In this strategy guide we continue our quest to bring you systems used for Roulette. This time we will cover the Labouchere roulette system which is a slightly more advanced strategy when you compare it with Martingale and Fibonacci.
It will not take you long to master, and what’s great about this system is that you get to determine how much win down to the last penny!
However, it is slightly more complex than the previously covered Martingale and Reverse Martingale strategies we covered in our previous roulette strategy guides because of its cancellation system. That said, it is still an extremely easy roulette system to get to grips with.
Here’s exactly what we will cover step-by-step:
- The Labouchere System Works Best on Even Odds Bets
- Odds of Winning Even Odd Outside Bets Playing Roulette
- Using the Labouchere System on Other Casino Games
- Step 1: Choosing the Amount You Want to Win & Numeric String
- Step 2: Bet 1 - Implement Your Numeric String for Your First Bet
- Step 3: Bet 2 - Moving from Left to Right Across your Numeric String
- Step 4: Bet 3 Continue Until All Number Are Crossed Off
- Step 5: Continue Until All Numbers in The String Are Crossed Off
- What to Do When You Lose a Bet
- Advantages of the Labouchere Strategy
- Disadvantages of the Labouchere Strategy
- Modifying the Numeric String & Reducing Your Bet Size
- The Reverse Labouchere Option
- Practising Your Labouchere Roulette System
The Labouchere System Works Best on Even Odds Bets
For the benefit of those that are new to roulette we are going to start by explaining even odds bets. Henry Labouchere (1831 – 1912) invented this strategy for people that play games of chance with close to 50-50 odds. On the roulette table that would be the 3 even betting opportunities which are outside bets.
The Labouchere Roulette System Uses Outside Bets:
- Odd or Even
- Low (1-18) or High (19-36)
- Black or Red
Odds of Winning Even Odd Outside Bets Playing Roulette
When you win an outside bet your winnings are even odds or 1:1 which means the casino pays you back ‘2 units’. This is the ‘1 unit’ you bet plus ‘1 unit’ on top. For example, if you stake 1 mBTC and won, you receive an amount equal to your bet which 1 mBTC + your 1 mBTC is paid back giving you a total of 2 mBTC.
Example of how even odds pay-outs work:
- Bet 1 mBTC
- Win 2 mBTC
- Profit = 1 mBTC
However, even though this payout makes it appear as though the casino has no edge over the player, the casino does a slight edge over the player. The reason for this is because of the ‘0’ and ‘00’ number of the roulette wheel.
Percentage of winning even odds outside:
- European & French Roulette = 48.6%
- US & American Roulette = 47.4%
Because roulette tables have a ‘0’ and sometimes a ‘0’ + ‘00’ on US/American tables, the odds of winning are never 50-50. The ‘zero’ numbers do not fall under any of the outside bets because they are green, so that discounts them from ‘Red-Black’, and the ‘zeros’ never fall under the ‘High-Low’ bets. The inventors could have counted zero as an even number because technically it is, but on the roulette tables the ‘zero’ is also not included in the ‘Odd-Even’ bet options.
Using the Labouchere System on Other Casino Games
There are some people that may use this system on inside bets which is not impossible. However, the mathematics of wins and losses does not add up. As you read on, you will discover exactly why this system matches up with even odds bets making it ideal for the above 3 mentioned outside bets on roulette.
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Step 1: Choosing the Amount You Want to Win & Numeric String
To begin with, and this is why this system is so interesting, you will need to select the amount you want to win. That’s right – the amount YOU want to win! Once you have a realistic figure in mind, you need to break it down into a string of smaller amounts.
- Decide the amount you want to win
- Break that amount into a string of smaller number
For example, if you choose 1 mBTC, then you need to break it down into a string of number of your choice. You can use any combination you want.
Here are 3 examples of ’numeric strings’ you could choose using 1 mBTC:
a) 0.2 – 0.2 – 0.2 – 0.2 – 0.2 – 0.2 = (1 mBTC)
b) 0.3 – 0.2 – 0.3 – 0.1 – 0.1 = (1 mBTC)
c) 0.1 – 0.1 – 0.2 – 0.2 – 0.2 – 0.1 – 0.1 = (1 mBTC)
Top Tip: You get to choose how much you want to win using this system. Therefore, this system allows you to choose the winning amount and the ‘numeric string’ yourself!
Step 2: Bet 1 - Implement Your Numeric String for Your First Bet
To implement your winning string, you will need to foster a ‘bet amount’. The way you do this by taking 2 numbers, and those 2 numbers are ALWAYS the ‘first’ and ‘last’ no matter what point in the string you at.
Let’s take ‘string b)’ from Step 1 and see where it takes us:
b) 0.3 – 0.2 – 0.3 – 0.1 – 0.1
Your first bet will be 0.3 + 01 = 0.3 mBTC by taking the 0.3 as the first number and the 0.1 as the last number. If you win that bet, you can cross of the numbers you used for you bet. That’s the simple version explained. Pretty easy so far!
Step 3: Bet 2 - Moving from Left to Right Across your Numeric String
With your next string you need to take your left most number + your right most number to place your next bet.
Now you string will look this at this point in time:
b) 0.3 – 0.2 – 0.3 – 0.1 – 0.1
So, you need to take the 0.2 from the left + the 0.1 from the right. Quite simply put, this is 0.2 + 0.1 meaning your next bet will be 0.3 mBTC. If you win this bet, then you cross off the 0.2 and the 0.1 which in this 5-number string leaves us with the 0.3 mBTC in the middle.
Step 4: Bet 3 Continue Moving from Left to Right Until All Number Are Crossed Off
As you have won your first 2 bets, and this leaves you with just 1 number remaining in your string. Now if you are worried about your current winning so far, you can quickly skip to the table below.
b) 0.3 – 0.2 – 0.3 – 0.1 – 0.1
As there is a lone number remaining, you don’t need to do any mathematics here. Your only job is to bet 0.3 mBTC and hope for the best that tis coup comes up trumps.
Step 5: Continue Until All Numbers in The String Are Crossed Off
As we only used a 5-number string, we have just 1 number remaining which is 0.3, so this is our last bet. If we win this bet, then the system is complete and all numbers are crossed off.
Once we complete the system we can restart the system and create a new ‘number string’. For those of you that want to know the financial implications of the string we just completed, check out the table below. As you can see from the table below, by the end of the sequence, we doubled our original 1 mBTC bet into 2 mBTC!
What to Do When You Lose a Bet
Of course, winning 3 consecutive bets consistently is are slim. It is not impossible, but we still must account for bets that we lose – something we did not do in the above steps. Therefore, we are going to restart the same string as above and throw in a couple of losing coups.
Now when we lose, rather than cancel numbers out, we will now need to add an additional number to our ‘string’. The amount we add is the exact amount we lose, and we add this figure to the right most side of our ‘number string’.
On our second bet we lost, and so we need to assess how much we loss, which was 0.3 mBTC. Therefore, we take that loss amount of 0.3 and add it to the right of our betting sequence. Now out new bet amount for ‘Bet 4’ is 0.2 + 0.4 = 0.6 mBTC because we need to make up for the loss from our previous bet. You can see the example already filled in for ‘Bet 4’.
It seems that we also lost ‘Bet 3’, so we need to take our total loss of 0.6 and also add this to our sequence and continue betting. Until hopefully we can turn our ‘numeric string’ into a profit and even better still complete it. In the table below we let the betting sequence on for 10 spins so you can see exactly how this strategy works in a real-life situation.
As you can see, we let the table run a bit so we can see what happens after a series of bets, and even with a few losses along the way, the end result is that you win the amount your selected at the beginning of the system.
Advantages of the Labouchere Strategy
The main advantage of this system is that you get to choose how much you want to win. Also, if you look at the table we created as an example, we made a profit of 0.3 mBTC over the course of our first 4 bets despite winning and losing an equal number of coups.
The same applies to when we get to bet number 6. We lost 3 and won 3 and at this point we were 0.6 mBTC ahead with a 1.6 mBTC balance which includes out starting balance of 1 mBTC. Therefore, you do not have to complete the system and instead practice the concept of quitting while ahead. However, this is mainly because we used a string with only 5 numbers which you will read more about in the Modifying the Numeric String section.
Another quality it has is that as long as you keep betting, you should in theory make a profit eventually. Meanwhile, as long as you keep a note of your ‘numeric string’, you can always quit, then return and pick off where you left off. The string could go on for up to 20 and even 50 spins before you complete it, and you can do that over 2 or 3 sessions on the roulette table – especially if you are playing online!
- You get decide on how much you want to win
- You can make quick returns using short ‘numeric strings’
- Quick profits mean you can quit while you are ahead
- You can stretch the sequence over multiple sessions
Disadvantages of the Labouchere Strategy
One of the traits the Labouchere Strategy has in common with the Martingale strategy is that a losing streak could mean your ‘bet sizing’ goes out of control. When you continue to add losses to the ‘numeric string’ you are effectively increasing your bet size. It means you could risk hitting the table’s max bet limit.
That being said, if you have a large bankroll, you could always move up to a table that accepts higher max bets for outside ‘even odds’ bets. It’s risky and leads another disadvantage which is the fact that you may need quite a large bankroll to see it though and complete your numeric sequence. Finally, if you are trying to play this system in a land-based casino, keeping track of a ‘numeric string’ that starts to get longer can cause more problems.
- Shorter ‘numeric strings’ require higher bankrolls
- Losing streaks could mean your reach the ‘max bet’
- Reaching the ‘max bet’ can lead to moving to tables
- Can be difficult to track at land-based casino tables
Modifying the Numeric String & Reducing Your Bet Size
When you choose your ‘numeric string’ there are 2 scenarios that could play out and this entirely depends on how many numbers you choose to use. When choosing your ‘numeric string’, you should take the good old happy-medium approach.
Short string with high numbers: If the string has high number, then it will invariably be short. The advantage you have here is that just a couple of wins will put in the green which is an advantage. On the other hand, when you lose, your losses will be high. This is where the disadvantages of this strategy come into play because you could hit the table maximum, and quickly burn through your bankroll.
Long string with low numbers: When you choose low numbers, your string will become longer. For example, if we took out 1 mBTC from our example and made every number 0.1, then we would have a ‘numeric string’ 10 numbers in length. This reduces the risks of burning through your bankroll but also slows the rate at which you will earn a profit and complete the sequence.
Rearranging your ‘numeric string’: If you sequence starts to go out of control and bets begin to rise quickly, you rearrange your ‘numeric string’. In fact, this gives you 2 options. Your first option is to cut your losses and create a new sequence that will help you break even. The second option is to total up your current ‘numeric string’ and then make a longer ‘string’ with lower bets.
Splitting your ‘numeric string’: This is the same as rearranging your ‘numeric string’ however this time you split it into 2. This can reduce the bet sizes and once you complete 1 ‘string’, you can then move onto the next. This is a great failsafe if you do want to risk betting high and then find that your losing streak continues.
The Reverse Labouchere
This strategy arguably needs an entire guide of its own, but it is a little extensive than this one. The idea of this system is to use the opposite to the ‘cancellation system’ used in this guide. Therefore, you would increase your ‘numeric string’ each time you win instead of reducing it.
Here is a very quick guide to its inner workings:
- When you win, place the bet amount on the end of the ‘numeric string’
- Conversely, losing requires you to remove numbers from the ‘string’
It is a much slower paced system which is why it is often ignored thus receiving less media attention as it is overshadowed by other systems. One of the key advantages to this system is that you can huge amounts of cash if you go on a winning streak. Therefore, you have to be very patient as you will need to accept that you will have a fair few losing sessions along the way before winning big!
Practising Your Labouchere Roulette System
If you like the look of the Labouchere Roulette System, then try it out. At mBitcasino there are over 80 roulette tables to choose from. The best roulette tables that will give you the highest percentage of winning while playing the Labouchere Roulette strategy are the European and French variants. As mentioned in the section 'Odds of Winning Even Odd Outside Bets Playing Roulette' you have a 48.6% chance to win Vs 47.4% on American or US style roulette tables with a double zero.
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