How to use Labouchere system in online sports betting

The popular Labouchere system is also known as the cancellation system,  split martingale among many other names you may have come across and they all describe one thing “a winning system”. In simple terms, a Labouchere is a strategy used to determine the stake amount of your next bet and is popularly known as one of the best strategies in roulette.

The name comes from the inventor Henry Labouchere a popular roulette player (1831-1912) and developed this strategy during the 18th Century. This strategy is not only used in roulette, blackjack and baccarat but can also be used in football. Strategies like the Labouchere system are as old as betting itself and should not come as a surprise since most are based on mathematical formulas and the main question on our minds is when to use the Labouchere system in football betting.

When to use the (Labouchere) in football?

Labouchere Betting System
Football Betting Strategies

The Labouchere systems is best used in the 2-way betting system or the popular Asian handicap and other special markets like (over/under or goal/no goal bet types). Why use the Labouchere strategy? We use this strategy simply in order to try and surpass a given sequence of losses. This theory is based on the negative sequence making it almost similar to the Martingale system and simple asks for an increase in wagers after a lost bet.

The only difference between these two theories is that the Martingale strategy aims at regaining a lost wager following a bet loss while the Labouchere tires to gain profit from a sequence of winnings. One focuses on recovering losses and the other (Labouchere) focuses on gain profit from a series of wins.

The general idea of using this system is to make potential losses before moving into profits and at first starting off my look simple but will become more complex as time goes.

Steps in using the Labouchere strategy

  1. Choose amount to win, for example 200 Naira.
  2. Choose amount of bets to reach ideal profit. (1+2+3+4+5+6).
  3. Place bets on odds of at least even number e.g. (2.00)
  4. If you win subtract the first and last numbers in your sequence. For example (6 & 1).
  5. Place second bet by adding the NEW numbers that is 2 and 5.
  6. If you lose take the amount you lost and add it to the end of the sequence.
  7. Place the third bet using the remaining sequence. Repeat the same steps until you have crossed all sums from your sequence and have reached the ideal profit.

Types of Labouchere systems

Depending on your gaming style either safe or aggressive Labouchere system gives you flexibility and has three main types you can use. They include the following:

  • Zero Labouchere: its common for majority of punters to start with a lot of zeros in their system a good example is (0+0+0+0+1+2+3+4+5), the more the zeros’ the safer the system since after every loss you have to stake the same amount until your reach a higher number level.
  • Dividing Labouchere: when the winning percentage is less than 40% there is the danger of continuous high stake on bets and to avoid this you need to divide the advised stake into 2 if the ideal stake is surpassed. For example your ideal stake is 200 Naira and your Labouchere systems advises you to stake 300 Naira in order to reach your ideal profit on your next bet. Therefore dividing the stake into two (150 Naira) is viewed as playing it safe the drawback to dividing is that you will have to stake more times to reach ideal profit.
  • Half Labouchere: it rather aggressive than the two zero and dividing types. The wager on the bets should be the last number in the sequence divided by two. You are free to choose the numbers to add according to the amount you wish to risk as a wager. For example adding a 5 digit sequence (1+2+3+4+5) adding all 5 and dividing by 2 (15/2).

Pros and cons of Labouchere strategy


  • The main advantage of Labouchere system is that you can earn a profit with a winning chance of less than 50%.
  • Easy to learn on basic mathematical skills that addition and subtraction.
  • Consecutive bets are available due to wide market variety offered by bookmakers on sports betting.
  • The Labouchere system can be harmful through the negative sequence, especially when stakes are not that high. Therefore as bettor you can afford consecutive losses.


  • It is difficult to match Labouchere system with bankroll. Your ideal profit must always exceed your bankroll before starting the system and theoretically you need a lot of money to follow the sequence.
  • Labouchere system doesn’t clearly give you an advantage over the bookie.
  • High risk is created towards your bankroll if you continue to loss a number of bet sequences and can negatively affect your bank account since you will need more money to achieve ideal profit.

From the cons we can determine that not all systems are risk free and many other similar negative sequence can lead to rapid number of bets due to a consecutive number of lost bets. The Labouchere system doesn’t consider your bankroll like other systems and therefore you can easily be bankrupt if lack the discipline to stop after reaching the end of the sequence.

In conclusion

In order to achieve the best out of online betting, you may need to be robust and develop a strategy and a system that works for you. Without grounding principles you bankroll may be affected, especially when using the Labouchere system incorrectly.

However sports betting offers value in odds with the proper knowledge you can find better odds in the market and also experience plays a role in picking a particular bet type. The Labouchere system is one of the best strategies in roulette but not football, it won’t help win more wagers but you will be better positioned to reach your ideal profit and control on your stake amount could be the difference between a steady income and bankroll loss.  

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