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The Labouchere System: Can You Win Even With Losses?

It's quite practical but not a guaranteed win, here's why.

No, the Labouchere system doesn't guarantee you'll win even with losses. It does create the illusion of control, but it cannot change the underlying odds of the game.

Of all the betting systems I tried, The Labouchere System, with its sequence management, seems the most complex. However, it offers a structured approach to gambling, which is surprisingly, useful. 

I find it intimidating at first, but once you break it down, it’s quite manageable. If you’re like me looking for ways how to beat the casino, or at least try. Here’s how it works and what you need to keep in mind.

How The Labouchere System Works

The Labouchere System is best used in roulette, specifically in French Roulette. Thanks to “La Partage"; this rule in French Roulette slightly reduces the house edge, but can't overcome it. 

Step1 

To start with the Labouchere System, you first begin by picking a sequence of numbers. For example, you could choose 1-2-3-4-5. The sum of these numbers is your target profit. Think of this as your roadmap.

Here's what to consider when choosing your sequence:

  • Desired Win Amount- The sum of your sequence should reflect how much you ideally want to win.
  • Risk Tolerance- Longer sequences offer potentially higher wins but require managing bigger bets during losing streaks. Shorter sequences might be safer but lead to smaller wins.
  • Starting Small- It's wise to start with a small sequence to get comfortable with the system before risking bigger amounts.

Step2

Calculate your first bet. Add the first and last numbers in your sequence: 1-2-3-4-5 (in this example it will be: 1 + 5 = 6 units). This will be your initial bet.

Step3

Did you Win or Lose?

  • Win- If you win your first bet, cross the first and last numbers in your sequence. The next bet is calculated using the new, shorter sequence (2 and 4).
  • Lose- If you lose your bet, add the amount you LOST to the END of your sequence. Your next bet will be bigger.

Step4

Repeat. Keep playing until you cross all the numbers (win) or run out of money (lose).

Here’s another example:

Let's use a sequence of 2-3-2-1, aiming to win $20 (sum of the sequence). We'll track wins and losses in a table (explained below).

Round

Sequence

Bet

Win/Loss

New Sequence

Notes

1

2-3-2-1

$3

?

-

Starting Sequence

Win Scenario

Imagine you win the first 3 rounds. The table would look something like this:

Round

Sequence

Bet

Win/Loss

New Sequence

Notes

1

2-3-2-1

$3

Win

3-2

Crossed 2 & 1

2

3-2

$5

Win

2

Crossed 3 & 2

3

2

$2

Win

 

Crossed 2

Lose Scenario

If you lose the first 2 rounds, the sequence grows and the next bet increases:

Round

Sequence

Bet

Win/Loss

New Sequence

Notes

1

2-3-2-1

$3

Lose

2-3-2-1-3

Added lost amount

2

2-3-2-1-3

$6

Lose

3-2-1-3-6

Added lost amount

Uh oh! Be careful in this scenario, losing streaks quickly increase your bets and depletes your funds.

The Truth About This Complex System

Henry Du Pré Labouchere, a prominent figure in British politics, invented The Labouchere System. Labouchere wasn't shy about his enjoyment of gambling, particularly roulette, and so his interest in gambling and his prominent social standing led him to create this structured betting approach. 

The Labouchere system is an example of negative progression (bet more as you lose more). While it might appear to recover losses, you're still more likely to lose money in the long run.

Here are some important things to know about The Labouchere System:

  • Variations- There are variations of this system, like the Reverse Labouchere where the sequence grows on wins, and shrinks on losses. These variations come with their own set of risks and rewards. 
  • Psychological Factors- This system is mentally challenging. Losing streaks can be discouraging. And if you are not sticking to the system, you’ll eventually become emotional.
  • Non-Roulette Applications- While designed for roulette, the Labouchere system can be adapted to other even-money bets in sports betting or other games with similar odds. You can research the specific game's rules before applying this strategy.
  • Not a Martingale- The Labouchere system is a variant of a Martingale strategy, however, it avoids the exponential bankroll growth required by pure martingales, which can be dangerous.

So, what can you learn about The Labouchere System?

Ensure you have enough money to handle potential losses. Only bet with what you can afford to lose, stick to the system, and avoid impulsive bets during losing streaks. Lastly, avoid playing with rigged casinos.

Will You Try The Labouchere System?

Although The Labouchere system is not a guaranteed path to riches, it’s a fun and practical approach to gambling. Just be aware of the risks involved. 

I think The Labouchere system itself might not have a bright future, the concept of structured techniques for gambling might evolve to incorporate data-driven strategies powered by AI. These advancements in technology might make these types of systems less appealing. 

Some online casinos offer features like in-game statistics or visualizations that may be more helpful for players than relying on a structured betting system. Try these legal casinos here at GameChampions. Happy gaming!

Alex Cabal from Game Champions

About the author

Alex Cabal

I'm a gambler who loves betting on just about everything, from soccer, esports, roulette, tennis and even slap contests. If you can bet on it, you can be sure that I've taken a chance on it.