Labouchere Betting System

The Labouchere betting system is a little more complicated than Paroli, Parlay or Martingale systems. The Labouchere system is quite common in roulette and blackjack. Sometimes it is known as the cancellation or cross out betting system because of way the strategy is played out. Like the Martingale system, Labouchere is a negative progression system with higher risks involved but less profit. Still, the Labouchere betting style is not as dangerous as the Martingale.

How the Labouchere Negative Betting System Works

This type of system is a little more complicated because you need to keep track of a series of numbers during the game. It works by first writing down some numbers such as 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8. These numbers don't have to be in any particular order either. The numbers you do choose will act as "units" of the minimum bet. For instance, if the minimum bet is $1, then each unit is times $1.

When you begin playing a new hand of blackjack and have these numbers written down, then it's time to apply the Labouchere betting strategy. First, you need to add the numbers at both ends of the series. If the numbers are 1 through 8, then you add 1 and 8 to make 9. Therefore you would bet 9 dollars. If you happen to win this bet, you would cross out the numbers 1 and 8 from the series. This would leave 2 3 4 5 6 7 as the remaining numbers.

One series or set of these numbers are known as a "cycle". When you win all of the bets and cross all the numbers out, then one cycle is complete and you always end up with a profit, just like the Martingale betting system.

Now if you lose the $9 bet using the Labouchere betting system, you would then add 9 units to the end of the original series and start over again. For example, your series would look like: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9. So your next bet would be the sum of the two end numbers 1 and 9 to make a $10 bet.

The benefits of the Labouchere system include always winning a profit at the end of a cycle. The disadvantage of the system is clearly the progressively increasing bets as you lose more money, hence the negative betting system characteristic. This style is actually quite well known, but may have other names such as Labby and the Split Martingale betting system. Finally, if you are using basic strategy and card counting, you can really increase your winning amounts and decrease the risks, especially if the edge is in your favor over the casino.