What is Labouchere Betting System?

Labouchere is a complex negative progression betting system that also goes by the name of Split Martingale, American Progression, and the Cancellation System. Unlike Martingale which strives to recover the balance on a single hand, Labouchere is designed to recuperate the losses by a series of smaller winnings and over an extended period of time, which makes it comparatively safer. Although primarily used as a roulette betting method (developed by a roulette aficionado Henry Labouchere), the nature of the system makes it equally suitable for baccarat and blackjack.

How Does it Work?

Labouchere system starts with a sequence of numbers that are randomly selected by the player.  Let us assume that you decided to start with the simplest sequence:

1-2-3

The expected profit would be the total of all the numbers in the sequence (6) while the initial bet should be the sum of the first and the last number, which, in this case, is 4.

If you win the bet, the relevant numbers are removed, leaving you with 2. If, on the other hand, you lose, number 4 should be added to the sequence:

1-2-3-4

Once you are left with a single number, your next bet should correspond to that specific value and the system will start from the original sequence (unless you lose).

Example:

Start the session with 1-2-3 sequence and add 4 if you lose. Assuming that the next bet wins, the first and the last numbers will be removed from the chain and 1-2-3-4 sequence will become 2-3.

Your next wager is now $5 and losing it will add a new value to your string of numbers:

2-3-5

This means that the following stake should be $7, which will leave you with 3 if you win this bet. The entire cycle is completed when the bet that represents the last number of the string is won. In this particular example, the total of the losing bets is $9 and the winning amount is $15, meaning that the $6 profit objective has been reached.

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The Advantages of Labouchere Betting Pattern

Labouchere is an extremely flexible system that allows the players to adjust the betting sequence to their own means and reduce the risk level. By simply starting the string with lower numbers, you can keep your wagers in check and exercise more control over the potential losses.  

At the same time, the profit will be increased with longer sequences – presuming, of course, that you are able to complete the chain. The actual length of the chain is not important – as long as you are able to finalize the procedure, the goal will be achieved. All you have to do is keep removing the numbers until there are no more elements left in the chain.

The Disadvantages of Labouchere System

Just like any other negative progression system, Labouchere cannot provide the player with any leverage that affects the house edge. A longer losing streak will drastically increase the player’s wagers, increasing the risk of reaching the table limits or going over your budget.

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