Strategy tips to win at roulette: Labouchere system

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The Labouchere system, also known as split Martingale, is one of the few wagering systems used by roulette players. The first step is to decide which is your target. Where to stop. How much money you want to win.

This number is written down in a sequence of individual numbers, the sum of which gives the desired amount of profit the player has set. In the beginning, the player bets the sum of the first and last number of the sequence. If the bet is successful, the player passes these two numbers and bets the sum of the next two numbers. If the bet is lost, the player adds the bet amount on the right side of the number sequence. The player continues until he has either crossed out all the numbers or has no more money left for further bets and thus has to leave the gaming table.

The Labouchere system is based on a theory that a player who wipes out two numbers (if he wins a bet) and adds a number (if he loses a bet) does not have to reach his expected value to complete the list. Once the list is completed, the player has won the desired amount.

Labouchere betting system explained

The Labouchere system was designed for 50-50 roulette bets, like red/black or even/odd. It doesn’t work for other types of online casino roulette bets.

In theory, a player has to win in 33,34% of the time, in order to complete his list. The reason for this is that if he wins, he goes through 2 digits and adds 1 digit if he loses. A player who bets on simple odds has a winning percentage of 18/38 on American roulette and 18/37 on European roulette, with both scoring slightly less than 50%. This is definitely enough from a mathematical point of view, but this system also has some disadvantages.

The most obvious disadvantage is the amount of money the player must have to use this system. Losing several times in a row is definitely possible and will happen to anyone playing roulette. As a result, the player adds numbers to the list as the wager increases steadily. For example, suppose the list consists of the numbers 10, 20, 30, 40, 50. If a player loses 3 consecutive bets on red, he would have lost € 60 + € 70 + € 80 = € 210. His next wager would be € 90, € 100 and so on. It is very likely that a player loses three times in a row (or even more often), so this could be a real headache.

Another problem that could become an important factor is the table limit the online casino has set. All online and live casinos use it, so it is very likely that a player following the Labouchere system could face it.

How does it work

An example of a simple list of the Labouchere system:

  • A player wants to win 15 credits and splits his target as follow:
  • 1 2 3 4 5
  • The player bets 1 + 5 = 6 and loses. Now he adds the lost sum to the list.
  • 1 2 3 4 5 6
  • The player bets 6 + 1 = 7 and loses. Now he adds the lost sum to the list.
  • 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
  • The player bets 7 + 1 = 8 and wins. He now crosses out 7 and 1 and the list looks like this:
  • 2 3 4 5 6
  • The player bets again 6 + 2 and continues until he is either broke (the game budget is exhausted) or the list has been completely crossed out. Once the list is complete, the player can either start a new list or finish his session.

Summarizing, the Labouchere system helps the player to play disciplined. It’s also always fun to play with a strategy. The system doesn´t give the player an unfair advantage over the casino, which is why it is also 100% legal to use betting at an online casino roulette!

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