Mesechtas in the Bavli shas start on daf bet instead of daf aleph, why is this so? As a child I was told it was to give you incentive to start ("Hey, I'm already on page 2!") but that now seems both childish and wrong; for example, why then is the same thing not done in talmud Yerushalmi?). Is there a real reason for this?
The simple explanation is that this is how the printers typeset it (open up almost any book on your shelf and you will notice that the first page of the actual book not page one).
However, the Lubavitcher Rebbe (Sichas Erev Shavuos 5745) notes that everything in the world is hashgacha protis, and if the printers decided to add a title page with the name of the tractate there must be something we can learn from it. He explains that "Daf Aleph" contains the title of the tractate, which is the life-force behind the entire mesechta.