Labouchere Betting System – How to Implement It

While this is a strategy that has its origins in roulette, the Labouchere betting system is a method that can be transferred to sports betting. Essentially, it can be applied to any bet where the call is close to 50/50, so ideally, we are looking for Even Money options here.

It’s also been referred to as the cancellation system or the split martingale, but we’re keeping to the Labouchere betting formula, and we’re about to tell you how it all works.

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How Does Labouchere Betting Work Exactly?

What is labouchere betting in football?

Named after its inventor Henry Labouchere, this is a system that starts with the bettor writing down a sequence of numbers. In theory, there could be any sequence involved here, but it does require some thought and effort on the part of the bettor.

For the sake of this example, we’re going to keep things simple and choose a 1, 2, 3 sequence. The total of those three numbers equates to the profit that we hope to attain, so in this instance, we’re looking at making £6.00 overall.

For the Labouchere system sports betting markets can come from anywhere on the sportsbook. Log on to your account and make some selections before implementing this system.

So, we have our number sequence of 1, 2, and 3. With Labouchere, your stake is always going to be the sum of the first and last numbers, so, in this case, it’s going to be 1+3 = £4.00.

We have a bet of Even Money and we now wait for the bet to be settled. If the bet wins, we cross off the first and last numbers, and our follow-up bet is going to be the number in the middle - in this case, 2.

Our second stake is, therefore, £2.00 and, if this bet wins, the sequence is over. With two winning bets we’ve collected a nice profit and we’re free to start again if we want. However, even with the Labouchere system sports betting isn’t always as easy as this and we’re not going to win every time.

What happens if our first bet fails to land? If that’s the case, then we add a fourth number so, for this example, our sequence will now become 1, 2, 3, and 4. We now start the Labouchere betting system all over again by adding the first and last numbers - 1 and 4 - to make a stake of £5.00.

In summary, if a bet loses, we add an extra number to the sequence. When a run of bets wins, leaving us with no numbers to play with, the Labouchere betting formula is over and we can start again if we want to.

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Specific Examples of Labouchere

Any system is best explained by using actual examples, and Labouchere betting is no exception. For the purposes of this illustration, we’re going to look at a random weekend’s games in the English Premier League.

There are lots of Even Money bets to be found within the side markets - especially in the case of Both Teams to Score and Total Goals. In a match between Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa, a number of football betting sites were quoting Even Money on Under 2.5 total goals.

Using our sequence, we then stake 1+3 - £4.00 on Under 2.5 goals.

In this game, the result was 2-1 to Spurs, so that bet lost: Therefore, we add an extra number - 4 - and make a £5.00 bet on another Even Money pick. We’ve found Even Money on Both Teams to Score in the match between Liverpool and Watford.

We’ll assume that this bet wins and we pick up £5.00 plus £5.00 stake returned = £10.00.

We are left with numbers 2 and 3 in our Labouchere betting formula. We then find Even Money on the match between Everton and West Ham on the same weekend. That bet also wins and we have another £10.00 return.

In total, we have staked £14.00 and received returns of £20, so the profit was £6.00. Remember, £6.00 was our target profit when we started all this.

Under the Labouchere betting system, the numbers are intended to bring an eventual profit, and as we have seen, there is no shortage of Even Money bets in the football markets that we can use.

A Few Potential Calculations Using the Labouchere System

We’ll list some calculations based on theoretical results while using the Labouchere betting system. Once again, we will work with that very basic number sequence of 1, 2, and 3, and we’ll have a basic unit stake of £1.00. The target, as before, is to earn a profit of £6.00.


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  1. Example one

    Bet One: Stake 1+3 = £4.00 on Both Teams to Score at Even Money. Bet Wins
    Returns = £8.00 including stake
    Bet Two: Stake 2 - £2.00 on BTTS at Even Money: Bet Wins
    Returns = £4.00 including stake
    Sequence Ends
    Total Outlay: £6.00
    Total Returns: £12.00
    Total Profit: £6.00

  2. Example Two

    Bet One: Stake 1+3 = £4.00 on BTTS at Even Money. Bet Loses
    Add one digit (4) to the system
    Bet Two: Stake 1+4 = £5.00 on BTTS at Even Money. Bet Loses
    Add one digit (5) to the system.
    Bet Three: Stake 1+5 = £6.00 on BTTS at Even Money. Bet Wins
    Returns = £12.00 including stake
    Bet Four: Stake 2+4 = £6.00 on BTTS at Even Money. Bet Wins
    Returns = £12.00 including stake
    Bet Five: Stake 3 - £3.00 on BTTS at Even Money. Bet Wins
    Returns = £6.00 including stake
    Sequence Ends
    Total Outlay: £24.00
    Total Returns: £30.00
    Total Profit: £6.00

The theory is that, once you clear the sequence, the Labouchere betting system should give you the target profit that you were aiming for – in this case, £6.00.

In summary, this is one of the more complex betting systems around and, while you don’t need to be a mathematical genius to work it out, it is important to work hard on your numbers.


Q: Can I Use the Labouchere System on Any Sport?

💬A: Yes, while the examples shown relate to football, you can apply Labouchere betting to any area of a sportsbook.

Q: Can I Use Labouchere in Conjunction with Any Other Systems?

💬A: No, this is an exclusive system and can not be used in combination with others such as Paroli or a straight Martingale.

🔢Q: Can I Use Any Sequence of Numbers?

💬A: Yes, in theory, you can use any sequence of numbers for the Labouchere formula but work out some potential bets on paper, based on the examples above.

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