Zero refers to a specific number and pocket on the roulette wheel and is a central element in the game, particularly influencing the odds and house edge. In roulette, the zero is what gives the casino its advantage over the players.

  1. Wheel Position: On a standard European roulette wheel, there is one zero pocket, marked as ‘0’ and colored green. This differs from the other pockets, which are numbered from 1 to 36 and alternately colored red and black. In American roulette, there is an additional green pocket marked as ’00’, known as the double zero.
  2. Impact on Odds: The presence of the zero pocket(s) on the roulette wheel is what gives the house its edge. For instance, in a bet on black, there are 18 black numbers, but the presence of one or two green zeros means the odds of winning are less than 50%.
  3. House Edge: In European roulette, the single zero results in a house edge of 2.7%. The American version, with both a zero and a double zero, has a higher house edge of 5.26%. This is because the addition of the extra zero does not correspond to an increase in payout ratios for the players.
  4. Betting on Zero: Players can bet on zero just like any other single number on the roulette wheel. The payout for a winning bet on zero is the same as for any other single number (35 to 1 in most casinos).
  5. Special Rules Involving Zero: In European and French roulette, special rules apply when the ball lands on zero. The ‘La Partage’ rule allows players to recover half of their even-money bets when the ball lands on zero. The ‘En Prison’ rule gives players a chance to recover their bet on a subsequent spin.
  6. Zero in Betting Systems: In some betting systems and strategies, the zero plays a crucial role. For example, some players might increase their bets after the wheel lands on zero, based on the belief that the chances of it landing on zero again soon are low (although, in reality, the odds remain the same for each spin).
  7. Psychological Aspect: The zero can be seen as a wildcard element in roulette, often bringing an added level of excitement or tension to the game, especially when the ball begins to slow down near the zero pocket.