The Labouchére System for betting was developed in the 17th or 18th centuries in France. The system creator remains unknown, but his last name was used to identify this gambling system which was specifically applied to roulette.
Some sports bettors utilize the system today. The Labouchére System is similar to the Martingale system, in that the point is to try to make up for losses on your next bet. However, it is not quite as aggressive as the Martingale.
The Way It Works
Overall, the betting methodology is quite basic. It is designed for even odds wagers, which makes it applicable to point spreads and totals bets. Before implementing the Labouchére System, you must decide how much money you want to make with your present bankroll by betting on games that pay even odds.
If your bankroll amounts to $200, you would try to double it with this system. Your first step is to divide the amount of cash into an even number of units that are of varying amounts. This is the way it works.
- Divide your $200 into 10 units of different amounts and put those amounts in a sequence. There is no predetermined amount per unit. Thus, you may divide it in this manner: $20, $30, $15, $10, $35, $20, $35, $10, $25
- It is important, according to the system, to have your units lined up from right to left and to keep them in order.
- Each wager uses the amount on the left combined with the amount on the right. With the sequence determined above, your initial wager would be $20 + $25 = $45.
- If you win a bet using this system, you cross out the two amounts you used and make your next wager a combination of the next two numbers in the left to right sequence. In this case it would be $30 + $10 = $40.
- As long as you win, you continue down the line, at an equal pace, crossing out the numbers.
- However, once you lose, you take the amount that you lost (from where we left off that would be $40) and place it at the end of the line on the right. You then combine that with the amount on the left. Thus, your new line of number would be $15, $10, $35, $20, $35, $40. Your next wager would be $55.
- You continue in this manner until you run the board, using up all of the bets and making lots of cash, or you run out of money.
Faults with the Labouchére System
The Labouchére System may seem attractive to those who envision winning just about every wager that they make. But for the sports bettor, the problems are numerous.
First, it puts your bankroll at great risk right from the start. You may decide to create a line of numbers that reads this way: $10, $10, $20, $40, $40, $30, $20, $15, $10, $5. With this sequence, you are risking less at first, but if you lose those first bets you’ll be wagering a large percentage of your bankroll very quickly. If you win them, you’ll be increasing the amount of your wager much too quickly.
Another dilemma is that this system takes control out of the sports bettor’s hands. The bets are determined beforehand, with no regard for events surrounding the game itself. What happens if instead of risking $55 on your third wager, you want to bet only $10? Using this system, this is not an option.
Finally, as it is with many betting systems, the Labouchére System was devised for games of chance, such as roulette. Sports betting involves chance, but like poker, there’s a certain amount of strategy and skill involved. One of the major tools for a sports bettor is skilled bankroll management. You’re giving up that very important aspect of your game with the Labouchére System.
Should You Use This System?
If you want to engage in aggressive betting that asks you to manage your cash in a haphazard manner, then the Labouchére System is for you. However, a professional sports bettor would merely shake his head in disbelief at the amount of risk and randomness of this method of betting and money management.