The number zero. Is it even a number? Or is it a non-number?
Well, we always talk about the number zero, so let´s say for the sake of argument that it is a number. If you halve something, and then halve it again, and then halve it again, you are going to have a smaller and smaller number. If you did this an infinite number of times, you´d arrive at zero, but of course that isn´t going to happen in the real world. And that´s the thing about zero, much of what we talk about when we talk about the number zero is theoretical- it´s all in the mind.
But back to roulette. The zero is the only green number on the roulette wheel, and it marks the difference between a European Roulette wheel and an American Roulette wheel, as a European wheel has one zero pocket and an American wheel has two zero pockets (the 0 and the 00).
On a European Wheel, the 0 sits between black 26 and the red number 32. Over in Vegas on the American wheels, the 0 sites between black 2 and black 26 and the 00 has red 1 and red 27 as neighbours.
How to Play the Number Zero in Roulette.
You can bet on the number zero in the same way as you can bet on any individual number on the roulette wheel- just place a single number bet on the number and you´ll get a 35:1 payout if it comes in (plus your original bet back).
The zero is often seen as an unlucky number (well it is called the zero)- especially in roulette, as many bets will not pay out if the ball lands in this pocket, such as the outside even money bets, the column bets and the dozens bet and so on.
In a way, that´s a little bit unfair on the zero, as if you bet on the red, you´ll lose if a black number comes up OR the zero comes up, but players tend to feel unlucky when the zero lands and they are playing the even money bets. There are ways of insuring yourself against this happening. You could play a roulette variant like Next Gen European Roulette that plays La Partage. This is a rule that forces the casino to return half of your even money bet if the ball lands in zero. It´s a good one to look out for, as it will reduce the house edge down to 1.3% on these bets. You may also find this rule played on many French Roulette games.
You could also lay a small side bet on the zero to cover yourself for those times when the 0 hits. We´d advise against it- it´s better just to run the gauntlet and trust your luck.
The only rule that we suggest you stick to with the zero, is to only play on single zero roulette wheels. Avoid the double zero roulette wheels (the American ones). If you think it´s bad news when the ball lands in the single zero, how bad are you going to feel when it lands in the double zero? There´s a reason that European Roulette is more popular online than the American game. There´s more choice and the odds are better on the former.
A popular way of covering the zero is with the Voisins du Zero bet. This covers the numbers from 22 to 25 including the zero. These are the Neighbours or Voisins of zero.
If you are playing American Roulette (I thought we told you to avoid it!), you could also play the worst bet in roulette, which covers 0,00, 1, 2 and 3. But why would you? The odds are the worst in roulette.
Another neat way of covering the zero on a European table is with a Jeu Zero bet, which is kind of like a mini Voisins du Zero bet. It just covers 6 neighbours of zero with 4 chips.
Let´s Talk About the Zero
Zero is one of those numbers that is known by a number of names including nothing, none, nought, nil, zip, zilch and nada. In cricket, if you are bowled for a duck you scored zero runs and if you are 40 love down in a tennis game you haven´t scored any points.
The zero hasn´t always been recognised- the Ancient Greeks had no word for it and were sceptical as to whether it was a number at all. How can something be something if it is nothing? You can see their point.
The idea of zero is thought to have been fully developed on the Indian sub-continet where it appeared around A.D. 458 in mathematical equations that were spelled out or spoken in poetry or chants. In 628, a Hindu mathematician called Brahmagupta came up with a symbol for zero — a dot underneath numbers.
It was through the Arabic world that we came to use the zero as a placeholder and number in calculations. The Hindu–Arabic base 10 system for numbers that we use to this day reached Europe in the 11th century, thanks to the Moors in Spain.
Zero is an even number as you can divide it by 2 without getting a remainder and is the smallest no-negative integer.
The number zero really started to come into its own with the development of computers, as it represents the "off state" in a binary system, where 1 is the "on state".
So is zero a number? Can you have a number that´s nothing? That´s getting into philosophy, so we are going to say that yes, 0 is a number, at least in roulette. It has its own pocket and space on the betting layout, and there are even 2 of them on some wheels.
Just remember, the odds of the ball landing in the zero are exactly the same as the odds of the ball landing in any other number!