Labouchere Roulette Strategy

The Labouchere System in Roulette

10 min

Learn how to use the Labouchere progression to optimize your Roulette bets and raise your winning odds with our Roulette specialists.

By reading this article, you will understand:

  • The Labouchere strategy is a progression of numbers that you can use to plan your bets.
  • You can start with any bet that suits your budget and then continue your stakes following the Labouchere principle.
  • Henry Labouchere created this strategy using several sequences that follow a similar principle.
  • This strategy has 6 main variations that you can use based on how much you want to play
  • Compared to other strategies, this sequence works best when you have a fairly large budget.

Our Roulette experts go into much detail in the sections below:

How the Labouchere Strategy Works

This system works by allowing you to set an end goal for your session. By using a Labouchere progression, Irish players get to plan their steps ahead and may have an easier time reaching the target.

In theory, if you stick to your progression, you may reach your goal even if you win less than half of the bets in your sequence.

You can choose any progression you want, as long as the sum amount of all the steps should equal your desired profit.

Recommendation

We strongly recommend that you start with the Martingale system to get a better understanding of how betting progressions work in Roulette before jumping into a complex system like Labouchere.

Strategic Roulette progressions carry an inherent risk.

Remember, progressions are based on even-money bets. But such bets do not offer perfect odds because of the number zero on the Roulette wheel.

You can understand more by studying our expert guide about Roulette wheel numbers and how they influence the risk factor in the game.

Thus, when a losing streak extends for too long, your bet size may exceed your available funds, your bankroll may drain and you’ll be forced to stop.

How to prevent an extended losing streak:

  • Stop betting haphazardly and create a gambling budget
  • Claim a good-value Roulette bonus to give your bankroll a boost before you commit to play Roulette for real money online
  • Divide the newly obtained bankroll by 100
  • The resulting amount will be your base betting unit
  • Perform the necessary operations (higher/lower stakes) with that betting unit in mind

In other words, if your bankroll is €100, adjust your Labouchere sequence for €1 units

Applying these steps will likely mitigate major losses, but no system is perfect.

Bankroll management also involves taking breaks when things don’t seem to go your way. You should also keep your money safe by avoiding scams and betting exclusively on trusted live dealer sites in Ireland, tested and selected by reliable experts.

Labouchere Progression Sequence

Labouchere Progression Sequence

Let’s take a simple progression example:

  1. You first need to decide upon an end goal. Ask yourself how much you’d like to win.
  2. To make things simple, in our example, we would like to win €10.
  3. Take that number and split it into smaller units, all of which add up to your end goal.
  4. The number sequence is up to you, and it can look something like this: 1-1-1-2-2-1-2.
  5. You start betting by taking the leftmost and rightmost numbers and adding them up.
  6. In our sequence, the two numbers add up to 3.
  7. If that bet wins, we take the two numbers out of the sequence and repeat the step.
  8. However, if the bet loses, you add the number 3 to the rightmost side of the sequence.

These are the most common bets for the Labouchere Roulette System:

This Roulette strategy works with even money bets. It is, in fact, a top red-and-black Roulette strategy.

Wagers such as red/black, high/low, and even/odd will return the best results.

While you could play inside bets as well, the risk rises massively. Stick to bets that offer close to 50% winning chances.

Recommendation

Use the Labouchere system with casino games that provide approximately 50% odds of winning, for safer play.

The Man That Gave the Labouchere System its Name

Back in the 19th century, there was a British politician by the name of Henry Labouchere. He was known as a Liberal and later Radical politician serving in the House of Commons.

Labouchere rose to prominence through journalism. He devoted his periodical Truth to exposing large scale fraud and was co-owner of the Daily News.

During the Franco-German war of 1870-1871, the journalist would send dispatches from a besieged Paris – via balloon – to an actress named Henrietta Hodson, quickly amassing a following of readers in his home country.

In 1872, the letters would be published in a separate volume.

An avid supporter of the abolition of the House of Lords, his politics could be described as anti-imperialist.

Outside of politics, he developed his own betting system for Roulette, which carries its name to this day.

Other Names for the Roulette Labouchere Strategy include:

  • Split Martingale
  • American progression
  • Cancellation system

The Labouchere Betting System in Action

To showcase the betting system, we will take a scenario in which we use a bankroll of €100 and showcase the outcome for a betting sequence that aims at a €8 profit.

Important

New Irish players may consider such profits trivial. However, seasoned pros know that an 8% profit is not to be neglected.

Labouchere Roulette Strategy for Even-Result Scenarios

Round result Current Sequence Current Bet Bankroll
Loss 1-1-2-2-1-1 €2 €100
Loss 1-1-2-2-1-1-2 €3 €95
Win 1-1-2-2-1-1-2-3 €4 €99
Win 1-2-2-1-1-2 €3 €102
Loss 1-2-2-1-1 €2 €100
Win 1-2-2-1-1-2 €3 €103
Win 2-2-1-1 €3 €106
Loss 2-1 €3 €103
Win 2-1-3 €5 €108

Tips

The desired profit of €8 was generated after 5 wins and 4 losses.

Roulette Labouchere Strategy for Winning Streaks

Round result Current Sequence Current Bet Bankroll
Win 1-1-2-2-1-1 €2 €100
Win 1-2-2-1 €3 €102
Win 2-2 €4 €104
/ / / €108

As you can see, getting just 3 bets right in a row cleared out the sequence really fast.

Labouchere rules you should keep in mind in this case:

The rules state that when there’s a single number in your sequence, the stake will become that number.

Alternatively, suppose the progression gets cleared out before you reach your target. In that case, you re-start with the same sequence.

Labouchere System Roulette Results for Losing Streaks

Round result Current Sequence Current Bet Bankroll
Loss 1-1-1-2-2-1-2-3 €3 -€3
Loss 1-1-1-2-2-1-2-3-4 €4 -€7
Loss 1-1-1-2-2-1-2-3-4-5 €5 -€12
Win 1-1-2-2-1-2-3-4 €6 0

As you can see, if you are going through a losing streak, applying the progression can get you back on track eventually.

Bonus play scenario:

This scenario applies best to gambling in Roulette with a no deposit bonus. Be aware that placing even-money bets is restricted by some casinos when playing with bonus funds.

At casinos where even-money propositions are not limited for bonus play, the wagering contribution for Roulette might be less significant.

Pros and Cons of the Labouchere System

Pros

  • It allows you to start by setting up a defined target profit
  • You create your own sequence of numbers amounting to your target
  • Getting to your desired goal will take fewer wins than playing with a flat stake
  • One win can turn the tide in the sequence

Cons

  • A win isn’t guaranteed
  • It can be hard to keep up if you are on a tight budget

Variations to the Labouchere System

Apart from the regular Labouchere Roulette strategy, there are other variants of the system.

Take a look at the reverse system and how other variations work.

The Reverse Labouchere Roulette System

The Reverse Labouchere Roulette System

With the reverse version, you take out two numbers of the sequence when you lose and add a sum of the two leftmost and rightmost numbers.

By contrast, in the standard version, you gradually increase the wager when you lose and take out two numbers in the sequence when you win.

The thought behind the reverse strategy is that your losses won’t be significant, but your wins can increase.

Important

You cannot surpass the house edge by using the Labouchere Roulette system, or any other Roulette progression. If you need to understand why, make sure you read about Roulette odds and how they are influenced. However, progressions are still useful in mitigating your losses.

Variations on the Labouchere Sequence

The system gives you complete freedom when it comes to creating the sequence.

Once you establish your target, the sequence may look however you like.

Here are some examples of a sequence with the end goal being €10.

First example of the Labouchere progression is:

2-1-2-1-2-1-1

Labouchere progression example 1

Second example of the Labouchere progression is:

1-1-1-1-1-2-2-1

Labouchere progression example 2

Third example of the Labouchere progression is:

1-2-1-2-2-2

Labouchere progression example 3

As far as the sequence total sum is €10, you can make any combination you want for the Labouchere Roulette strategy.

The Johnson Progression

The Johnson progression helps Irish players on a tight budget who might have a hard time keeping up with a losing streak.

It is a less risky version of the system.

The sequence is as follows: 0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-1

The initial bet will be €1, and if you encounter a few losses in a row, the following bets shall also be €1.

This is an interesting sequence that tailors to beginner gamblers.

Tips

A downside of the Johnson progression is that your bankroll won’t change a lot if you get a bet right. Irish players need an extended winning streak for sensible profits.

Splitting on a Loss

A losing streak can go pretty bad, making every next bet draw more of your bankroll.

If you want to avoid progressively larger losses, there is a way you can use the strategy to your advantage.

Let’s make things easier to understand with an example:

  • Suppose you had a few bad outcomes.
  • Your sequence looks something like this: 23-37-44-56-63-70-87.
  • The sum of this sequence is 380.
  • So, to avoid placing high bets, you can downgrade it into several smaller sequences.
  • These can look however you want as long as their total sum is equal to your initial sequence.

We can turn the above example into three separate sequences, as an alternative way toward our end goal.

10-15-25-30-35-45-50-60 (sum=270)

20-20-20-20 (sum=80)

5-5-5-5-10 (sum=30)

Once you have your smaller sequences in place, you start betting to clear the first, and then you move on to the next.

Tips

When you keep betting the same amount each round, you’re said to be betting a flat stake.

Contrarily, Labouchere and Martingale’s progressions involve adjusting your stake to account for previous losses.

The Labouchere Compared to Other Strategies

Strategy Advantage Disadvantage
Labouchere You get to create your own sequence If you are on a tight budget, a losing streak can be hard to follow
Reverse Labouchere In the case of a losing streak, your losses won’t be so great compared to the normal version Since you increase your bets every time you win, one loss can be devastating
Martingale Best for high-rollers with sizable bankrolls With an extended losing streak, bets may become extremely high
Reverse Martingale (Paroli) A safer route for when you lose is to return to your initial stake Since you double your stake after a win, a loss can quickly take away your profits
D’Alembert In case of a winning streak, your stake diminishes, resulting in manageable losses when they occur In case of an extended losing streak, every next bet increases and may become hard to keep up
Fibonacci The sequence can yield quicker profits if the first bet is a win Due to the nature of the progression, a losing streak can get out of hand in just a few bets

Remember:

No matter which system or strategy you choose to incorporate into your game session, there is no guarantee that you will end up at your desired goal.

None of these strategies is perfect, and none will bypass the house edge completely.

F.A.Q.

What is the Labouchere Roulette system?

This Roulette system focuses on creating a sequence of numbers and setting an end goal. After you get your sequence, add the leftmost and rightmost numbers, and you have your first bet.

Is this strategy guaranteed to work?

There isn’t a system or strategy that guarantees you will win. The strategy is used on even-money bets, in which the house always has a slight edge over you.

Does the Labouchere system work in online Roulette?

The system can be used in any online Roulette game that allows even-money bets.

How can it fail?

A Labouchere Roulette strategy can fail when you encounter an extended losing streak. Especially if you are on a tight budget, it might be difficult to recover your losses.

Cosmin Brehoi
AuthorCosmin BrehoiAuthor & Editor at Casino alpha

Since forever a student of life and a writer at his core, Cosmin loves to place bets on football matches in his free time. Combining the art of prediction and a rigorously trained intuition, he has joined the iGaming world to promote a responsible and data-driven approach to sports betting.

Tudor Turiceanu
ReviewerTudor TuriceanuCEO & Chief Editor at Casino alpha

Tudor uses his multiple systematic skillsets to oversee and coordinate the CasinoAlpha project. He assists the authors, to create a transparent gambling niche for users. As a CEO and Chief Editor with broad knowledge, Tudor knows the importance of transmitting confident advice.