Labouchere Betting System

The Labouchere is a complex betting system that you’ll need to familiarize yourself first compared to those simple progressive betting systems out there, yet its principle remains popular being used by gamblers as they’ve refined their progress in using the system.

Also known by the name of Split Martingale, American Progression, and the Cancellation System.

Unlike the famous Martingale system which strives to recover the balance on a single hand,

Labouchere is a negative progression system
involves increasing stakes after losing bets. The main idea is to be able to recover the losses from losing wagers with a smaller number of wins over an extended period of time. The nature of the system makes it equally suitable for Baccarat and Blackjack.

To start with the system, the first thing to do is create a sequence of numbers. Technically this can be any sequence you want it to be, although you do need to put some thought into it.

For the sake of this explanation, we’ll use the following simple sequence.


The expected profit would be the sum of all the numbers in the sequence: 6, while the initial bet should be the sum of the first and the last number, which is 4.

If you win the bet, the relevant numbers are removed, leaving you with 2. If, on the other hand, you lose, number 4 should be added to the sequence:


Once you are left with a single number, your next bet should correspond to that specific value and the system will start from the original sequence (unless you lose).


Start the session with a 1-2-3 sequence and add 4 at the end of sequence if the result turns to lose. Your initial wager is $4.

Assuming that the next bet wins, the first and the last numbers will be removed from the chain and 1-2-3-4 sequence will become 2-3.

Your next wager would be 5, and losing the bet will then add the new value to your string of numbers, making it 2-3-5.

Since having the 2-3-5 is your latest sequence, the following stake should be 7 (adding 2 and 5), which will leave you with 3 if you win this bet.

The entire cycle is completed when the bet that represents the remaining number of the string is won.

Here’s another example:

  • Bet $4 (1+3), lose. Add 4 to the end, giving 1-2-3-4
  • Bet $5 (1+4), lose. Add 5 to the end, giving 1-2-3-4-5
  • Bet $6 (1+5), win. Remove 1 and 5, giving 2-3-4
  • Bet $6 (2+4), lose. Add 6 to the end, giving 2-3-4-6
  • Bet $8 (2+6), lose. Add 8 to the end, giving 2-3-4-6-8
  • Bet $10 (2+8), win. Remove 2 and 8, giving 3-4-6
  • Bet $9 (3+6), win. Remove 3 and 6, giving 4
  • Bet $4, lose. Add 4 to the end, giving 4-4
  • Bet $8 (4+4), win. Remove 4 and 4, chain ends.

As you can see, despite having more losing wagers than the winners, The total losses would be $27 and the total wins $33, giving an overall profit of $6.

The advantage of Labouchere makes it extremely flexible for players to adjust the betting sequence to their own desire and reduce the level of risk. With starting out of string with lower numbers, you can keep your wagers in check and exercise more control over the potential losses.

At the same time, the profit will be increased with longer sequences – in theory, that you are able to complete the chain. The actual length of the chain is not important – as long as you are able to finalize the procedure, the goal will be achieved. All you have to do is keep removing the numbers until there are no more elements left in the chain.

The downside just like any other negative progression system, Labouchere doesn’t give the player any leverage that affects the house edge. A longer losing streak would drastically increase the player’s wagers, increasing the risk of reaching the table limits or going over your capital, so discipline is very important if you choose to pursue this type of system.

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