Labouchere System Roulette

The Labouchere system is designed to work with even money bets in roulette. This system requires players to set what they expect to win and adjust their wagers accordingly. We've provided a detailed guide to how you can benefit from the betting system in roulette games.

The Labouchere or cancellation system is a popular strategy that has been used by roulette players since the 1800s. Due to its success, the betting system is now applied to other sports throughout the gambling industry. The Labouchere betting system is based on a negative progression where you decide beforehand how much you would like to win, and you raise your stake after losing. Our complete guide to the Labouchere system covers all there is to know, including how it works, pros and cons, variations, and much more.

What is the Labouchere Betting System?

The Labouchere system was invented in 1800 by an English politician and financial tycoon Henry Labouchere. As earlier mentioned, Labouchere is a negative progression system where you play until you achieve a predetermined goal. What sets Labouchere apart from other systems is that it doesn't require you to place a single high-risk bet to recover your loss but on a series of wagers. The idea behind this betting strategy is to achieve your winning goal over a series of bets. This gradual principle would still work even if you consider any losses you may experience along the way. Though the Labouchere system is less risky, it is complex and requires advanced roulette players to understand how it works in practice. The exciting part about this system is choosing what sequence to guide you through betting.

How Does the Labouchere Betting System Work?

Unlike other betting systems, the Labouchere strategy was explicitly designed for roulette players. This system works with even money bets like red or black, odd and even, and so on. It is a progression system, meaning that your next bet should be bigger than the previous one if you lose.

The first step is determining your eventual goal and the amount you intend to win. Remember that your goal must be in line with your bankroll.

The second step in the Labouchere system is to split your final goal into multiple smaller amounts. How you decide how to divide it is entirely upon you, but it is recommended to have between 7 and 10 splits.

Let's use a practical example to understand how the Labouchere system works in real life:

For example, your goal is to make $200 in the long run. Below is how you can divide this bet amount according to Labouchere:


Place the first bet, which is the sum of your first and last numbers, in the sequence. In our case, it will be 15+10 = $25

If you are lucky to win, you cross out the first and last numbers from the list. Then you place a second bet by picking the second and last numbers from the system: It will be 20 + 15 = $35.

However, if you lose, you take the amount you lose and add it to the end of your list. So the list would look like this: 20-20-30-40-30-20-15-35.

Place the third bet by adding the first and last numbers in the sequence. If you won the first bet, it would be 20 + 20 = $40. But if you lose the first bet, the bet amount will be 20 + 25 = $45.

You will continue with this system until you strike off all the numbers in the sequence and you have achieved your intended goal.

Facts About Labouchere System

The following are key facts you must understand about the Labouchere system:

  1. Two numbers (last and first) must be crossed out from the sequence whenever you win.
  2. The expected win amount must be split into smaller numbers.
  3. The amount lost must be added to the end of the sequence before a new bet is placed.
  4. The players lose as many wagers as they win in the long run.
  5. A long losing streak can escalate losses.
  6. The Labouchere system doesn't guarantee that a player will always win.

Variations of Labouchere Systems and Playing Styles

The following are some of the most common variations of the Labouchere system you will come across:

Reverse Laboucher Strategy

The reversed Labouchere system was developed in recent years by players who believed the original system could rapidly raise bets in case of a losing streak. Unlucky players are at risk of draining their bankroll though substantial gain can be made. The reverse Labouchere system can lead to only minimal losses as the involved amount is smaller. The idea behind the reversed labouchere is to add the sum of bets at the end of the sequence after every win. Though the profits are rare, they are bigger.

The Johnson Progression System

The Johnson progression system is considered safe and suitable for beginners. With this sequence, you incorporate several zeros in the sequence. Additionally, if all the numbers in the list are crossed-out and you are only left with zeros, the game round ends, and the player starts a new session.

Split Labouchere System

This variation of the Labouchere system may cover your bankroll in the worst scenarios. It allows players to avoid long losing streaks by splitting the remaining sequence into smaller numbers. However, the new sequences you create must have the same sum as the original sequence.

Aggressive Playing Style

You will find that most players prefer a riskier and more aggressive way of play. The good thing with the Labouchere strategy is that it can be adjusted to suit these players. Using the labouchere system in an aggressive way can lead to bigger wagers and possibly bigger losses. To successfully benefit from this style of playing roulette, you must have a sizable bankroll.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Labouchere System

The Labouchere strategy has advantages and disadvantages, just like any other betting system. They include:

Advantages of Labouchere Strategy

  • Freedom to be flexible with the bets.
  • It can lead to massive wins that will recover all your losses and bigger profit.
  • You don't have to win on every bet to achieve your goal.
  • Provides an accurate way to manage the bet sizes.

Disadvantages of Laboucher Strategy

  • Losing streaks can go on, and there is no guarantee that they will stop.
  • It can quickly lead to bankruptcy.

Other Negative Progression Betting Systems

The Labouchere strategy is not the only negative progression system you can use in roulette games at online casinos. There are other effective betting systems you can apply to beat the house edge in European roulette and other variations. They include:

The D'Alembert System

The D'Alembert system is another popular negative progression strategy you can use at any online casino. With this system, you must increase your stake whenever you lose. In the end, you are able to regain your losses if you win. Compared to other negative systems like the Martingale, the wagers increase more slowly, meaning that the stakes are less likely to get significantly high.

The Fibonacci System

This negative progression system is based on Leonardo Fibonacci's sequence. The Fibonacci system is considered one of the safest systems by most roulette players. Here, you start with one unit that you'll follow until you win. Whenever you lose, the next wager must be the amount of the two previous bets combined. The famous Fibonacci sequence is as follow:

0 – 1 – 1 – 2 – 3 – 5 – 8 – 13 – 21 – 34 – 55 – 89 – 144 – 233 – 377 – 610

The Martingale System

Many players opt for the Martingale system because it increases the chances for short-term profits. Though you can win more spins, the amount you will win is smaller, but the amount you will lose will be much higher. The best way to benefit from the Martingale system is playing even outside bets, such as red or black, even or odd, 19 to 36, and 1 to 18. While the payouts are smaller, they have the maximum odds of winning.

Is the Labouchere System Effective?

Many betting systems have been praised for enabling players to increase their chances of winning roulette. Compared to other negative progression systems like the Martingale and Fibonacci, Labouchere is more effective. Players have control over how they want to win at the end of a sequence and work towards the goal. Though the player's decisions can influence the game's outcome, they cannot affect the odds and house edge in roulette games. As you are aware, the objective in roulette is to win more than what you lose, and that's what the Labouchere system is up to. Therefore, this is an effective strategy we highly recommend to all roulette players.


At this point, we believe that you understand what the Labouchere system is about and how to use it at any online casino. This system has proven effective, especially on even-money outside bets in roulette. Players can maximize their chances of profiting by following the rules of the Labouchere strategy. Generally, this is a good and reliable betting system we highly recommend to beginners and expert punters.


Who invented the Labouchere betting system?

The system was invented by Henry Labouchere - an English Aristocrat and Politician.

What are the alternative names of the Labouchere strategy?

Other common alternative names are the cancellation system, split martingale, and the American progression.

Which other negative progression systems can you use in roulette?

Other popular negative progression systems you can apply in roulette are the Martingale, Fibonacci, and D'Alembert systems.

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