The Reverse Labouchere System

Reverse Labouchere Roulette System Strategy

If you've used the original version, then the Reverse Labouchere will seem familiar. Like its predecessor, it relies on even-money bets and creating a number series to select bets.

This variation reverses key parts of the process to use positive bet progression instead of negative, making the most of winning streaks.

How Does the Labouchere Work?

The basic steps of the Reverse Labouchere are nearly identical to the original. Reversing the process of adding and subtracting numbers from the series converts this from a negative to a positive bet progression pattern.

  • Create a number series. The length of it and the numbers you choose are at your discretion. Many players find it convenient to write it down.
  • 1, 2, 1, 3
  • Add the first and last numbers together. This will be your bet. Place units in that amount on any even-money bet.
  • 1 + 3 = 4 units
  • If you lose, cross out the leftmost and rightmost numbers. Then, add the first and last numbers of the new series together. This will give you the number for the next bet.
  • 1, 2, 1, 3
    2 + 1 = 3 units
  • If you win, add the amount of your winning bet to the end of the series. Then, add the first and last numbers of the new series together for your next bet amount.
  • 1, 2, 1, 3, 4
    1 + 4 = 5 units
  • Repeat the process until you either run out of numbers in the series or reach your personal limits/profit goals.

Bets for the Reverse Labouchere

Like the original, this system uses only even-chance bets with a payout of 1/1 and a 47% chance to win. These include:

  • red/black
  • high 18/low 18
  • even/odd

A Tableside View of the Reverse Labouchere

You feel a winning streak about to come on, so you decide to put your knowledge of the Reverse Labouchere to the test. You quickly jot down a short series of numbers: 2, 2, 2, 2. Then, you add the first and last numbers together for a starting bet of 4 units. Each unit is worth C$5 making the total bet C$20. You place your chips on low 18 and hold your breath as the wheel begins to turn.

  • Fortunately for you, 3 red is selected for a payout of 4 units. This gives a C$20 profit. You add 4 to the end of your series, and place a 6 unit bet on low 18.
  • 2, 2, 2, 2, 4
    2 + 4 = 6 units
  • You have a small winning streak on your hands as the next two spins also profit. Now your number series and bet look something like this:
    2, 2, 2, 2, 4, 6, 8
    2 + 8 = 10 units
    At this point in the session, the net profit is 18 units/C$90. You want to see if the winning streak will continue, so you place a 10 unit bet on low 18.

  • Only, the next spin isn't so lucky resulting in a loss of 10 units/C$50. You still have a net profit of C$40. Now, you cross off numbers to come up with the next bet.
  • 2, 2, 2, 2, 4, 6, 8
    2 + 6 = 8 units
  • If the next spin results in a loss, you will lose all of your remaining profit.
  • So, you decide not to chance it and collect your winnings which amount to 2x the total starting bet. You end the session with a C$40 profit.

Using a positive progression pattern allows for better control of your total loss each session. In the example used above, the most that you could have lost was 8 units/C$40. This system can be modified to fit almost any budget.

"When using the Reverse Labouchere, It is recommended that you base your series on a percent of your personal loss limit for best results."

This System's Logic

By using positive progression, the Reverse Labouchere eliminates a major disadvantage of the original's design. The negative bet progression pattern of the Labouchere can lead to some potentially large bets/losses following an extended losing streak. This can push both your personal budget and table limits.

"This system can be used for any game of chance that allows even-money bets including roulette, baccarat, and craps."

Eliminating numbers after each loss prevents you from losing more than the sum total of your initial series of numbers. Instead of basing the series on intended profit, you can use your loss limit to determine those numbers.

In addition, adding each winning bet to the end of your series allows you to maximize the profit potential of winning streaks.

Advantages & Disadvantages of this System

Pros Cons
Uses even-money bets which give the highest chance to win. Not designed to withstand losing streaks.
Positive bet progression allows players to limit losses. Heavily reliant on winning streaks to profit.
Players find this a convenient tool to use at the table. This only works well with many more wins than losses.

Reverse Labouchere with a Stop Loss Variation

This variation instructs you to divide your winning bet. Then, place the smaller number on the left and larger on the right of a 'stop bar' dividing the series. This is supposed to offset the system's issues with needing more wins than losses. Have a look at this example:

Round Series Unit Bet Win/ Lose Net Units
1 3|3 3 + 3 = 6 Win 6
2 2,3|3,4 3 + 4 = 7 Win 13
3 1,2,3|3,4,6 3 + 6 = 9 Lose 4
4 1,2,3|3,4,6 2 + 4 = 6 Lose -2

Here is the same session using only the Reverse Labouchere.

Round Series Unit Bet Win/ Lose Net Units
1 3,3 3 + 3 = 6 Win 6
2 3,3,6 3 + 6 = 9 Win 15
3 3,3,6,9 3 + 9 = 12 Lose 3
4 3,3,6,9 3 + 6 = 9 Lose -6

While both sessions end without any profit, the use of a 'stop bar' does seem to reduce the total net loss.

Does This System Really Work?

Under the right set of circumstances, the Reverse Labouchere can be an effective tool for limiting losses and making the most of winning streaks. It does not play out well when a losing streak occurs, which is why we recommend quitting after the first loss following a winning streak.

Also keep in mind that, while positive bet progression can help limit the total loss of each individual session, this system doesn't prevent you from losing a lot in a short amount of time when playing several sessions in a row. Count the cost of your total loss limit, then divide that by the number of sessions you intend to play. That way, you won't overspend if your luck runs dry.

Let's have a look at how this system plays out during a session of 7 rounds with an initial winning streak of 4 followed by a losing streak of 3.

Round Series Unit Bet Win/ Lose Net Units
1 2,2,2,2 4 Win 4
2 2,2,2,2,4 6 Win 10
3 2,2,2,2,4,6 8 Win 18
4 2,2,2,2,4,6,8 10 Win 28
5 2,2,2,2,4,6,8,10 12 Lose 16
6 2,2,2,2,4,6,8 10 Lose 6
7 2,2,4,6 8 Lose -2

After the first loss in round 5, there's still a profit of 4x the starting bet. However, the session only remains profitable after just 2 losses.

Let's see how the original system does under similar circumstances. Below is the Labouchere after 4 wins and 3 losses.

Round Series Unit Bet Win/ Lose Net Units
1 2,2,2,2 4 Win 4
2 2,2 4 Win 8
3 start over 2,2,2,2 4 Win 12
4 2,2 4 Win 16
5 start over 2,2,2,2 4 Lose 12
6 2,2,2,2,4 6 Lose 6
7 2,2,2,2,4,6 8 Lose -2

Both the Labouchere and its Reverse end with the same amount of net units. However, the profit potential from the winning streak is obviously higher with the Reverse Labouchere. By the time each session reaches round 5, the Labouchere shows 3x/starting bet profit, whereas, the Reverse shows 4x/starting bet profit. If you were to end the session after the first loss, you could take advantage of this difference.

This system only profits when a series of wins is followed by even fewer losses. Above, 4 wins support only 2 losses. When tested with a winning streak of 3, the ratio of wins to losses narrows even further. Here we see that 3 wins can only support 1 loss to remain profitable. The first loss results in 2x/the starting bet. The second loss breaks even.

Round Series Unit Bet Win/ Lose Net Units
1 2,2,2,2 4 Win 4
2 2,2,2,2,4 6 Win 10
3 2,2,2,2,4,6 8 Win 18
4 2,2,2,2,4,6,8 10 Win 28
5 2,2,2,4,6 12 Lose 16
6 2,2,4 10 Lose 6
7 2 8 Lose -2

In either scenario, the maximum profit potential occurs after the first loss. Keep this in mind when deciding if you should keep your profit and either reset the series or walk away.

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Always Gamble Responsibly

  • Set personal limits on time and losses before starting each session.
  • Don't rely on this or any roulette system to 'get rich quick.'
  • Even-money odds don't guarantee winnings. Short-term variances such as winning or losing streaks occur on a regular basis.

Is This the Method for You?

The Reverse Labouchere is best suited to players that enjoy using a tool to limit losses and maximize the profit potential of winning streaks. When used wisely, it can help you do both. If you don't mind bringing along a note pad and pen, then give this system a try at your favorite casino.

The Labouchere

If this system suits you, but you want the opportunity to come back from short losing streaks to gain a bit of profit, then give the original version a spin. Similar rules apply, except it uses negative bet progression instead of positive. In other words, you must add your losing bet to the end of the series and cross out numbers on a win.