Labouchere Roulette Strategy

The Labouchere betting strategy, also known as the Cancelation system or the Split Martingale, is a very popular but complex negative progression betting system used in roulette. It requires a good amount of practice and, therefore, isn't recommended for those who are new to complex betting strategies. In simple terms, it allows you to decide how much you want to bet and how long you want to play for. To better understand how this betting strategy works, we need to dive a little deeper into the subject.

What is the Labouchere Roulette Strategy?

It's a negative progression betting system that requires you to increase stakes after losing a bet, similar to the Martingale Strategy. The key difference here, however, is that you don't try to recover all your losses in a single win but focus on multiple, separate wins to do so. It was developed by Henry Labouchere and was designed to be used on even-money wagers like Red/Black, Odd/Even and Low/High (1-18/19-36). Other bets, like Straight Up or Split, are not suited for this betting system. However, it can be used on other games with even-money odds, like craps and baccarat. 

The idea behind this betting strategy is to establish a goal and break it down into a manageable sequence of numbers. This sequence will be your betting line, where the numbers tell you how much to bet in a given round.

To better understand this strategy, let's say you’d like to win €10. You can form a simple sequence, like 1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1, or adjust it as you see fit. A sequence of 1-2-3-2-1-1 will work just as well — let’s use this one! The leftmost and rightmost numbers are used to determine the value of your wager and are crossed out as you win. Losses will be added onto the sequence at the end. In our example, your first wager would be €2, since we’re adding the first digit (1) and the last (1). If you win this round, these two digits will be crossed out and dropped from the sequence. Now, you’re working with 2-3-2-1, which means that your next bet is €3. Repeat the process until all of the numbers have been eliminated from your sequence. Once you have no more numbers left, you should either stop betting or create a new sequence and continue. This is for the case where you win, however, the Labouchere strategy requires you to play differently when you lose.

Losing With the Labouchere Roulette Strategy

If you go with the same sequence of 1-2-3-2-1-1 and lose your first wager of €2, instead of removing the numbers at the left and right side, you need to add your wager to the sequence. In this case, the sequence now becomes 1-2-3-2-1-1-2. If the outcomes of the following spins are also losses, you will be extending the sequence further. The sequence will run on until all numbers have been eliminated through wins, which is when you reach your original goal and can begin a new sequence or take a break from playing. 

This strategy is an excellent choice for casino players who look to improve their bankroll management and play responsibly. By setting a concrete goal and breaking it down into small, manageable steps, you can possibly achieve greater control over the game. You can also create a sequence of your choice depending on how much you want to try to win. The longer the sequence is, the more time you it take to complete it — and the greater the risks. 

A Quick Summary of the Labouchere Roulette Strategy

To summarise this entire strategy:

  1. Set a goal for your winnings and break it down into a sequence of small digits.
  2. Add the leftmost and rightmost numbers to determine your first wager.
  3. If you win, cross out the two numbers and repeat the second step with the remaining numbers, until all have been removed from the sequence.
  4. If you lose, don’t cross out any numbers; instead, add the value of your wager at the end of the sequence. Repeat the second step. 
  5. In the event of losing streaks or larger sequences, you can break your main sequence into smaller, more manageable ones. For example, if you want to try and win €100, you can use 10 small sequences of €10 each.

The goal is to continue using this strategy until you have managed to cross off all numbers in your sequence. Do note that this is a complex betting strategy and does not in any way guarantee a win or increase your chances of winning. As with any betting strategy, bankroll management is vital. Play responsibly and only with amounts that you can afford to lose.

Pros and Cons


  • Allows you to customise the sequence based on how much you want to win.
  • You can also customise it based on the amount of time you want to play roulette.
  • When using this strategy, your wins don't necessarily need to outnumber your losses. It banks on the probability of breaking even and making a small profit on 1:1 bets. 
  • The safest sequence to try out is 0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-1, known as the Johnson progression. 
  • Players can split the sequence as many times as they wish to avoid large losses. 


  • The strategy is relatively complex and not ideal for beginners.
  • It requires you to be very careful when it comes to bankroll management.
  • The sequence can get rather long if you hit a losing streak. Eventually, you may struggle to keep up with the losses. 
  • If you set a larger goal, a longer sequence poses greater risks. Consider splitting it into smaller sequences and tackle them in several, shorter sessions.

Final Word

The Labouchere roulette strategy is an efficient and clean betting strategy that can help you map out your potential goal. As long as you manage your bankroll well and set reasonable goals, this betting strategy can help you establish greater control of your gaming sessions. While there is no way to prevent any losses, you can minimise your risk with proper bankroll management. Always bet with an amount you can afford to lose and never bet too big thinking you can recoup your losses down the line — roulette is a game of chance, and the house always wins.

Next: Fibonacci Roulette System

Best Roulette Strategy

European Roulette Gold Series

How To Play European Roulette

What Colour Is Zero On A Roulette Wheel?

Fibonacci Roulette System

James Bond Roulette System

D'Alembert Roulette System

The Martingale Roulette Strategy

What is the most successful roulette strategy?

How Many Numbers On A Roulette Wheel?

19 Roulette Myths You should know

How to Play Roulette ?

Roulette Tips

Types of Roulette Bets

Types of Roulette Tables

Roulette Rules