Labouchere Betting Systems - A Complete Guide to Labouchere Staking
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Labouchere Betting Systems

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The Labouchere System – Analysis & Review

Labouchere betting systems are ones that use the Labouchere staking progression.  That progression has a few other names, including the Split Martingale, the Cancellation System, and the American Progression.

This staking progression is popular with a variety of bettors. It was original created for casino games, but it can also be used by sports betting enthusiasts.

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About Labouchere Betting Systems

Labouchere betting systems are built around a progressive staking strategy known as the Labouchere. In this simple guide, we will explain how they work and how you can use them effectively.

We will discuss the progression itself and how flexible it can be. We will then explain why it's important to keep a close eye on your bankroll.

The Labouchere staking progression can appear quite complex when first encountered. However, it is actually quite simple to understand and use.

How Labouchere Betting Systems Work

RoundSequenceOutcomeProfit
Round 11 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5Win6
Round 22 – 3 – 4Loss-6
Round 32 – 3 – 4 – 6Win8
Round 43 – 4Win7
Total Profit15
Example Game Using The Labouchere System

Labouchere betting systems aren't primarily aimed at those who only want to place a single bet and then go home. The Labouchere staking progression was originally created for Roulette players. Such players normally place a whole sequence of bets in a single session at the casino.

Having said that, the Labouchere staking progression has since been used quite effectively in a variety of settings. It can even be used by those who participate in sports betting

Using the Labouchere takes time and patience, as well as plenty of self-discipline. If you can't stick to a plan then it isn't for you.

The Sequence

At the heart of a Labouchere betting system is a sequence of numbers. Any sequence can be used. The potential profit for each cycle of the system will equal the total of the numbers in that sequence. This is assuming that the odds of every outcome that you bet on are 1:1.

To use this system:

  • Stake the total of the first and last numbers in the sequence.
  • When you win a bet, you cross off the first and last numbers and continue with the remaining numbers. If there aren't any, the cycle has ended and you can either go home or start over.
  • Should you lose a bet, add the previous total to the end of the sequence and continue.

For example, let's imagine that we will use the sequence 1-2-3. Our potential profit in this scenario would therefore be $6. 

  • Our first bet would be the total of the first and last numbers. In our case this would be 1 and 3, so we would stake $4 on the first bet.
  • If our first bet wins, we would cross the first and last numbers off our list and continue. This would leave us with 2, so we would stake $2 on the next bet.
  • If our first bet loses, we would add 4 to our sequence, giving us 1-2-3-4. Our stake for the next bet would therefore be $5, which is the total of 1 and 4.

The Flexibility of the System

Because this system works with any sequence of numbers, it is very flexible. It can be used according to how long you want to play for or how much you want to wager.

If you want to play for longer, simple use a longer sequence, such as 1-2-3-4-5-6. If you want to bet a little bigger, you could use the sequence 10-20-30.

Of course, it is always a good idea to work through a sequence on paper before using it for real. Flip a coin repeatedly to generate different strings of results and you will see how your sequence fares in each case. You can then tweak the sequence if you find that it doesn't suit your bankroll or it takes too long to end a cycle.

Watching Your Bankroll 

Because this system can return a profit in a hurry, it is important to keep an eye on your cash flow. As noted, you need to practice your skills with this, so your bankroll does not suffer in real-time. 

Since the system changes each play, a losing streak can be very bad for you very quickly. At one point, unfortunately, you might even end up not being able to bet at all because of the number of losses in a row. 

With this in mind, you should prepare in advance for such a possibility. Think about the sequence and try to stay positive on your bets. But be willing to call it a day and cut your losses should your luck go sour.

Labouchere Betting Systems FAQ

How can I stop a losing streak with this system?
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A Labouchere betting system can’t stop a losing streak. All it can do is tell you what to bet on the next event in any given sequence.

For this reason, if you happen to hit an unlucky streak it may often be better to cut your losses than continue and risk losing even more.

How can I practice my system?
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You can practice this approach from the comfort of your own home. All you need is a series of events that you want to practice on.

For example, you might want to use this system and place one sports bet each day. In this case you can make your predictions as normal and simply record how much you would have bet using the system. After a week or two you will have a good idea how it performs and how much of your bankroll you would have risked.

About this author

Ian Bruce author profile

Ian is a keen sports fan with an even keener eye for advantageous betting odds. The only thing he enjoys as much as watching his favourite teams win is being able to land sportsbook winners at the same time. He takes a strategic and mathematical approach to betting and he encourages others to do the same.

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