Labouchere Roulette Strategy

The Labouchere System is a roulette strategy that is similar to the Martingale roulette strategy, bringing progression to the betting plans. The player does not need to risk their stakes as rapidly with the sudden double-ups of this system. The Labouchere roulette strategy includes using an arrangement of numbers in a line to decide the specific wagering requirement that follows a win or a loss. Usually, the player will add the numbers at the front and end of the line to decide what the next bet will be. When they win, they cross out numbers and continue working with the smaller line. If they lose, then they will add their previous bet to the end of the line and continue to work towards the longer line.

The Labouchere betting strategy is also known by a few other names, like the American Progression, Cancellation System, and Split Martingale. Like the Martingale strategy, this betting system adheres to a negative progression principle in which the bet size increases after every loss. However, unlike the Martingale, whose aim is to recover previous losses with a single win, the Labouchere roulette strategy is more conservative as it aims to recover the losses with a small number of wins. Therefore, to achieve this, the system follows a mathematical system that features an easy-to-apply unique number sequence.

One notable feature of this betting strategy is that once you learn the basic concept and how to apply it, you can customise it to suit your preferences. Therefore, whether you’re a complete novice, a low-budget player or a high roller, the Labouchere roulette system can be tailored to fit your range of gambling needs.

How Labouchere betting strategy works

For starters, this betting system is mainly suitable for even-money bets such as Odd/Even, Red/Black, and Low/High because they have a higher winning probability than inside bets (Straight-up, Split, Line, etc.). However, it doesn’t mean that you can’t use it on the other roulette bets, but it’ll be precarious.


As mentioned earlier, the Labouchere betting strategy comprises a unique sequence of numbers but not consecutive digits. Each player can come up with their unique sequence, but your first step should be deciding how much profit you’d like to garner at the end of the sequence or your gaming session. Simply put, the total of the numbers in your sequence must be equal to your win target. For instance, suppose your win target is $10 at the end of your session. In that case, your Labouchere sequence will be 1-2-3-4. 

Assuming that each number represents its worth in dollars, then the sum of all the numbers in the sequence is $10, which is the amount you wish to take home as real money winnings. An exciting feature of this system is its flexibility when it comes to distributing the numbers in the sequence. Using our earlier example, we could have a long sequence of 1-1-1-1-2-2-1-1 or 3-3-4, which is shorter. Note that these are just examples, and you can distribute the sequence to your liking as long as the numbers add up to 10.

How to use the system

To use the Labouchere roulette system during gameplay, you’ll be required to add together the first and last number in the sequence, giving you your first bet. For easy understanding, let’s use the 1-2-3-4 sequence. In this case, our first bet will be $5 (1+4). If it wins, we’ll cross out the numbers we have used and add up the next set of numbers for our second bet, which will also be $5 (2+3). However, if the first bet loses, we’ll add its value to the rightmost side of the sequence, making a new pattern of 1-2-3-4-5. With this new sequence, our next bet will be $6 (1+5). If it wins, we’ll delete the two numbers (1 and 5), but if it loses, we’ll add the value to the sequence.

The process will remain the same, and if you hit a winning streak, there’ll be no more numbers in the sequence. The idea behind the Labouchere roulette strategy is that once the sequence is over, the winning bets will be able to compensate for the losses. Generally, for the system to be successful, you’re required to win more than a third of the rounds, preferably plus two more spins. For instance, if you play 15 rounds in total using the Labouchere betting strategy, you’ll need to win more than 5 spins to turn a profit.

Variations of the Labouchere roulette strategy

As previously stated, this betting system can be adjusted to fit land-based and online casino players of all types and budgets, making it one of the most popular and used systems in the gambling industry. Some players prefer high-stakes gaming sessions, thus opting for long progressions with large figures. On the other hand, some real money players are more risk-averse, and hence, they go for short sequences with small numbers. Regardless of your bankroll and gambling experience, the Labouchere roulette system can be moulded to suit your style of play. Thus, the flexibility of the progression leaves a lot more room for the player to create their primary line that meets their playing preference. Let’s take a look below at some of the most popular variations you can use during gameplay.

Johnson Progression

This variation is more suitable for players who are cautious with their gambling budget and don’t like taking extreme risks during gameplay. It’s considered the safest version of the Labouchere betting system, and it’s also recommended for novice players who are learning the basic concept of the strategy. The Johnson Progression mainly consists of numerous zeros in the sequence.

For instance, if your target amount is $1, you can use a 0-0-0-0-0-1 sequence during a session. In this scenario, the first bet will be $1 (0+1), and if it loses, the new sequence will be 0-0-0-0-0-1-1. This means your second bet size will also be $1. However, if the first bet wins, the session will be over since you’ll only remain with zeros, meaning you’ll have to start all over again with the sequence if you wish to continue playing. It’s still okay if you choose to end your gambling session, as you’ll have hit your win target of $1. Generally, the more zeros you have in your sequence, the safer it is.

Medium-risk style of play

As the name implies, this version is ideal for players who like taking reasonable risks and have a moderate bankroll. After all, the main goal at the end of any gambling session is to walk away with some profits, but you don’t need to take high risks to achieve this. In simple terms, this variation recommends setting a lower target amount and then splitting it into several numbers in the sequence, ensuring good bankroll management in the long run. Please note that, unlike the Johnson Progression, this style of play doesn’t incorporate any zeros in the pattern.

For instance, suppose your net target gain at the end of your session is $10. In this case, you can distribute the values into a 1-1-1-1-2-1-1-1-1 sequence. For the system to be successful and yield a profit, you’ll have to win at least five spins. Although the winnings with this style of play may be small, you’ll not lose large amounts of bets, making it ideal for medium-budget players.

High-risk style of play

This is an aggressive style of play that involves extremely high risks and large bet sizes. Like all the other variations, you must first decide your profit target and then create a sequence to suit your pre-determined figure. However, you should avoid having high values in the sequence as you might hit the maximum table limit quickly before making a profit, especially if you experience a few losses before a win. Notably, if you decide to use this version of Labouchere, you should have a heavy bankroll because you might experience high losses before hitting wins.

For example, suppose you want to make a profit of $100 at the end of your real money gameplay. In this case, you can split the values into 5-5-10-10-20-20-30. As you can see, your first bet will be $35, and if it loses, the bet value will be added to the sequence. With a 5-5-10-10-20-20-30-35 progression pattern, your second bet will be $40. Suppose you also lose the second bet. In this case, your third bet will be $45, meaning you’ll need to have an impressive account balance to handle such bet sizes.

Split loss sequencing

Like any other negative progression system, the Labouchere roulette strategy is not immune to losses. If, by bad luck, you experience a long losing streak, the bet sizes might get high really fast. If you ever get in such a situation, it is recommended to split the sequence into smaller and less risky progression patterns, as it’ll help you avoid huge bets in case of more losses.

Let’s take 20-26-35-41-49-60-67-76 as our new sequence after 30 spins. In this case, the following wagering amount will be $96, which is definitely high for low rollers. Therefore, to control the situation, you can transform the sequence into three smaller ones, provided that the totals of the 3 sequences equal the original sequence after being summed together.

In our case, the sum of the original sequence is $374 (20-26-35-41-49-60-67-76). We can, therefore, split it into

  • 6-9-11-14-17-19-23-26-30-33 (188)
  • 5-2-8-12-15-7-9-17-20-21 (116)
  • 3-5-8-10-12-15-17 (70)

Afterwards, you can continue betting with the first sequence (6-9-11-14-17-19-23-26-30-33), which is less risky and aggressive than the original sequence since the first bet will be $39 instead of $96. After the sequence is over, you can proceed with the second and third, respectively, before going back to the original sequence.

Reverse Labouchere strategy

This system was created by players who were against the original Labouchere roulette strategy because of the high bets that come up in case of a long losing streak. Like any other betting system, the Labouchere roulette system does not guarantee wins. Therefore, if it’s not your lucky day, your sequence might massively stretch out, which means your next bet might hit the table limit, in turn limiting your betting options while draining your account balance.

On the other hand, the Reverse Labouchere betting system adheres to the same principle but with a slight variation, turning it into a positive progression system. Instead of cancelling the first and last numbers in the sequence after a win, this method recommends adding the value at the end of the progression. If you lose the first bet, you must remove the left and rightmost numbers in the pattern. Let’s use the 1-2-3-4 sequence as an example. According to the Reverse Labouchere betting system, if you lose the first bet ($5), you must cancel out 1 and 4, creating a new progression of 2-3. However, if you win, the new sequence will be 1-2-3-4-5.

Summary to Labouchere roulette strategy

The Labouchere betting method is composed when the player has won over a 1/3 of their bets; this is when they will make a profit. The Martingale system will create a huge loss if the player hits a big losing streak, but the Labouchere system causes the bet size to grow at a rapid pace, even if there is a losing sequence that is destroyed by wins. This takes place for the simple reason that when the player is losing, the average bet size in the line grows. Generally, the average value of the Labouchere roulette strategy is negative like all other systems but is worth a try.