How to Multiply by 9 Using your Fingers

Props to my 3rd grade teacher for this one - Mrs.Wootton, if you're out there, hi. Math tricks are so sweet! This one will help you with multiplying 9 by any single digit. 9x1, 9x2, 9x3, etc etc.


This tip is so easy. It got me through 3rd grade, I used it in Calculus class, and I still use it while working at The Burlap Bag (who am I kidding, I rarely need math here at the shop! It's fantastic!). BUT if I did need to multiply something by 9, I'd know it super fast.

First, you need to get in your head that your fingers (yes, including thumbs) are numbered from 1-10 starting on the left. Like below:


When you want to multiply 9 by a certain number, put that numbered finger down. So if you want to know 9x7, put down the "7th" finger.
Then count how many fingers are still up to the left of that 7th finger. There should be 6 fingers. That number 6 will be in the "tens" place.
Then count how many fingers are still up to the right of that 7th finger. There should 3 fingers. That number 3 will be in the "ones" place.

Place those two numbers together: 63. 9x7=63.


And you can do this from 9x1 all the way up to 9x10! (for 9x10, there will be 9 fingers up on the left, and 0 on the right. 90!)


Now you don't need to struggle with remembering those multiplication tables for 9s. And it's not even cheating, it's just a helpful hint!

sidenote. We spent Easter afternoon at Zilker, and I decided to take the hand photos then. It's ridiculously hard to be the hand model and the photographer. We decided I had the best hands to photo. Josiah has a huge blister from gardening. My friend Emily's hands looked hilarious when she tried to put down just one finger. So I had to be the hand model. And the photographer. Except that I couldn't click the button or even look through the viewfinder. Real serious issues, I know. 


Also, we later had issues with my camera remote. Apparently I had it set to a 2 second delay, which we figured out 5 minutes later. Always check your camera settings. We got this photo: Josiah: I can get it to work. Maybe if I put my arm up a little higher... Lauren: I wonder how many Reese's Easter Eggs I have left at home Emily: Josiah, freaking give me that thing. Or I will punch you.


In the end, Em took the hand photos for me. And we had a great time at Zilker Park!  (oh and forgive my hair. I'm just a hot mess. But check out that lovely Austin skyline in the background!)