Sports Betting Guide
Labouchère betting system, also called Split Martingale or Cancellation system, is a negative progression betting system mostly used in the game of roulette. This strategy also works in sports betting and other casino games. The system derives its name from its creator, Henry Labouchere, who was a British aristocrat born in the19th century. Labouchere was known mainly as a politician and journalist but he was also a gambler who invented one of the most widespread betting systems in the world.
Like in other negative progression systems, in Labouchère, the main idea is to cover the amount of money you have lost with a few successful bets. In theory, in this system, you need to win ⅓ of all your bets to get even balance and anything better than that results in your profits. Before we explain how this system works, it is worth saying that it is most effective on even money bets (for example Odd/Even).
How does the Labouchère betting system work?
First, you need to decide how much money you want to win. Then, write down a sequence of numbers that summed are your desired winnings. For example, if you want to win $8, the numbers could be 1, 2, 2, 3. You can use any list of numbers as you want, as long as their sum is the amount of money you want to win. The more numbers you will use, the longer each cycle of betting will take. What is more, the higher the numbers you use, the higher will you have to stake, and thus you can lose or win a lot of money in few bets.
Next step is to add the first and last number together. This will be the amount of money that will be the stake in your bet. If you win this bet, you cross out both numbers that you have used.
In our case, we have used 1 and 3 in our first bet, so we cross them out. In case you lose the bet, instead of crossing the numbers you used as your stake, you add the number that is the amount of money you have lost, right at the end of your sequence. In our example, if we lose our first bet, our sequence will look like this: 1, 2, 2, 3, 4.
Depending on the amount of the numbers in the sequence as well as whether you win the bets or not, betting with Labouchère system ends when you either cross out all the numbers in the sequence and get the amount of money you wanted to win at the beginning or stop betting because of the insufficient funds.
|First bet||1, 2, 2, 3||loss||-4|
|Second bet||1, 2, 2, 3, 4||win||+1|
|Third bet||2, 2, 3||loss||-4|
|Fourth bet||2, 2, 3, 5||win||+3|
|Fifth bet||2, 3||win||+8|
The above table shows the possible simulation of our game. Despite losing twice, we have overall won our desired amount of money.
This system is simply the complete opposite of the regular Labouchère betting system. Reverse Labouchère betting system is considered to be a positive progression in which instead of crossing out two numbers when you win, you add their sum to the end of the sequence and correspondingly you erase first and the last number from your list in case of a loss. This version is much more unpredictable and unbalanced than the original Labouchère. From one hand you can win a lot of money in few bets, but chances for that are very low.
The main idea behind the Labouchère betting system is that you cross out two numbers when you win and add only one when you lose. Supposedly, this way you have better chances of crossing all the numbers out. In reality, it is not as simple as that. As other progressive betting systems, the Labouchère demands to increase your stake at some moment. If you have a bad luck, you can end up staking very large amounts of money and run out of fundings to cover your lost bets. In theory, this system works relatively good, but reality is much different because of limits that the table (casino games) or the bookmaker impose as well as our own financial limits.
From the other hand, an advantage of this system is without a doubt not relying so heavily on the winning streaks. As it was proved in the example above, you can win the amount of money that you set as your goal at the beginning, despite losing few times between the winning bets. What is more, in comparison to other progression systems, your stake will not increase as much as in, for example, Martingale, when you encounter a losing streak.
The conclusion is that like in the case of other progression betting systems, both versions of the Labouchère, classic and reversed one, can be a successful way of winning money for a shorter period of time and with a bit of luck, thus, they have no real impact on your chances for the win. Nevertheless, this system is a good way of learning how to properly manage your betting budget (bankroll) as well as an interesting strategy for fans of statistical betting.