The Labouchere is a slightly more complex system that may require some practice to get used to. It’s a system that you dictate the rules for before you start playing. You decide how much you will bet and you decide how long you will play for.
First thing’s first, this is an even chance betting system so it can be used on Red/Black, Odd/Even and 1-18/19-36. It can’t be used elsewhere on the table because the maths wouldn’t add up.
So what you do is construct yourself a “betting line” and the numbers will dictate how much you bet and the length will go some way to dictating how long you will bet. So this is what a simple Labouchere betting line could look like (remember it’s totally up to you).
1 – 1 – 1 – 1 – 1 – 1
That’s a very simple betting line that keeps the bets as low as possible. So once you have your line, you take the number from the left hand side of the line and the number from the right hand side of the line and add them together. This gives you the number that you need to bet.
Using the line above, the left hand number and right hand number added together is 2, so your first bet is 2. If you win, you cross both the left and right hand numbers off your line, so it would now look like this:
1 – 1 – 1 – 1
This is one of the two golden rules with the Labouchere: always cross both left and right hand numbers off your line after a win. Once you’ve crossed the numbers off, you then take the new left and right hand numbers, add them together to give you the next number to bet. You repeat this process until there’s no numbers left in your line. At this point you either quit and walk away, or construct yourself a new line.
What Do You Do After A Loss?
When you lose a bet, you don’t cross any numbers off your line. Instead you add the number that you’ve just bet to the right hand side of your line. So using the above line as an example again, if you lose your first bet of 2, your line would then look like this:
1 – 1 – 1 – 1 – 1 – 1 – 2
This is the second golden rule for the Labouchere: always add the number you’ve just bet to the right hand side of the line after a loss and don’t cross any numbers off. Now let’s go through an example of playing through to the end of a betting line. The line we shall use is this slightly more complicated one:
1 – 3 – 4 – 2 – 1 – 2
Bet 1: 1 + 2 = 3 so the bet is 3. We place a bet of 3 and it lost. The line now looks like this:
1 – 3 – 4 – 2 – 1 – 2 – 3
Bet 2: 1 + 3 = 4 so the bet is 4. We place a bet of 4 and it wins. The line now looks like this:
3 – 4 – 2 – 1 – 2
Bet 3: 3 + 2 = 5 so the bet is 5. We place a bet of 5 and it wins. The line now looks like this:
4 – 2 – 1
Bet 4: 4 + 1 = 5 so the bet is 5. We place a bet of 5 and it lost. The line now looks like this:
4 – 2 – 1 – 5
Bet 5: 4 + 5 = 9 so the bet is 9. We place a bet of 9 and it wins. The line now looks like this:
2 – 1
Bet 6: 2 + 1 = 3 so the bet is 3. We place a bet of 3 and it wins. The line has now been completed.
When you get to the end of your betting line your profit will be the total of all the numbers added together from the original betting line. So with the above line that we used, your total win would be as follows:
1 + 3 + 4 + 2 + 1 + 2 = 13
It doesn’t matter how many wins or losses you get along the way, so long as you get to the end of your betting line, your profit will be the total of the original betting line added together.
So remember the two golden rules which are:
- Always cross the numbers from the left and right hand sides off your line after a win.
- Don’t cross any numbers off and add the number that you’ve just bet to the right hand side after a loss.
Upside To The Labouchere
The maths adds up nicely providing you stick to the system. If you get as many wins as losses without an extended losing run in the middle, you will be in profit.
Downside To The Labouchere
The problem with the Labouchere is that if you experience a losing run, your line will get longer and the amounts that you have to bet will keep creeping up. The only way to get the numbers back down is a winning run. The big downside is that once the bets get big, they stay big until you have a prolonged winning run to bring them back down.
Due to the fact that this is one of the more complicated strategies that’s been covered, it’s highly recommended that you practice on the games in our Free Roulette section to get used to the rules and maths. Another tip would be to use pen and paper to visually track your betting lines and cross the numbers out/add them on as you play.
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