* Prior to the Linux 2.6.x series, even numbers indicate a stable release, i.e. one that is deemed fit for production use, such as 1.2, 2.4 or 2.6. Odd numbers have historically been development releases, such as 1.1 or 2.5. They were for testing new features and drivers until they became sufficiently stable to be included in a stable release. It was an even/odd version number scheme.
* Starting with the Linux 2.6.x series, there is no significance to even or odd numbers, with new feature development going on in the same kernel series. Linus Torvalds has stated that this will be the model for the foreseeable future.