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




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

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


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Step 1: 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

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

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

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170 Discussions


2 years ago

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

2 years ago


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


2 years ago

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

1 reply

Reply 2 years ago

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 :)


3 years ago

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.


3 years ago

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.

1 reply

Reply 3 years ago

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.


3 years ago

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

1 reply

Reply 3 years ago

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...


3 years ago

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!

3 replies
littlegamcrackethe norm

Reply 3 years ago

"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.


Reply 3 years ago

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!

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!


3 years ago

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

1 reply

3 years ago

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.