Hello Friends. I decided to do some research on The Labouchere System. Like in the case of the D'Alembert, the
theory is sound, but in order to be of any practical value at the Tables, it should be utilized with extreme caution. Of this I am aware, from seeing a friend lose four separate capitals of 1000 pounds within the space of three months.
He played a strict ' Labby ' without taking any unnecessary risks, and only tried to win 20 pounds per day ; but his mistake was probably the very common one of playing a game too high for his capital, and had he risked the whole 4000 pounds in one lump sum, and played the same stakes, he would very probably have survived.
But if any one thinks of playing it seriously, I would recommend them to be content with a very small win, and to play on the improved method which I am about to describe. The idea of the ordinary ' Labby ' is to set yourself the task of winning a certain sum, and to so arrange your stakes, that whenever you score a win it will wipe out two previous losses. The usual method is to write down, say:
on your score-sheet, and always stake the sum total of the top and bottom figures added together, writing down the losses that occur at the end of the column, and striking out all wins. For example, in the above case you stake 1 + 3=4, and suppose you lose, you then write down the 4 at the end of the column, and your next stake will be 1 + 4 = 5.
Suppose you win, you strike out the 1 and the 4 and your score-sheet. Your next stake would then be 2 + 3 = 5. If
you lose, you write it underneath the canceled 4, and your next stake would be 2 + 5 = 7. Suppose you lose this, your next stake would be 2 + 7 = 9. If you win, after erasing the 2 and the 7 your
score-sheet appears thus:
Your next stake would be 8, and in the event of a win, your first task would be finished. You are a winner of 6 units, and you have to start afresh with
to win another six.
This is the way that most people play the 'Labby', often starting with the idea that they are quite safe with a capital of 1000 or even 500 units. But such is not the case. If you happen to come across an unfavorable sequence, your stakes mount up very quickly and you will find yourself in serious difficulties.
My idea of an improvement on the ordinary way would be to attack the Bank with ten little 'Labbies' instead of one big one. For example, suppose on arriving at the table, you had the bad luck commence as follows:
1 win, 2 Losses, 1 win, 3 Losses. Under the ordinary method of writing down
your score sheet would appear as follows. (I will score the game horizontally instead to economize space.)
X X X X X X X X 6 8 10 X X 16 22 28
It will be seen that the stakes are already becoming dangerously large. Now under my improved method I should commence with
2 instead of 2
and open ten different scores, playing on each one turn. My score sheet would then appear as follows:
X 1 1 X X 1 1 X 1 1
2 2 2 X 2 2 2 2 2 2
X 1 1 X 1 1 1 X 1 1
2 2 X 2 2 2 2 First 10 coups
2 3 3 3 3 2 Second 10 coups
The difference in the two methods becomes apparent. In the first case we have got to stake 34 units and in the event of a win it will have to be followed by 30, and then 26, and if any of these 3 coups are lost the stakes will mount much higher.
Now, under the slower and safer method, we have started badly it is true, but up to the present the largest stake we are threatened with is only 4 units, the reason being that the bad luck has been SPREAD OVER a number of columns instead of all being added to one solitary one.
After this bad beginning, let us assume that the luck remains about normal for the next 50 or 60 coups. The result of this will probably be that about 7 out of your 10 original scores will have been entirely obliterated, leaving say 3 remaining. These three will then have something like the following appearance:
X X X
X X X
1 1 1
2 2 2
3 X X
X X 4
X 3 X
4 4 5
10 10 12 Total Outstanding
Now with only 3 scores open, if we come suddenly on another run of bad luck, such as at the commencement of the game, we shall soon find ourselves forced into big figures. It will therefore be more prudent to split our 3 remaining scores into six columns and have a little more patience.
We can split each column into two in the following way
1 1 1 1 2 2
2 2 2 2 2 2
2 2 2 2 2 2
Now continue playing on each turn as before. After about 30 coups of varying luck, probably 5 out of these columns will have been obliterated, leaving only one, which will look something like this:
20 Total Outstanding
We have reduced our amount outstanding from 32 to 20 but the one remaining column is beginning to look dangerous. Prudence therefore dictates that we should again have recourse to the splitting process.
It now ought to be quite safe to split our outstanding amount to 4 columns instead of six. We should do so in the following manner
1 1 1 1
2 2 2 2
2 2 2 2
Unless we suddenly come across a run of bad luck we may soon hope to wipe all the figures out. Possibly three of the columns may disappear at once, leaving only one which again assumes threatening proportions. In this case, rather than risk high stakes, I should once more split up the remaining column into two or three separate ones, according to size.
As soon as all figures are wiped out, the player would have won 40 units. There is a story of a man who had won 90,000 francs on this method, beginning with only a comparatively small capital.
Try this method for yourself and see how it works.