The number 23 is one of the numbers that you see around a lot- it's pretty popular for a bigger number. It's the 9th prime number and the sum of 3 other primes, namely, 5, 7 and 11. Another weird thing - if you add up the first 23 prime numbers, you get to 874 which is divisible by 23. It is also a Fortunate number (before you get too excited, a Fortunate number is not specifically a lucky number, it just has some mathematical properties that a sociologist called Reo Fortune came up with). But we like the name anyway! There are 6 Fortunate Numbers on the roulette wheel: 3,5,7,13,17,19 and 23.
Maybe a lot of the popularity of the number 23 is down to a thing called the 23 Enigma- the belief that most things that happen are in some way connected to the number 23. Sounds like a pretty strange belief, right?
William S. Burroughs (the writer of the Naked Lunch) is believed to have been the first person to come up with the 23 enigma. This famous writer had a friend called Captain Clark, who once boasted to Burroughs that he had been sailing the seas 23 years without incident. That day, Clark’s ship was involved in accident that killed all hands. While Burroughs was mulling this over, he heard a news flash on the radio about a crash of an airliner in Florida. The pilot was Captain Clark and the flight was Flight 23.
Huge coincidence? Almost definitely, but these 2 events stamped a big impression on Burroughs, and he wrote a short story called 23 Skidoo which came to mean "it's time to get out while the getting is good.
The number has come up in quite a bit of literature and in movies such as the 2007 film The Number 23, starring Jim Carrey, the story of a man who becomes obsessed with the number 23. Spooky! (It's just a film, don't get too obsessed with numbers seems to be the moral of the story).
Betting on the Number 23
So what's the best way of covering this number on the roulette table? If you want to make a straight up bet, you'll be interested to know that the number 23 is a red number in roulette and lies between black 8 and black 10 on a European wheel, almost opposite the zero, and between black 4 and black 35 on an American wheel close to the 0 (and opposite the 00- remember there are 2 zero pockets on an American Wheel).
You can also cover the number with other Inside bets like a split bet (with 26 for example), a corner bet, a street bet or a 6 line bet.
Or just bet on the red, odd or high numbers for a 1:1 pay out (eg, bet £10, win £10, get your £10 bet back). If you are looking for a 2:1 pay off, the number 23 lies in the middle dozen and the middle column.
If you feel that 23 is your number, you could also throw the kitchen sink at it and go for a Complete Bet on 23, say at a £10 unit This is also called a maximum bet on all of the inside bets of a number.
This would be
Straight-Up 23- £10
Split 23, 20- £20
Split 23, 22 2 £20
Split 23, 24 £20
Split 23, 26 £20
Street 22, 23, 24- £30
Corner 20, 21, 23, 24- £40
Corner 19, 20, 22, 23- £40
Corner 23, 24, 26, 27 - £40
Corner 22, 23, 25, 26 - £40
Six Line 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24 - £60
Six Line 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27- £60
Another good way of covering the number 23 is with a Tiers bet which is basically the opposite of the Neighbours of Zero bet.
What Else Can We Say About 23?
Human cells have 46 chromosomes, arranged in 23 pairs (this comes up in the Jim Carrey movie: The Number 23). 23 is also the atomic number of vanadium- not one of the best known elements as you hardly ever find it in nature but it does occur in a number of fossil fuels and minerals.
It's also the number of perhaps the most famous psalm: Psalm 23, or the Shepherd's Psalm. You know the one, this beautiful piece of writing:
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
And if you are a sci-fi fan (we are!), in The Matrix Reloaded, the Architect informs Neo that he must pick 23 people to repopulate Zion.
The number 23 was famously used on the back of basketball player Michael Jordan's back, and David Beckham wore 23 on his Real Madrid shirt when Posh told him it was Jordan's number. He wanted to play in the number 7, but Raul had already bagged that one.
Famous People Born on the 23rd
Édouard Manet, the French impressionist painter was born on January 23 and Handel, the composer was born a month later (well, not in the same year, but you get our drift).
Other famous 23rders include Daniel Radcliffe (July 23), Slash and Bruc Springsteen (September) and Zinedine Zidane (there's that Real Madrid connection again).
The Number 23 Starring Jim Carrey.
"The Number 23 is a movie about a man who becomes obsessed with the number 23.
Just to warn you- it's a pretty dark film This is not one of Jim Carrey's comedy movies!
And Finally...On the Subject of 23?
We just like to remind you that the probability of the ball landing in 23 is the same as for any other number despite what this spoof article says- a fact that you'll probably conveniently ignore if this happens to be your lucky number.