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


Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

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)

1-40 of 80Next »

6X7 does not work.

Yes it does.
put 6 and 7 together
you have 3
up top, you have 3 & 4
mulitply 3*4 (12)
now since 3 is in the tens place
you will see it as 30.
add 12 to that.
works every time!


keven15 days ago
keven15 days ago
yoemen117 days ago

this is great thanks

Angie Lin8 days ago
I can't get 9x7... M I doing it wrong...?
azharz2 years ago
Wow, thanks for this because my Maths test is near.

i took a while to understand, but now i learned the whole 9 multiplication table

i have a maths club and now you made it easy

JulianA52 months ago

Made it, at age of 30. Lol

lnkerb2 months ago

The refinement I would make to tie-in to place value, is when looking at the lower fingers, don't say "5", say "50" ... that might also help when it comes to the 6x7 when it is 30 + 12

I love it it has helped me sooooooo much!!!!!

my 7 year old loves this idea. she caught on to it very quickly. i'm not sure why some people are struggling with it but we like it. thanks for sharing

kesmoo4 months ago
This.is gret. Familly time table lesson tonigh. Thank you. Love it
Vonnie22 years ago
UGH! Still trying to understand... Other examples please? I know my multiplication but my son struggles memorizing the totals even if he gets the point of multiplication. If he says 6 x 6 - he would actually have to group dots into 6 of 6.... then count it all.mm
TertiusW Vonnie24 months ago

6 x 6 =( 2 x 10) + (4 x 4) = 20 + 16 = 36.

The steps are:

Add the fingers touching and those below. Only 2 fingers touching, none below gives 2 x 10 = 20. There are 4 fingers above those touching on each hand so that is 4 x 4 = 16. Then you these two products to get final answer of 36...

Another example

8 x 9 = 10 x (3 + 4) + (2 x 1) = = 70 + 2 = 72

Hope this helps

TertiusW4 months ago

The algebraic formula used in this is

(10 - a)(10 - b) = 100 -10(a + b) + ab

e.g. 6 x 7 = (10 - 4)(10 - 3) = 100 - 70 + 12 = 30 + 12 = 42. We only use the second last step in this method. Count the fingers touching and those below on both hands, multiply by 10 and add the product of the fingers on each hand above those touching. This is one of the many methods in Vedic mathematics where algebraic formulas are used to simplify arithmetical calculations.

SnehaP24 months ago

not really a good strategy but thx for sharing it

Kasd1005 months ago

not to be rude but I don't think is correct i know that

KristaK7 months ago
This is way too many steps for my 9nyear old who struggles horribly with math. He struggles with the most basic ofnsteps. He would loae it if i tried to get him to remember all those steps. Not good.

For nines it is easier to do the "down finger" method. Put both hands out and starting left to right (just like reading) put down the finger that is the number being multiplied by 9. For instance if you have 9x6 you put down the sixth finger (which should be the first finger on your right hand. The "down finger" is the dividing line between you tens and ones. You will see when you do it that there are five fingers on the left of the "down finger" and four on the right... which gives you 54! Obviously it only works up to x10.

misko13 (author)  KristaK7 months ago

"He would lose it if I tried to get him to remember all those steps" - Trust on your son. Don't decide what you son can or can not do, let him be the one to tell you this trick is not good. He might surprise you. Give this instructable a chance. Down here I leave a few suggestions to simplify the process.

1 - Write the numbers from 6 to 10 on his fingers (as shown in Step 1), so he can explicitly see the values he wants to multiply.

2 - Make him write every partial result on a paper, so that he won't have to remember the values he gets and he'll be able to focus on each step.

3 - There are two main steps, "Count the fingers" and "Count and multiply". Make him fold the fingers he's not using in that step so he can focus in that step.

4 - This isn't really math. It does have a mathematical explanation but you don't need to understand how it works to use it. Every child I've taught this to takes it as a magic trick. It's more like a puzzle that math

5 - The most complicated multiplications are 6x6 and 6x7 because you don't get the result immediatly, you have to sum the partial results you get. Teach him the others first. Once he gets how it works, you can teach him 6x6 and 6x7 or just make him learn by heart these two results.

6 - Show him the pictures so he could have a visual support he can copy from and check if he's doing it well or not

Example following these new tips:

1 - The first step is putting together the fingers whose values you want to multiply. Example: 7x8 (Ring finger and Middle finger)

2 - Now lets focus on the touching fingers and the ones below them. Make him fold the ones above if it was easier for him. Tell him to count them and to write that number on a paper. Example: He sould get a 5

3 - Put together the fingers whose values you want to multiply again. Now make him fold the touching fingers and the ones below them. He must have 3 unfolded fingers in his left hand and 2 unfolded in his right. Tell him to multiply the fingers of the left hand and the ones in the right hand. Make him write that number on the paper next to the first one (at its right). Example: 3x2=6

Final Answer: 56

TheLoneSquAsh6 months ago

Touch your middle fingers together (in the eight and eight position). The bottom fingers add up to 6 and the top fingers are 2 x 2 = 64! ^,^

how do you multiply 8x8 with this??

jan2qr6 months ago

I taught my granddaughter all of her times tables, 3 through 13 with tunes between 2nd & 3rd grade. You sing the times tables. Kids remember songs faster than they can memorize times tables. Pick a tune that fits with the syllables of the numbers. 3's have one tune, 4's another etc. For 6's & 7's I used twinkle twinkle little star & ABC song-both the same tune. Eight was a toughy. I finally ended up with the "oomh pa pa" song from Oliver Twist. Most of the tunes will get you through 12 or 13. It worked for her & several others that I have taught it to.

AshlynJ6 months ago

Finally a multiplication trick my students will understand. THANK YOU SO MUCH.

KarenG47 months ago

Thank you for the great posters. I have seen this method before but the explanation was NOT kid friendly. My students are doing great with their times tables, but are struggling just a bit with fluency on the 6, 7, 8 facts. I think this will be a fun activity.

It is awersome (thaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaanks)

KristaK7 months ago
Sorry for fat finger typos

It is best technique but suppose I want to multiply 7 x 5 how to do it using this technique

this is only for 6 thru 9's

why don't you count by 5s

misko13 (author)  kamleshvbhatia1 year ago

With this technique you can only multiply the numbers from 6 to 10, 6, 7, 8, 9 or 10 times as the values you ascribe to the fingers go from 6 to 10. You can always multiply 7x6 and subtract 7.

7 x 6 - 7 = 7 x (6-1) = 7 x 5

what about like 9x3 there is no 3 you can only do 6-10 and that is rubbish

its sort of cool but doesn't initially help you dose it

for the 9's you put your fingers out in front of you. for 9x3 you would put down your 3rd finger (which would be a middle finger) everything to the right is tens and everything to the left is ones. so it would be 27. my daughter learned that one in school. and i love it

misko13 (author)  lea.worthington.710 months ago

In step 3 I explain a trick for the whole table of 9. You can find it there.

I have the feeling that you want the internet to give you a master trick for all the tables so that you don't have to make any effort to learn a thing. I've given you a trick for learning half of the tables (the difficult half) and you dismiss it just because it's not as complete as you think it should be. This is not Hogwarts, there's no magic trick that will make you learn them all; this is real life, and in real life things are sometimes hard and difficult.

By the way, glad that you joined just to leave this comment :)

PoorPrae8 months ago

How would 6x6 work?

The result would be 28 would it not?

your pinkie fingers would be touching giving you 20 the other fingers are x's which would be 16 and since that number is over 10 you add it to 20 giving you 36

1-40 of 80Next »