What is the Labouchere Betting System?

Today we take you through the Labouchere Betting System and show you why it works
Labouchere Betting System
Use the Labouchere System and watch your bankroll grow - Customise this advanced strategy to suit your risk profile and bankroll...

When proposing any blackjack betting system it's important to consider how free the parameters of said system are. 

While experienced gamblers like some amount of constriction and guidance when playing profitable blackjack, they also like to be able to impose their own strategy at the table and this is why the Labouchere betting system is popular. 

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Labouchere Betting System Explained


Also known as the cancellation system, this blackjack strategy operates on the basic premise that two events with roughly equal chances of happening will also display roughly equal instances of certain events.

For example, at the blackjack table this would mean that for every time the dealer wins a hand, you will roughly win the same amount of hands. 


In the short term this is certainly true, however, as you continue to play this ideal becomes less accurate, i.e. the longer you play a session of blackjack the more likely it is that the house will win more hands then you will. 

Understanding the Labouchere Betting System


Although the Labouchere betting system is primarily designed for roulette and craps, it is also applied to blackjack and working from the above premise the system works in the following way:

First decide how many units you want to win - a unit in this case is a value equal to your initial bet. For example, $5 is a standard blackjack wager and thus a single unit in this case. 

Once you've defined how many units you'd like to win you then note this down in a linear form: 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1.

Using this line of numbers, you then take the far left number and the far right numbers, add them together and this forms the amount you need to bet on a single hand of blackjack. 


If your bet wins then you cross-off both numbers. However, if you lose then you place the sum of the two numbers at the right-hand side of the number line. 

Two caveats occur during the betting if your bankroll isn't large enough to cover the sum of the two numbers: 

  • If you can cover the left-hand number then you must risk this amount. If you win then you should cross off the number. Conversely, if you lose you add that number to the right-hand side of the line. 
  • If you can't cover any bet then wager what you can and if you win then subtract that amount from number on the left. Additionally, if you lose then you must quit the game.

Applying Labouchere at the Blackjack Table


Taking the above conditions, let's look at how to put this blackjack betting system into action. For this example, assume that each "1" unit equates to $5 and the end goal is a $50 total profit:

  • You start with 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1.
  • You then wager two units and win, cross off the 1 on the left and right, leaving 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1.
  • You then wager another two units and lose, adding a 2 to the right, leaving 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2.
  • You then wager three units (1+2) and lose again, adding a 3 to the right, leaving 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 3.
  • You then wager four units (1+3) and win, crossing off the 1 on the left and the 3 on the right, leaving 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2.

Is the Labouchere betting system for blackjack only?

The Labouchere is not just for blackjack - it has also been used in sports betting and baccarat.

Can you win 100% with Labouchere betting strategy?

No blackjack strategy can guarantee a 100% win rate - but a strategy such as the Labouchere does add an interesting new dynamic to your betting.

Is there a Labouchere betting system calculator?

At this time, we do not have a calculator for the Labouchere betting system. We recommend using a free play version of a blackjack game and testing the strategy out there.


Which Summary

In theory, if your bankroll can handle it, this system should furnish you with the predetermined amount of profit you set before you start playing. The flexibility this system allows the player in terms of setting their own goals is one of its biggest strengths. However, one thing you should note when applying this blackjack betting system is that it requires a substantial bankroll. Although our example flows relatively smoothly, it will often be the case that you will be adding some large numbers to the right-hand side of your line. This means you'll need to bet increasingly large amounts of money in order to follow this system properly and make it work.

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