James Bond´s Casino System. The Labouchère Progression

Posted on February 26th, 2009

James Bond is famously keen on a flutter in the casinos. If there has been a character that has done more to glamorise casinos and Monaco we can´t think of one- 007 has always been a keen games player in Monaco, Vegas and The Carribean. He was even in Macau in the 70s before the boom

Commander Bond is an expert card player and gambler (think Casino Royale and Moonraker which both feature tense card scenes).

In Casino Royale Bond plays high stakes baccarat against a SMERSH high roller and tries to take him to the cleaners. As well as Baccarat and Bridge, Bond is partial to Roulette: the European variant obviously. In Casino Royale he plays progression systems on the even money bets- a system know as the Labouchère system. This is the basics of how to play the system:

Play the even money bets (red or black, odd or even, 1-18 or 19-36) & write a sequence of numbers (say 1 to 5) on a piece of paper before you start your betting. Place your first bet, say on the red , equal to the sum of the top and bottom figures in your progression- ( 5 +1 = 6). If you win, strike out the 5 and the 1 on the sequence and then bet the sum of the next top and bottom numbers – so 4 + 2 = 6 again in this case.

If you lose, add the number that equals your loss at the bottom of your column. Your next bet would be the sum of the top and bottom numbers not struck off your sequence. When all the numbers have been struck off, your win will equal the sum of all the numbers in your original five number sequence (in this example 15).  At this point you start again or switch games or tables. Or you head out of the casino.

Of course, bear in mind that your luck might run the other way, in which case your progression will get longer and longer and your bets larger and larger. Always have a stop loss- a point when you quit and say “enough is enough- today is not my lucky day”.

A Labouchére tip: to keep your bets from ramping up too quickly, load your sequence with low numbers. you might have 1,1,1,2,2 for example.

And the full list of James Bond Movies that feature casino action?

On Her Majesty’s Secrete Service
Diamonds Are Forever
Casino Royale
The spy who loved me
Never Say Never Again(
License to Kill
The World is not Enough
Die Another Day


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