Bettors are constantly on the lookout for betting strategies that will help in their gambling and enable them to make some lucrative profits. One such strategy is the Labouchere system, which is used widely used by casino players for Blackjack, Roulette and Baccarat. The Labouchere theory, also referred to as the ‘Cancellation’, ‘Anti-Martingale’ or ‘Crossout’ betting system, is a negative progression betting system and is available in a number of forms. Like most of the other strategies, this one too is based on mathematical calculations. Although the betting system has many variations to it, we will look at the most common and straightforward version of it.
The concept behind the Labouchere strategy is to work on a series of random numbers ranging anywhere from one to nine and make your profits accordingly. The series of numbers can be long or short and need not be in a sequence. The type of game, the odds offered and how much you wish to bet will decide the sequence of numbers that you can use successfully. These numbers denote the amount that you wish to bet in units. For example, you have chosen the number series 1, 3, 5, 2, 6, 7 and you want to bet the first and the last units, the units you would be betting is 8 (1 + 7).
If you happen to win this bet, you will strike out these two units and your next bet will be of 9 units (3 + 6). If this one is also a winner, your next bet will be of 7 units (5 +2). Now that all the numbers have been used, you have completed your series or game and you must begin all over again in the same manner. Supposing you were to lose the first bet of 8 units, you would have to take the number to the end of the series and add it there. The series would now be seen as 1, 3, 5, 2, 6, 7, 8. In case you win the first bet but lose the second, your number series would be 3, 5, 2, 6, 8 and you go onto your next bet.
So depending on your wins and loses, the numbers in the series get struck off or added to the series to complete a game. Once you have used up all the numbers, you can start again with a new series of numbers. If you calculate your profits after the end of a game, when you have used up all the numbers, you will find that you have profited from it. However, like all other betting systems, the Labouchere method also has its pitfalls because if you have a series of losses, the numbers that you have will only increase and in turn you will be betting larger sums to complete your game and end up losing large sums from your bankroll even though you had started with a small initial sum.
We also have the Labouchere reverse betting system, which is a positive progression betting system where we only add our winnings to our number sequence and take out the losses. In case you win a bet, you add a unit to the end of the sequence, but if you lose, you must remove two of the outermost numbers from the series. Before you start, you need to set a target of how many units loss you are ready to take. Say you choose to set 20 units as your target profit for even money bets and once you reach that target, you start all over again with a new sequence. With this target, your series will be 1, 2, 3, 4 and the maximum that you could lose from this sequence would be 10 units.
With a target set for your profits, you can control your losses, as you do not carry away in pursuit of your lost bets. Instead, you are able to maximize your winnings, but most often this may not be possible, as you will have reached your table limit. Let us take a look at an example of how the Labouchere negative progression system works.
Say you set $20 as the possible losses that you can take on every sequence. The next thing that you need to do is write out a series of numbers just like the Labouchere negative progression system. If you want to play safe, you could have a larger sequence with smaller units, for example 1, 1, 1, 2, 3, 2, 2, 3, 4, 5, but if you are ready to take risks, then a shorter sequence with higher number values maybe more suitable for you, such as 6, 7, 9, 10. Once you have decided your betting sequence, you may start your bet.
Let’s say you decided on the sequence 1, 1, 1, 2, 3, 2, 2, 3, 4, 5, the first numbers to be used as per the Labouchere system would be the first and the last, which would mean 1 + 5 = 6 or $6 as the first bet. If you win the bet, the number will be added to the end of the sequence. In case you lose the bet, you must strike out the two numbers that were added and used in the first bet, namely 1 and 5. You continue with this process until all the numbers in the sequence have been struck off or you have got to the table limit. If all numbers get crossed, you would have arrived at the probable losing amount, in this case $20. However, if the sequence seems to increase, you have a greater chance of making more profits.
While the Labouchere negative progression system requires you to reduce your bets after a win, the Labouchere positive progression system tells you to set a possible loss before you start betting. With this target set, you do not tend to bet more than you can afford to lose. In the original strategy, you could be betting more than you had planned and at times exceed your limit and even lose a lot of your bankroll. In the latter, your losses are controlled thereby ensuring better profits. Whichever of the two strategies that you plan to use, you need to maintain discipline and make your moves thoughtfully.
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