Here is a quick guide to the Labouchère roulette system, also known as the Spilt Martingale, The Cross-Out or The Cancellation System. This system was famously played by James Bond in various of Ian Fleming’s books and the films. Some players just call it “The Labby”. It is similar to the Whittacker System, although less aggressive.
It was invented by a guy called Henry Labouchere. Please also read the notes below.

Watch the video below which describes the Labouchere Roulette system. Please read the notes at the bottom of the video.

The Labouchere:

Here’s how to play The Labby or Split Martingale System. This is a negative progression system like the Martingale and Fibonacci Roulette because you increase your bets after a loss to claw back profits. There is also a positive progressing version of this system (its opposite) called the Reverse Labouchere.

Quick Guide to the Labby (More Detail Below)

  1. Write down a sequence of numbers
  2. Bet the sum of the first and last numbers
  3. After a loss, add your last bet to the end
  4. After a win, strike out the first and last numbers
  5. Continue until you have either crossed out all of the numbers or hit your stop loss limit

You can play this on any bet, but it is most often used on the low risk roulette bets (red/black, columns, dozens etc).


  • Forces you to think about a profit target
  • You decide on the risk level and bet profile
  • Very flexible. 


  • Because bets increase after a loss, there is a danger of you chasing losses to far. Make sure you set yourself a strict "point of no return" before you play. If you are looking for a less aggressive system, try the Hollandish.
  • The Labouchere does not decrease the overall house edge: 2.6% in European Roulette.

More Detailed Description


First of all, get yourself a pen and paper as you'll need to write down a list of numbers. It's a bit more complicated to play then some other systems (although easier to understand than others like the Guetting System). The numbers you use in the progression are entirely up to you. The bigger the numbers, the more risk, of course. Play around with different sequences and then decide on a betting profile.

The total sum of the numbers you write down is your profit target for your mini session. If you are not sure, have a play around with small bets, or on a free roulette game, until you get the hang of it. Big numbers at the beginning and end of the sequence will increase your risk.

OK, we're going to go for the following sequence. We prefer to write down an even number of digits- it's tidier (you'll see why later).
The numbers don't need to be sequential, or a perfect sequence- it's entirely flexible.

You are going to need your maths hat on for this one! When you start off, you add the first and last digits of your progression together, and make you bet accordingly. So we are going to bet 5+10 = 15.
On your next bet- there are 2 possible outcomes:

  1. You lose: In this case, you add the last bet to your progression, so now you have 5,6,8,9,10,10,15
  2. You win- in this case, you cross out the first and last digits, so in our example we would have had 6,8,9,10

Then you go again, assuming we won (outcome 2 above), our next bet would be 6+10 = 16. If you win again, cross the 1st and last digits off again Your final bet would be 8+9 = 17. After this you are out of numbers (this is why we like to start with an even amount of numbers, but you can play with odd- you just bet the remaining digit on your last bet).

If you hit a lucky patch, hopefully you are able to cross all the numbers off and finish your mini Labouchere sequence.
The aim is to win an amount equal to the total sum of all the numbers in your sequence by crossing them all off.
The nice thing about the Labouchere, is that it automatically gets you thinking about setting yourself mini profit targets, and you split your session up into smaller chunks. You still need to set a stop loss limit of course. You might hit a losing streak!

If you want to play a low risk Labouchere, put lots of 1s in your sequence, especially at the beginning and the end. If you want to increase your risk, increase your bets in the sequence. Many people just go for 1,2,3,4,5 etc.
Also bear in mind the table limits- this is going to limit your ability to stick to the sequence. The lower the table limit, the more room you need to leave yourself to be able to cover the bet in the event of hitting a bad patch. These kinds of systems are all about your betting profile (as opposed to statistical systems like the Law of The Third Roulette System for example).

Where to Play The Labouchere
Stick to a European Roulette Variant like Video Roulette at  Paddy Power Casino. This is (visually) one of the top games out there. They offer a £5 no deposit at the moment.