There are a number of different tactics and systems used by roulette players, and the Labouchere Strategy is one of the most widely used. It is one of the more complex betting systems in roulette, however it is pretty easy to understand once you’ve grasped the basic tenets. It is also sometimes referred to as the Cancellation System, or the Split Martingale.
Explained: The Labouchere Strategy
The Labouchere Strategy starts with you setting a goal. For example, you might want to win £100. It is then necessary to break this figure down into more manageable units – for example, you could break down £100 in ten units, each of £10 each.
Next, you’ll break down the number of units you want to win into even smaller numbers. So, taking the example of having 10 units, you could break it down like this: 1-2-1-2-4. These numbers have to add up to the number of units you need to win in order to reach your goal.
Next, you’ll take the first and last numbers from the list (1 and 4), and make a bet that’s the same size as them when added together. This would mean that the bet in this example is £50. It should be noted that the Labouchere Strategy is designed to work with each-way bets, so you should limit your bets in roulette to red/black, or even/odd.
Once you’ve placed your bet, you’ll find out whether you’ve won. If the bet was a winner, you can cross both off the numbers from your list. If you lose though, you cross the numbers off, but then add the total units to the end of your list. So, after a win your sequence would look like this: 2-1-2. After a loss though, the sequence would now look like this: 2-1-2-5.
You then continue with the strategy until you have wiped all of the numbers off the list. If you do so, you will be up the £100 you were aiming for.
Does It Really Work?
Mathematically speaking, the Labouchere Strategy works. This doesn’t mean that it is the right strategy for you though, as you need unlimited amounts of money to ensure that it works. This is because the bets you must place can become incredibly high, and If you run out of cash, you’ll have no way of recouping any of your losses.
Take the example being used in the previous section. After losing, your next bet would be £70, and if you lose again, the next bet would be £80, then £100. Can you really afford to absorb all of those losses in order to keep your Labouchere Strategy on track? If you can, it could be a good choice, but if you can’t, it is best to find a different strategy to use.