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Labouchere System

The Labouchere System is believed to have gotten its name from a finance minister of Queen Victoria’s – going by the surname of Labouchere.  Whether or not the minister invented the system is not known.  However, one thing is for certain – Labouchere had a healthy penchant for gambling.  The article here is an introduction to this popular system, which is followed by a second article explaining the system in detail.

Although not as widely used as the Martingale Syatem, the Labouchere is a cancellation betting system still popular with serious roulette players.  What some bettors prefer about the Labouchere is that, despite the fact it is a progressive method of placing stakes, in the casino gamblers are less likely to hit the betting limit than other systems like the Martingale.

The limitations of using the Labouchere – right fro the get go – are that it can be slightly complicated (requiring a pencil and a pad of paper), and that it can only be applied to outside bets.  However, with some practice, patient gambling skills, and wise insight on selecting the most appropriate line (explained below), a player can make good use of the Labouchere System.  Just how “useful” this is, is for you to decide.  We suggest learning the system and then applying it to several gambling sessions with play-money.  Then you will know if you are willing to put your own money at stake.

The first thing a player needs to do when using the Labouchere System is to pick a line of numbers.  This is a somewhat arbitrary series of numbers that you will use as a reference and guidepost for making your bets.  I will suggest a few lines to use for the beginning player, but first will explain just how a line works.  Let’s say your line is 1,1,2,3.  Your very first outside bet at the roulette table will be in the amount of the sum of the first and last number of the line.  In this case, it would be $1 + $3 = $4.  If the bet wins, the lines in the number would then dictate the amount of the subsequent bet ($1+$2=$3).  If that bet wins as well, then the line is said to have been “played out”, giving a net gain of the sum of all the numbers in the line (in this case, $7).

Now, let’s consider what to do when losing bets are incurred.  Whenever a bet loses, it is added to the end of the line.  using our current example, if the very first bet of $4 on the 1,1,2,3 line were to lose, the line would become 1,1,2,3,4, which makes the very next bet $5 (1+4).  If that bet were to lose as well, the line would become 1,1,2,3,4,5, thus making the next bet $6 (1+5)…so on and so on.

If the line gets down to a single number, the amount of the next bet will be for that number.  Again, when all the numbers are cancelled out, the player can start the line again or end their gambling session.  The idea is to receive a net gain (even with more losses than wins).  As for the pad of paper, here is what it should look like as your line evolves:

Insert Table Here…
These are some standard starting lines to use.  As you will see, making the first number of the line a 1 is a good idea because it does not drastically increase losing bets in the beginning.  They will surely get higher late on in the string, so there is no need to do so from the get go.


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