BlogMath for Kids30 Best Multiplication Tricks to Solve Complex Math Problems

30 Best Multiplication Tricks to Solve Complex Math Problems

You can bring back the joy in learning mathematics with the right multiplication tricks. They are handy math calculation strategies that kids can remember and quickly solve some of the more challenging problems for their grade level.

The right set of multiplication tactics can also help develop confidence in the subject. Kids that can’t intuitively grasp math concepts can use multiplication games to ensure that they’re aligned with the class momentum.

Let’s review some of the best math tricks that you can teach kids and get them thinking about the subject from different lenses.

Cool Multiplication Tricks for Single-digit Numbers

Single digit numbers 19

1. Multiply by 10, then remove that number once for 9

When multiplying by 9, you need to multiply by 10 and then remove that number once. It’s one of the easier multiplication tricks for 9 and can be done quite quickly.

E.g., 9 X 67 is 670 – 67, which is 603

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2. The double-double multiply by 4 trick

When multiplying by 4, you can simply double the number and then double it again.

E.g., 4 X 8 can be computed as 8 times two times two or 8 X 2 X 2, which is 16 X 2 = 32

4 X 50 is 200, because 50 times two is 100, and 100 times two is 200.

3. Add a 0, divide by 2 multiply by 5 trick

One of the easy multiplication tips for a number, is that of 5. Simply add a 0 to the end of the number, and then divide the whole thing by 2.

E.g., 5 X 37 is 370 divided by 2, which is 185.

5 X 88 is 880 divided by 2, which is 440.

4. Double-double, and then double for 8

When multiplying by 8, think of it as 2 repeated thrice. Then you double-double, and then double. It’s one of the best multiplication tricks for 8.

E.g., 8 X 20 is double-double of 20, which is 80, and then double it again, which is 160.

5. Multiply by 5, and then add another for multiplying by 6

If your students are adept at multiplying by 5, then can also master multiplication by 6. This is one of the simplest multiplication tricks for 6.

E.g., 6 X 40 is (5 X 40) + 40, which is 240.

This is a helpful trick if your students are also quick in addition.

6. Here’s another cool trick for multiplying by 6

When multiplying 6 with an even number, the last digit will always be the last digit of the number. You can then find the number in the tens place by dividing it by 2.

E.g., 6 X 8 will be 4 (half of 8) and 8 giving you 48.

Related Reading: New Math Tips & Strategies to Improve Kids’ Problems-Solving Skills

Multiplication on Your Fingertips? Here Are Some Unique Tricks

Kid using toys to understand math

7. The table of 9 is on your fingertips

You can have each finger be a digit in ascending order from 1 to 10. If you want to find 9 X 5, then put down the finger numbered 5. The number of fingers before it is the first digit (4), and the fingers after it have the second digit (5). The answer is 45.  Even online math games can help kids to get kids interested in math.

8. Multiplying with numbers from 6 through 10

You can assign fingers on each hand to go from 6 to 10 in this trick. You can add stickers when starting off using finger multiplication tricks for kids. When calculating 7 x 9, you can join the fingers labeled 7 and 9, and count the number of fingers at the bottom. 6 fingers should be occupying the tens place. Next, you can multiply the fingers on the top, which is 1 and 3, giving you 3. The final answer is 63. 

9. You have the table of 7 on your fingers too!

You can visualize your fingers to have imaginary numbers. You can have your thumb be the number 6, the index finger 7, and so on. You can do this on both hands. Now, you need to rotate both hands to face each other and have two fingers touch each other. 

E.g., Let’s make both index fingers touch tips, giving us the answer to 7 X 7. We need to add up the number of fingers from the point of touching at the bottom, which is two index fingers and two thumbs. This gives us 4. Now we need to multiply the number of fingers above the point of touching on the left hand with the right hand. This gives us 3 X 3 = 9. Therefore the answer to 7 X 7 is 49. 

Related Reading: Ways to Make Math Fun

Multiply Any Two-digit Number with These Math Tricks

Child writing on a black board

10. Round up or down to 0, add the rest

One of the best and easy multiplication tricks for large numbers is to find the tens of one of the numbers, and multiply with that quickly. Adding the remaining leftovers will be easier to calculate fully.

E.g., 22 X 83 can be rewritten as (20 X 83) + (2 X 83) which gives us 1660 + 166 = 1826.

You can also round up and subtract, when for example, you have 29 X 80, which is (30 X 80) – (1 X 80)

11. Using factors to multiply numbers

If you know quick math tricks, such as multiplication tricks for 7 or rounding up or down, then this will be easy to pull off. You can find the factors of a double-digit number to simplify your calculation.

E.g., 12 x 60 can be written as 4 x 60 and 3 x 60, which can be quickly added up to give us 720.

12. Separate and multiply to simplify with this trick

For some double-digit numbers, you can separate one of the numbers into two digits and multiply them uniquely.

E.g., 24 x 13 can be written as 24 x 10 and 24 x 3, which is 240 + 72, giving us 312

13. Multiplying a number by 11, use this cool trick

When you’re multiplying a number by 11, then you can separate that number and add their sum in the middle.

E.g., 33 X 11 is 3 (3+3) 3, which is 363.

14. The importance of the distributive property over multiplication and subtraction

If you are multiplying two-digit numbers with the unit digit 9, then you can quickly round off the number and subtract it from itself.

E.g., 49 X 64 can be written as 50 X 64 – (64) = 3200 – 64, which is 3136

The Best Three-digit Multiplication Tricks for Kids

Kids doing math classwork

15. The cross-multiplication system for 3 digits

Using the cross-multiplication system, you can calculate the multiplication of any three-digit numbers quickly. Let’s start with an alphabetical representation of the calculation. It’s one of the best ways to explain 3-digit-by-3-digit multiplication tricks. 

E.g., what is ABC X DEF?

This will be CXF, BXF + CXE, and AXF + CXD +BXE at the last three digits through the cross multiplication.

For the first two digits, we have AXD, and AXE + BXD

16. Rounding off to 1000 and adjusting from there

You can round off three-digit numbers that are near 1000, and then remove the additional distance traveled to round off.

E.g., 998 X 992 is 1000 (-2) and 1000 (-8), giving us 990016 through (1000000 – 9984) by rounding off and removing the excess distance.

17. Separating the multiplication by numbers

A great way to multiply three-digit numbers that are near 100 is to separate out the excess and multiply them separately.

E.g., 802 x 102 can be written as 802 X 100 + 802 X 2 which gives us 81804. This can help us quickly calculate three-digit numbers that are within a specific range.

18. Multiplying by 101? Just double the number

This is a handy trick that is perfect for multiplying by 101. It can help you quickly get to the answer, especially if you are rounding up or down to get an additional solution.

E.g., 28 X 101 = 2828, 47 X 101 = 4747

19. Multiply identical three-digit numbers with this trick

You can round up or down a three-digit square or a three-digit number multiplied by itself, using this trick. You can round up the first number and round down the second number and then add the distance multiplied.

E.g., 197 X 197 can become 200 X 194, giving us 38,800. The shifting of 3 on either side, has to be incorporated as a multiple which is 3 x 3 = 9, and added to the final number. The result was 38,809.

Simplify Multiplication with Larger Numbers with These Tricks

Kids working on math problems

20. Measure the distance from the base

For multiplying larger numbers, you can do so by checking how close you are to a 10, 100, 1000, and so on. You can then add the distances and multiply them for ease of calculation.

E.g., 92 X 89 can be 100 (-8) and 100 (-11). Adding the distances gives us (-19). Next, 100 – 19 is 81. Multiplying that by 100 is 8100. Then you multiply -8 and -11 giving you +88. Adding them up gives you 8188.

21. How to multiply any number by 25

Simply add two zeros and divide it by 4. This is because 25 can be rewritten as 100/4, which is adding two zeros and then dividing by 4 at the end.

E.g., 1235 X 25 will be 123500 divided by 4, which is 30,875.

22. Multiplying a large number by 9? Here’s how

Add a 0 to the end of the number, and then subtract that number from itself.

E.g., 7250 X 9 will be 72500 – 7250, giving us 65,250

23. Multiplication tricks when one number is larger and the other smaller

One of the best ways to get calculating is to simply add the smaller number to each of the digits of the larger numbers through multiplication. Then adding them all up should give you the right answer.

E.g., 11,341 x 12 can be ironed out as 12 x 1 + 12 x 40 + 12 x 300, and so on. You can add all the sums up to get a quicker route to reaching the final number.  

Help Your Kids Master the Multiplication Tables Using These Strategies

Girl writing out sequence of natural numbers

24. Repeating digits for 12

For the table of 12, the tens place is 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12. The unit’s place digit is 2, 4, 6, 8, 0 repeating. You can ask your kids to forget about 5 and 11, when using these tricks to memorizing multiplication facts for 12.

E.g., 12, 24, 36, 48, (nothing with 5, skip to 6), 60, 72, etc.

25. For the table of 11, repeat the numbers until 9

It’s one of the best tricks for learning multiplication tables, and it involves a highly used table of 11. All you need to remember is that the digit will repeat itself in a series.

E.g., 11 x 3 is 33, 11 x 7 is 77, until you reach 9.

26. The table of 14 can be learnt quickly through 4

If your kid knows the table of 4, then they can focus on the multiples of 4 as 4, 8, 12, 16, etc. They can then add natural numbers from 1 onwards to get the table of 14. i.e., 1 & 4, 2 & 8, 3 & 12 which is (3 + 1) & 2.

27. A great visual trick for the table of 8

For the table of 8, you can list out the row from 8 x 1 till 8 x 5, and then have the second row be 8 x 6 until 8 x 10 and so on. The tens place will be whole numbers in ascending order, and the units place will be descending even numbers from 8 to 0.

E.g., 8 x 1 = 08

8 x 2 = 16

8 x 3 = 24

You can see that the tens place is going 0, 1, 2, and the units place digit is going 8, 6, 4, etc.

28. Let’s make that table of 13 much easier

Kids love fast multiplication tricks, especially if they need the right tactics to complete double digit multiplication tables. For 13, you can teach them to remember the multiples of 3, i.e., 3, 6, 9, 12, etc. and remember to count from 1 onwards in the tens place.

E.g., 1 & 3, 2 & 6, 3 & 9, (4 + 1) & 2. We did 4 + 1 because at 12, we carried the 1 forward.

29. The table of 15 is a breeze with this trick

For 15, the unit number will oscillate between 5 and 0 only. The tens digit will have two consecutive odd numbers, and two even.

E.g., 1 & 5, 3 & 0, 4 & 5, 6 & 0. We have 1 and 3 being odd numbers, and 4 & 6 being even.

30. Get the table of 17 using the table of 16

Kids can quickly get the table of 17 if they are aware of the table of 16, which can be calculated using the repeating last digits of 6, 2, 8, 4, 0 giving you 16, 32, 48, 64, etc. For the table of 17, you simply need to add a natural number to the table of 16 corresponding to the position in the table.

E.g., 16 x 3 = 48. You can add 3 to it to get 51, which is basically 17 x 3.

Related Reading: How to Get Better at Math in 10 Effective Steps

Conclusion: Strengthen Your Kids’ Multiplication Capabilities with the Right Tricks!

Kids working on math problems together

You can expand on these multiplication strategies with the right exercises and activities. You can opt for worksheets that help them gain confidence in their abilities, and use videos, books, toys, and other props to make it interesting. By starting young, you can help your kids establish a unique relationship with mathematics and multiplication. They can also build upon these elementary multiplication tips and create their own mechanisms to calculate intuitively.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can kids improve in math using multiplication tips and tricks?

Kids can gain a sense of confidence, agility, and accuracy when using math tricks. This can positively impact their performance at school.

How do I start implementing multiplication strategies?

You can use charts, stickers, toys, and props, to make elementary mental math lessons more engaging.

How do I improve my child’s math scores using calculation tricks?

Repetition is key to improving your child’s math abilities. You should also explain the logic behind these tricks to get them thinking further.

Can you memorize tables without calculating the numbers?

It is easier to have a sense of mental multiplication going when working on multiplication tables. Memorizing may become more challenging for higher numbered tables, such as beyond 30.

Andrew Scholl
Andrew Scholl is an educational expert with over 15 years of teaching experience in elementary and middle school classrooms. He currently lives in New Jersey with his wife and two daughters.