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Many players choose to employ a betting system whether they are playing online or at a real casino. One such system is the Labouchere, one of the most widely used betting systems in use today with its own advantages and disadvantages.

Since online casinos became mainstream with no need to head to a walk in casino in order to play, the number of gambling opportunities available to players has increased ten fold, giving both seasoned experts and armchair novices the chance to get involved from the comfort of their own home, making Labouchere more popular than ever before.

Henry Labouchere

Henry Labouchere (1831 – 1912)

Named after British aristocrat Henry Labouchere (1831-1912) who was renowned as a keen gambler who especially enjoyed a game or two of roulette. He developed his own unique betting system that can initially seem quite complex especially when compared to other strategies such as the Martingale Technique. However, with a bit of practice and patience most players soon get the hang of it. Its versatility, being able to apply it to several different casino games and not just roulette make it a popular choice among modern-day gamblers.

The Labouchere system explained

In order to simplify things for this example we will apply the Labouchere system to the casino game it was originally intended for, roulette.

The system is more effective when applied to even bets, so bets with about a 50% chance of winning, in the case of roulette the outside bets are best – Even/Odd, Red/Black and numbers 1-18/19-36. It can be used for inside bets as well, but the risk of losing is substantially higher since the odds are much lower than 50/50 when playing individual numbers.

The first thing a player needs to decide is how much they would like to win and the divide this up into a number of smaller figures that total this amount.

Confused? Don’t be, it’s not as complicated as it sounds, for example:

1. You decide that you would like to win £10, so this could be divided into (2 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 2) = 10. It can be divided any way you like as long as it totals 10, it is completely up to you how this is done.

2. The next step is to take the left hand divided figure and the right hand divided figure from the sequence and add them together to give the first bet total, in this case 2 + 2 = 4. So on the first spin we would place a £4 bet. If we are lucky and win the spin we would then cross these two figures out, leaving (1 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 1).

3. Now for the next bet, using the new numbers, we would repeat the same process of using the first and last figures, in this case 1 + 1 = £2 bet. If we win then we cross out these two figures leaving (2 + 1 + 1), and then repeat the process again until we have no numbers left, at this point we will have won our £10 target.

What if you lose a bet?

If you are unlucky and lose a bet, then no numbers from that round are crossed out, instead the total bet is then placed on the right hand side on the number sequence.

For example:
Our original divide was:
(2 + 1 + 2+ 1 + 1 + 1 + 2) And our first best was 2 + 2 = £4, oh no we lost! So now the sequence becomes:

(2 + 1 + 2+ 1 + 1 + 1 + 2 + 4)

And then we carry on as before, so the next bet placed would be 2 + 4 = £6 and so on until all numbers are crossed out.

The benefits of the Labouchere betting system

Not actually as complicated as it first seems as long as you keep up with the figure crossing or right hand number adding, you cannot go too far wrong with this system. Of course, nothing is certain in gambling and if you are unlucky enough to have a long losing streak then you may need a modest budget to keep applying the technique for what is, in most cases, a relatively small amount of winnings. However compared to other systems such as the Martingale Strategy, as it does not require doubling down on a loss, the cover loss is no way near as steep, making it a better option for many players.

Issues with the Labouchere strategy

On the flip side of this, if you do keep losing then the number sequence can become very long and depending on budget, you may not have the funds to cover this, however this always a risk when gambling and applies to all betting systems, keep losing and eventually the money will run out.

Although best played on even bets the odds are always in the house favour, so in the long term you will lose, but this the nature of gambling and casinos in general and knowing when to walk away, hopefully with you nose in front, is also a crucial part of any strategy.

Whilst no gambling strategy can guarantee a win, the Labouchere betting system is still popular among players today. A relatively low risk strategy that has decent winning odds, this technique is never going to earn big but can be a fun way to play a game and allows players to keep control of their budget.

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