Negative Progression Systems

Think before you spin

Your guide to negative progression systems.

Curiosity killed the cat...or did it? Roulette is one of the most widely known casino games that has been subjected to many examinations from people hoping to secure big wins. Whilst negative progressions may not guarantee a win they can help you try and claw back your losses. Fancy a try? Head over to our free play roulette page and give them a whirl, fingers crossed you’ll be raking in the wins in no time!

negative progression systems roulette


The Fibonacci system draws inspiration from the famous mathematical sequence discovered by Leonardo Fibonacci. Developed with the  shape describing sequence in mind, the Fibonacci system has been used for centuries by players hoping to beat the spinning wheel and is a particular favourite of baccarat players and forex traders.

As a negative progression system, the Fibonacci encourages players to increase bets after a loss to try and reverse and reduce the effects of losses. Unlike certain negative progression systems, the Fibonacci is less aggressive, as your bet after a loss, equals the sum of the two previous bets. Rather than reverting back to your original bet after a win, you go back two numbers,which means you can keep on winning and you can get back to your first bet, before trying to get into the black again.

The Fibonacci system can also bring you back into profit steadily, whilst this may not be as quick as other strategies that cancel out all losses with one large win, the Fibonacci is less vigorous only cancelling two previous losses. We would recommend that you make notes of your sequence and write it as you go, whilst this won’t change your odds it works as a medium risk, in the money management system.

Pros and Cons
Pros include the low level of forcefulness when compared to similar systems, this is also a fairly straightforward system and can be used on any bet (though people tend to use it on high table coverage bets). Like any strategy, this does have some drawbacks, odds are not changed and bets can increase quickly with many losses. It is a slow burner if your starting bet is low and it can take some time to profit.


Invented by Henry Labouchere, the Labouchere system was famously played by James Bond. Nicknamed the Split Martingale, The Cross-Out, The Cancellation System, or simply “The Labby”, this system shares the same concept of negative progression as The Fibonacci. And the Whittacker without being as forceful.

Similar to the Fibonacci and the Martingale roulette systems, Labouchere is a negative progression system encouraging players to increase their bets after a loss to claw back profits. There is also a positive progression version of this system called the Reverse Labouchere.

In a nutshell the Labouchere strategy is a systematic progression where players bet the first and last numbers of their sequence adding on their previous bet after a loss. This does involves some maths but isn’t the most complex system that exists. To play the Labouchere begin by writing out a sequence of numbers, next add the first and last numbers in the sequence together and make the bet. If you lose, move onto the next numbers but add your last bet to the total of this bet. If you win, move onto the next two numbers. You continue through the sequence until you have used all of your numbers or you hit your stop loss limit.

The Labouchere system is flexible in the fact that you can play it high or low risk dependent on the numbers that you include within your sequence. If playing a low risk Labouchere include lots of 1s in your sequence particularly at the beginning and in end. Bear in mind to always decide a stop loss limit before you begin to prevent this system from spiralling out of control.

Pros and Cons
The pros of the Labouchere system is the flexibility and control it gives a player, it’s you that decides on the risk level and the amount that you want to bet. You are also forced to think about a profit target. Disadvantages include the potential for this to place strain on the wallet if you experience many losses so always set a point of no return or consider a less aggressive system. The Labouchere also does not decrease the overall house edge.

The Labouchere system can be used for any bet however, our tip to you is that it is most often used on low risk roulette bets so bear this in mind!


Arguably one of the most famous betting systems, the Martingale system is an aggressive negative progression system. What separates the Martingale from other systems that comes the closest to beating the house. Following a simple concept, this is one of the easiest systems to try rewarding risk with heavy wins and losses.

Similar to the Fibonacci and Labouchere, the Martingale system is a negative progression system. While a player is winning the system doesn’t seem apparent however, once a player starts losing the Martingale comes into play.

The Martingale works like so, a player may place one bet, if the player wins, the player takes their earnings and places the same bet. If the player loses, the player then doubles their previous bet, so if they bet $5.00 they will then bet $10.00, if they bet $10.00 they will bet $20.00 and so on so forth. If they make a second bet and win, they simply use what they need to keep betting and pocket the rest.

This can quickly spiral out of control with significant losses which is why we always advise on pre-setting a budget limit however, a significant advantage is being able to cancel out your losses quickly and effectively.

The Martingale offers a high probability of wins but can put you out of pocket with losses being inevitable in any roulette game. The rigid rule of doubling your bets is a double edged sword. Each win can cancel out all of your previous losses and let you win what you started with. Smaller bets would not always let a player even out their wins and losses whilst larger bets can lead to a hefty blow to your finances.

Pros and Cons
Pros to the Martingale is that it can counter losses, whilst there is no foolproof strategy to beating the wheel, the Martingale offers the opportunity to claw back any losses increasing the likelihood of wins. The Martingale is also a fast strategy that cancels out any losses quickly, the concept is also very simple to follow you don’t need to be a mathematician to try this one.

The downsides to the Martingale lie within the risks generated from a potential snowball effect of losses. Whilst one loss may not be too harmful at the start of your game, if you are doubling your bets into the thousands then you can very quickly lose all of your money quickly. The Martingale feeds off of the “all or nothing” mentality using the lure of big wins and cancelled losses to hook in players. Another issue lies within the financial strain, if you have to double your bets there will eventually be a point of no return.

As a top tip from us we recommend using the Martingale system with caution. Quit while you’re winning and accept a smaller profit. Of course it’s your choice as to how you play so here’s our second tip: even-money bets hold the key to maximising the Martingale’s potential. Not sure on what an even-money bet is? Read our roulette guides for our top tips to win...