Introduction: Tables of 6, 7, 8 and 9 in Your Hands

Picture of Tables of 6, 7, 8 and 9 in Your Hands

At the age of 8 I had to learn the multiplying tables. I've never been good at memorizing lists or tables. It was easy to learn the tables from 1 to 5 but from 6 to 9 it seemed to be way more complicated... A year later I heard this trick on the radio and it saved my life. Since then I've taught it to many other kids. I passed such a bad time at school as I was the only one in my class who didn't know the tables so I hope this trick was useful for any parent or teacher who knew any child in this situation


Step 1: Ascribe Values

Picture of Ascribe Values

- First put your hands in front of you as shown in the drawing
- In each hand, ascribe a value from 6 to 10 to each finger

Step 2: How to Multiply

Picture of How to Multiply

Step 1

Choose the numbers to multiply. Example: 7x8

Step 2

Put together the fingers whoses values you want to multiply.

Step 3

Now count the touching fingers and the ones below them. The number you get will be the tens. Example: 5

Step 4

Now multiply the fingers above the ones touching of the left hand and the ones in the right hand. The number you get will be the units. Example: 3x2=6

Answer: 56

**In some cases you will get a number of units bigger than nine, in that case sum both quantities**

Example: 7x6

- Touching fingers + the ones below  ->  3

- Fingers above the ones touching in left hand  ->  3
                                                                                                               3 x 4 = 12
- Fingers above the ones touching in the right hand  ->  4

                                                                                3        (tens)
Now we've got 3 tens and 12 units  ->                  + 12      (units)
                                                                                  42     (final result)

Step 3: Another Trick for the Table of 9

Picture of Another Trick for the Table of 9

Here's an extra trick for the whole table of nine.

- First put your hands in front of you
- Then ascribe values from 1 to 10 to your fingers
- Fold the finger whose value you want to multiply nine times
- The fingers remaining unfolded in the left will be the tens
- The fingers remaining unfolded in the right will be the units

Example:  9 x 4

- Fold the fourth finger
- Fingers remaining unfold in the left  -3  (tens)
- Fingers remaining unfold in the right  ->  6 (units)
- Final result  ->  36


xiangybiangy (author)2017-10-02

this is cool, but i have to do it really fast or ill get detention. i really hope this trick works faster when i do it with my teacher

mohammed waseema1 (author)2016-12-28


Trick for 19th Table

Step 1: Wright odd no. up to 19 ,

Step 2: In Front of odd no. Wright 9 to 0 in descending order...

1 9 19

3 8 38

5 7 57

7 6 76

9 5 95

11 4 114

13 3 133

15 2 152

17 1 171

19 0 190

PepaJ (author)2016-11-08

It's cool but... i'm afraid i don't understand it completely... How does it work with 6x6?

PepaJ (author)PepaJ2016-11-08

Oh, ok, I answer to myself: the result for 6x6 is as follows:

2 for the tens

4x4 (16) for the units

so 2x10 + 16 = 36

A little bit less easy but it works anyway!

Very cool indeed, would help me in primary school, where it was hard to learn the 7 table :)

branwoll (author)2016-09-17

hmmmmm..... i teach my son how to count very well by this site -

easiest way ever :)

irishwhistle (author)2016-08-17

I already taught my daughter the one for 9s but I'm not sure the other one is easier than learning them. I found it kind of confusing. But I have them memorized and she doesn't so she might disagree with me. I think I might be able to get a handle on it if we try it together. Is there any trick for the lower digits? She struggles with the entire table.

megmaine (author)2016-08-08

Seeing a lot of criticisms back and forth, how these tricks aren't really learning it, how anyone can and should be able to memorize their times tables if they just apply themselves, etc. While it may be human nature to universalize our own experiences, it's true that some people really do have extraordinary difficulty with tasks that are simple for most, such as memorizing math facts, and for those, having any hook or peg to hang the thought on, to attach it to something else, whether a mnemonic, or this finger method, can be helpful. So what? If a person who could never remember what 6X9 was through more traditional methods, was able to do it with this one, that hurts no one, and helps the person it helps.

As for it not being an authentic representation of what 6X9 is in terms of arrays, well...that depends. If you closely examine the 9 method on fingers, you will see it does indeed represent something real going on with multiplication of 9s. Even if you draw arrays, you see the same pattern that 9 is always one less than 10, so that however many 9s you have, you have that many more ones, fewer. 9X3 is 3 instances of something being 1 less than 10, so it's only 1 less than 10 the first 10, then the next 10, it's 1 less again, for a total of two less (18...2 less than 20!) and then for each iteration, take again another "one less than 10" cumulatively (27...3 less than 30). I see the same pattern evident in the finger method for the 9s, at least.

In mathematics, there can be many ways to solve the same problem, and still be correct in the end, and all are valid. In fact, the more comfortable you are with finding more than one way to solve a problem, the stronger your overall understanding is.

irishwhistle (author)megmaine2016-08-17

Agreed. If the traditional methods were enough for everyone, no one would need this so the arguments are moot. Sure, people can memorize but for some it would take so much time to do it that it's no wonder a kid decides it isn't worth it. I like to see these little helps because it represents a broader recognition that not everyone is going to master skills the same way. And I think it's hard on the kids who struggle to see others getting it and feel like they're failures because their skills lie elsewhere.

Daritan (author)2016-08-10

Hi. I just wanted to say why this works for me (the gf) and where I have upgraded? modified? it to work at an adult level. Kids these days don't really have to hide issues with math, there is almost no stigma now so doing it as written, no big deal. However I wouldn't be comfortable whipping out this method in a business meeting. I spent the whole day practicing this until I could do it fairly quickly.

I figured if I could do it fast enough, no one would really notice.

Then it hit me! To this day I can still sign the entire asl alphabet. This method could be used to memorize the tables but with a way that includes touch and motion.

I started with pinky pinky 36, pinky index 42, etc. It takes less than a second. I think even doing the motions while learning the tables the regular way would have really helped me as a kid. These signs do not interfere with asl numbers as they only use 1 hand.

Finally after I had them kinda memorized, I stopped touching fingers physicallly and only did it in my head. If I get stuck I go back to signing but I feel like I won't need to touch very often.

I hope this makes sense and I didnt ruin pinky swears forever lol

irishwhistle (author)Daritan2016-08-17

I dunno about there being no stigma. With my kids they kept getting timed tests they couldn't complete and the teachers would never get off their backs about it if they don't have these memorized.Then they blame the parents for not grilling the kid every waking moment until they learn them...

littlegamcracke (author)2016-08-08

Sorry to disappoint you all, but no matter WHAT method one uses it will be WRONG! The << "METHOD" >> must be exactly as the "COMMON CORE" says. Even if the answer is correct, it is WRONG!

the norm (author)littlegamcracke2016-08-12

What do you mean?

littlegamcracke (author)the norm2016-08-13

"Method" ---

If I say, 1 + 2 = 3 (which is correct) Common core say's it's wrong.

Common Core say's, 2 + 1 = 3 is correct.

This is just a "Simple" example.

Whew, yeah... and if you learn it the right way, it isn't enough because then they'll make you learn another way to do it whether you need it or not!

Katrina SoftsecretsL (author)2016-08-14

I absolutely loved this method. Although i am one of those individuals that actually memorized my tables. I can certainly appreciate this...these new metjods in helping my grandson. I do however, agree with pskvorc, yes this method of multibles may 'appear' to be easy. It really can be a problem during testing because the foundation of why and how are actually not being used. Its not easy...math...but once you get a method that works for you...make it yours. I learned subtraction by adding. Ive never subtracted a problem...EVER!

dlindstrom (author)2016-08-08

Haters gonna hate, ignore them, this is cool. I love tricks with numbers. Thanks.

super_me (author)dlindstrom2016-08-14


Daritan (author)2016-08-09

My gf still has trouble with her 3, 6, 9 and 12 tables, she secretly coped through school by multiplying by 2, 5 or 10 and subtracting or adding as needed. To find 9x9 she would multiply 9*10-9=81.

pskvorc (author)Daritan2016-08-09

EXCELLENT strategy! That is what LEARNING THE CONCEPTS allows!

Daritan (author)pskvorc2016-08-10

She loved this instructible! She immediately tried to make it work for the 12 she wants to know why it works only for 6 to 10, if the technique has a name.....whole can of worms lol tnx

MANGLEANDFOXY (author)2016-08-09

This reallt doesn't help i thought to my sister she did't get it all :/

amorawala (author)2016-08-09

Very good 'able. I will teach my grand daughter. Although memorising tables is still a better way, this will help learn faster with lesser stress.

bmaverick (author)2016-08-08

There is an easier way to get the answers faster than the extra complexity shown here. Each finger also has joints (knuckles). There is a knuckle math learning program out there too. It's very easy to learn and quick to get the answer. Even special needs children with slow learning pick it up because many already make a trying attempt by counting with their fingers in the first place.

mikenaly (author)2016-08-08

Ive known the trick for the nines for as long as i can remember. Im pretty good with numbers, but the method for the six thru nine values might just come in handy someday as i have nieces and nephews.

senthilk43 (author)2016-08-08

Simply super

lovethebackwoods (author)2016-08-08

This is interesting. It reminds me of the old Trachtenburg (sp?) Math that was popular in areas of this country when I was a kid. The paper cover to the hardback book was white with blue and purple stripes on the front, and black letters. My dad, who never went to college but was incredibly gifted with anything math, among other topics, read the book once and taught the method to countless people - except me. I am very dyslexic and am impossibly stumped and frustrated when it comes to tasks requiring sequencing. I'm sure this is part of why my special ed students make so much sense to me! I sat here for way too long trying to match fingers from one hand to the other and was finally about ready to chop off my hands. Thank God for calculators!

tink01 (author)2016-08-07

Smart way to learn. I am 45, and while I agree with psvork on the matter that some are just too lazy to work, you have to remember in the classroom students are ask to cram subjects we learned in one year of school in half that time. Plus there are children that have difficulty learning. I worked in the school system with special needs children and not everyone learns things at the same pace. If a trick to helping a child memorize multiplication tables is out there it should be given to them without making them feel bad for needing that help. They are still using math skills adding and multiplying. That is work. Don't be mean because you had longer to learn something. Teachers nowadays have to cram knowledge down kids throats at a frustrating rate and some kids are left floundering. Its not the same.

pskvorc (author)tink012016-08-07

Kids today DO NOT have half the time we had to "learn things". I taught at University and my wife is a high school math and science teacher. I 'know the system'. I acknowledged the reality that some people learn "differently", some learn some subjects "faster", some have "special needs". I also said this was interesting in its novelty. BUT... it is NOT "simpler". It is NOT "easier". It is NOT "clearer". It IS more complex. There is MORE to "remember" than what one has to remember when one MEMORIZES the table. It has one SERIOUS drawback other than complexity: It COMPLETELY fails to clarify or illuminate or explain the FUNDAMENTAL CONCEPTS behind multiplication. The author of the 'ible' made that caveat to start with (in so many words) and therefore I did not press on that issue, but you are "defending" this technique as "reasonable". It is NOT. It IS interesting. It IS a "different" method to "get to an end". I wasn't being "mean". (Nice try. I'm surprised you didn't call me 'racists'.) "Tricks" and "short-cuts" are kinda 'cool'. But those come AFTER the foundation has been laid and there is UNDERSTANDING of the principles. NOT as a substitute so a 'test can be passed.'

The author of the 'ible' didn't assert that this was a substitute for basic understanding, YOU did. I am NOT taking the author to task, I am disagreeing with your (tink01) assertion that "this is a neat way to learn". It is EXACTLY NOT a way to "learn" anything except a difficult way to get the answer to a multiplication problem.

throbscottle (author)pskvorc2016-08-07

So for the x6, x7, x8 and x9 tables, each of which contains 12 individual questions and answers, ok so we'll just use the combinations of those numbers alone, giving 10 combinations to memorise I think, how is that less to remember than 4 simple operations? (one of which is putting 2 of your fingers together)

Some of us are stuck having to calculate x6, x7, x8 and x9 every time we encounter them, and it's never easy. Are you saying we don't understand multiplication because we are unable to remember the result the next day (or hour, or minute)?

And isn't the act of brute-force memory a "trick" or "short cut" in itself? No-one who can remember that 4x4=16, ever needs to understand that 4x4 = 4+4+4+4.

As a tool for people who simple can't remember those higher multiplications, this is an ingenious system, and one I will be using

pskvorc (author)throbscottle2016-08-07

I think you make my point: "I am increasingly mystified by how in this 'digital age' many of the "new techniques" that are supposed to be "easier" are in fact substantially more complicated. It baffles me that someone could imagine that this process is either 'simpler', or 'clearer', or 'easier'." You call something that takes too many steps for me to bother counting "simpler" than remembering that 6x7=42.

BUT... let's not make 'something' out of this that it isn't. I think we all agree that this is a novel technique. For those that "need" it, especially those long out of school, good for you, and "good for" the author of this 'ible'.

throbscottle (author)2016-08-07

This isn't just memorising, this is a very specific type of memorising a very specific type of information, It's called rote learning, and some of us are simply very bad at it.

Don't be so glib.

throbscottle (author)2016-08-07

You don't memorise the number of every finger, you just start at your thumbs and count down. I did this in my head just to see if I could. So much easier than remembering lists of multiplications.

throbscottle (author)2016-08-07

This is brilliant. I never learned my tables (apart from 2, 5, 10 and 11) as a kid, and have always had to work out the other multiplations when I need them. The ones up to 5 are easy to do, for 6's you do x5 and add another one. For 7's I have to do x5 and add it to x2, and for 8's it's either do x10 and take away x2, or do x5 and add x2 and another one.

All my life I have done this, though as time has gone by I've started to remember the memorable ones or the ones I use a lot.

So your method is brilliant, so easy!

To those commentators below who say anyone can remember lists and other rubbish like that, it simply isn't true and makes me quite angry. I am a highly visual thinker, and dyslexic. Structured information causes me problems, lists cause me problems, remembering lists of structured information simply isn't worth the effort and anxiety it causes (because I have to check everything I'm supposed to have remembered anyway), and is highly risky of getting wrong.

For me it is easy and natural to visualise an object in 3d, be able to turn it around, and see the parts and how it fits together, in my head. Sometimes I can also visualise parts moving, rotation, electron flow, things like that. I think that serves me better than remembering any amount of lists.

Alexaluvu (author)2016-08-07

Thank you sooo much for making this Instructable! I already know my times tables, but this hack may just save me some time!

hammer9876 (author)2016-08-07

Thanks for explaining this. While I can always muddle through figuring out the few pairs that I never quite memorized, with one quick glance I can see my answer. Please ignore the trolls here who cannot recognize that some people are more visual than others.

panakanic (author)2016-08-07

The second example is the simplest method for 9's, IMO, and I have taught this to many students. Where are instructions for 6's. 7's. and 8's? Excellent thing to post!

ArthurJ5 (author)2016-08-07

Sure, some people find it easier to remember a simple process rather than an imposing matrix of numbers. I did much better at math when I got to algebra and calculus and the numbers, in many cases, went away. Another example is I play lots of stuff on guitar and I can't tell you what note I'm playing or what cords. The process to play notes is much easier for me when I get rid of all the theory and dispense with memorizing the fretboard, scales, and cords. Having said that, it doesn't stop me from studying Bach.

Mark Boulton (author)2016-08-07

It is easier if you just open two fingers with the left hand (five closed and say 6,7)and three with the right (five 6,7,8).

Open fingers are now tens (2 tens +3 tens =50)

Closed fingers are units to multiply (3 X 2=6)

Add them together (56)

Always works a treat for me.

clark5113 (author)2016-08-07

"Common Core" is gonna love this.

Xavi13chris19 (author)2015-09-12

I couln't do 9x6, how you do that one?

sconnors (author)Xavi13chris192016-08-07


5 fingers for 10 position, 1X4 for ones position = 54

ChloeC22 (author)2016-07-05

Please Help. D:

don't understand. none of the comments help. :(

KISELIN (author)ChloeC222016-08-07

Me neither.... got totally lost, (lost the control ower my fingers)

KISELIN (author)2016-08-07

Actually 7 *8 is 7+7+7+7+7+7+7+7

KISELIN (author)KISELIN2016-08-07

Sorry, my bad, it should be 8*7 is 7+7+7+7+7+7+7+7

blag1 (author)2016-08-07

Dommage que je ne connaissais pas cette méthode moi aussi j'ai eu beaucoup de difficulté pour les tables.

Wisedred (author)blag12016-08-07

mdr moi aussi, je connais que celle des 1, 2, 5, 9 (sur les doigts mais une méthode bien plus simple que celle ci mdr ils se prennent la tête pour le coup), 11 et 7x8 (56 parce que ça fait une suite de chiffres (5678)

Wisedred (author)2016-08-07

lol in school I learned 7x8 = 56 because it makes 5, 6, 7 and 8. Like normal numbers.

wendoze (author)2016-07-26

Holy crap this is cool! Not sure if/how I'll teach this to kids (write on fingers?), but I love it. Thank you.

SpankyO (author)wendoze2016-08-07

Try some scotch tape with a marker for the numbers that you will not have to put ink on them if your worried about it. Or a rubber band with a tab from a bread bag, the kind they use instead of twisty ties. :)

About This Instructable




Bio: I'm currently studying Civil Engineering, I'm crazy for miniatures, dioramas and models, and I see a opportunity of improvement in every broken thing.
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