higher than the return needed to complete the sequence.

Main disadvantage – The limits, both from a player finances point of view and the casino imposed table limits provide the main drawbacks for the Labouchere system. Once the player runs out of money the system is finished which also applies when the next bet in the list goes over the table limit (maximum bet).

What is unique about the Labouchere system when compared to some gambling strategies is that it can be used in reversed and this is, rather originally, called the reversed Labouchere. When using this system the player is aiming to have a long winning streak to reach the table limit or quit with an amount they have agreed with themselves prior to playing.

Reverse Labouchere – The reversed Labouchere is a winning progression and work as follows: A player starts with the same numerical list as previously, that is 1,2,3,4,5,6. The first bet is 7 (1+6) but if this wins then 7 is added to the list which now reads 1,2,3,4,5,6,7. The next bet in this system is 8 (1+7). If this were to lose then the player ticks off the largest and smallest numbers (1 and 7) and then uses the next two accordingly (2 and 6).

Theory of the reverse Labouchere – The list will grow as the player loses by adding numbers to the list. If the player loses more than 33.34% of their bets the player won’t be able to complete the list. If a player goes on a winning streak then the bets will grow in size and provide higher returns and completing the line would yield considerable returns.

Main disadvantage – The system fails more than it wins due to the casino only needing to win 33.34% of the wagers to successfully beat the player.


Labouchere or reverse Labouchere – In simple terms, the Labouchere offers numerous small wins but large losses and the reverse Labouchere offers small losses but large wins.



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