How to Use the Labouchere Roulette Strategy 

From the many roulette strategies out there, the Labouchere method requires slightly more critical thinking. As such, it’s better for more experienced players or players good with numbers. This cancellation theory asks you to eliminate specific numbers to reach your goal. Read the article below and learn about this system to try challenging yourself with it.

Workings of the Labouchere Strategy

The Labouchere strategy can feel complicated to someone who doesn’t know how it works. However, once you have the hang of it, it becomes easy, provided you have a good memory or a paper to note down the sequences. One of the easiest ways to explain this strategy is to break it up into steps, which we’ve done below.

Step One - Choose Your Win Goal

The first step is simple, as you just need to choose how much you’re aiming to win and break that total into random, smaller numbers. For example, if you want to try to win $15, you can break it into 1, 2, 3, 4, 3, and 2. Always ensure your goal is attainable and won’t break your bankroll reaching it.

Step Two - Combine Numbers for Bets

You start this strategy by combining the numbers at the end of your sequence, the furthest left and right ones. The total of these numbers added together becomes your first bet. In our example, it’s combining 1 and 2, which creates a stake of $3.

Step Three - Place Your Wager

This strategy is best with even money bets, so place a $3 wager on odd/even, black/red, or 1-18/19-36. That’s because these bets have a 50/50 chance of winning and have 1:1 payouts. It’s the ideal bet type for a strategy that changes as you win or lose. If you win the bet, cross off these numbers from your list, and take the next two furthest left and right ones.

Step Four - Combine Numbers Again

Now, repeat step two. Having crossed off the previous numbers, you have 2, 3, 4, and 3 left. So your next bet would be $5. If you win the bet, keep repeating these steps until you’ve used all the numbers. However, if you lost the wager, you must add it to the end of the line. So, let’s say you lost the $5 stake, and your numbers are now 2, 3, 4, 3, and 5. Then your next stake will combine two and five to create a $7 bet.

Step Five - Repeat All Steps Until You Reach Your Goal

You must complete steps one through four until you have no numbers left for this strategy to be considered successful. Ensure you don’t fall into a losing streak by chasing your losses, but also don’t become overconfident after winning and stop after your first loss since your winning streak.

Table Example of Labouchere

Let’s take our example above and say the goal is $15, with a 1, 2, 3, 4, 3, 2 sequence. We’re going to look at a 10-round example to see the results. Remember that this is an example and in no way accurately portrays what type of returns you can expect while using this strategy.


Bet Sequence Outcome Result Running Profit
$3 1, 2, 3, 4, 3, 2 Win $3 $3
$5 2, 3, 4, 3 Lose -$5 -$2
$7 2, 3, 4, 3, 5 Lose -$7 -$9
$9 2, 3, 4, 3, 5, 7 Win $9 $0
$8 3, 4, 3, 5 Win $8 $8
$7 4, 3 Lose -$7 $1
$11 4, 3, 7 Lose -$11 -$10
$15 4, 3, 7, 11 Win $15 $5
$10 3,7 Lose -$10 -$5
$13 3, 7, 10 Win $13 $8


Pros and Cons of the Labouchere Method

We considered the strategy’s pros and cons and listed the most critical ones.


• You can more finely manage your budget
• Satisfying method of eliminating numbers
• Winning streaks can award medium to big wins


• Sequence becomes longer on losing streaks
• Not practical for players with small bankrolls
• Requires careful attention to the sequence

How the Reverse Labouchere Works

The Reverse Labouchere system works the same as the classic method, with one crucial difference. Instead of adding the number to the end of the sequence if you lose, you add it if you win. So losing means crossing off the two numbers that created your bet, while winning adds to your sequence.

Otherwise, the steps one to five we discussed above all work the same, with you choosing a winning goal and dividing it into smaller numbers. However, this strategy makes a big difference in that a winning streak can mean you keep playing indefinitely, while it prevents an extended losing streak.


Bet Sequence Outcome Result Running Profit
$3 1, 2, 3, 4, 3, 2 Win $3 $3
$4 1, 2, 3, 4, 3, 2, 3 Lose -$4 -$1
$4 2, 3, 4, 3, 2 Lose -$4 -$5
$6 3, 4, 3 Win $6 $1
$9 3, 4, 3, 6 Win $9 $10
$12 3, 4, 3, 6, 9 Lose -$12 -$2
$10 4, 3, 6 Win $10 $8
$14 4, 3, 6, 10 Lose -$14 -$6
$9 3, 6 Win $9 $3
$12 3, 6, 9 Lose -$12 -$9

Which is Better: Labouchere or Reverse Labouchere

Like with most strategies, one’s not necessarily better than the other. Instead, it all comes down to your playing style. Both systems have pros and cons, and you need to consider whether you like the risk or prefer a more cautious approach. The classic version can cause an extended losing streak, but the reverse one can make it difficult to stop if you’re on a winning streak.

The Labouchere system is an interesting approach to betting and can make placing your stake more exciting. However, it’s always better to ensure you have a bankroll big enough to sustain this approach and that you don’t play beyond your limits. If you’re on a winning streak, it’s always better to stop playing after you experience your first loss to keep your profits.