Fun Math Number Tricks

Math Number Tricks help teach basic math skills.  Most of us appreciate a good magic trick and the thing that's cool about this kind of trick is it's hard for the person you do it on to figure it out.

Kids love learning magic tricks. It's fun to amaze friends and relatives and have them scratch their heads and think "wonder how he did that one?"

Finding Someone’s Age - Number Trick

  • Ask a person to multiply the first number of their age by 5.
  • Tell them to add 3.
  • Now tell them to double this figure.
  • Finally, have the person add the second number of his or her age to the figure and have them tell you their answer.
  • Deduct 6 and you will have their age.

Grey Elephants in Denmark - Number Trick

  • Pick a number between 1 & 10.
  • Multiply by 9.
  • If the result is a two-digit number, add the two digits together.
  • Subtract 5 from the resulting number.
  • Beginning with the letter A as 1, count over in the Alphabet that many letters (I usually will count a few out loud " A is 1, B is 2, C is 3.")
  • Now think of a Country that begins with your letter (Only big Baseball fans, or Cigar smokers will get the Dominican Republic, the rest will get Denmark)
  • Take the second letter in your county and think of a Circus Animal that begins with that letter.
  • Wait a couple of seconds and say, "There are no Elephants in Denmark!"

Explanation: The result of step 3 (adding together the digits of a multiple of nine) will always yield "9", so subtracting 5 yields 4, which in turn forces the letter "D".

Determine Your Birthday - Math Number Trick

Just follow the steps with a calculator or by hand for building math skills! Go ahead and try the trick without cheating!

  • Add 18 to your birth month
  • Multiply by 25
  • Subtract 333
  • Multiply by 8
  • Subtract 554
  • Divide by 2
  • Add your birth date
  • Multiply by 5
  • Add 692
  • Multiply by 20
  • Add only the last two digits of your birth year
  • Subtract 32940 to get your birthday!

The answer’s format is: month/day/year. For example, an answer of 123199 means that you were born on December 31, 1999.  If the answer is not right, you followed the directions incorrectly or lied about your birthday.

Math Number Tricks

Great for Classroom or Home

to Teach Key Math Topics!

Math Skill: Addition, Subtraction, Place Value

Magic Trick: The 1089 Trick


  • To begin this math trick, the math magician writes the number 1089 on a piece of paper, fold it, and place it on the desk. (Don't let the spectators see the number but write it in front of them without allowing them to see the number.)
  • Give the spectator a piece of paper and ask them to write down a three-digit number on the paper. Tell them to make sure their number is a large one and that the first and last digits (ones and hundreds places) should be at least 2 digits apart “like 2 and 5 or 1 and 7”.  Emphasize that all the digits must be different and that the first and last digits must differ by at least two.

Elementary School (Grades 1-5)

  • Magic Trick: The 1089 Trick
  • Math Skill: Addition and Subtraction, Place Value

Elementary School (Grades 1-5)

  • Magic Trick: Guess My Number
  • Math Skill: Number Sense, Mental Math, Deductive Reasoning

Elementary/Middle School (Grades 3-7)

  • Magic Trick: The Magic Square
  • Math Skill: Addition and Logic, Pattern Recognition

Middle School (Grades 6-8)

  • Magic Trick: The Four 4s
  • Math Skill: Order of Operations, Problem-Solving

Middle/High School (Grades 7-12)

  • Magic Trick: The Card Trick (Mathematical Card Trick)
  • Math Skill: Probability, Combinatorics

High School (Grades 9-12)

  • Magic Trick: The Magic of Algebra (e.g., Mind Reading with Algebra)
  • Math Skill: Algebraic Manipulation, Equations Solving

High School (Grades 9-12)

  • Magic Trick: Fibonacci Magic
  • Math Skill: Fibonacci Sequence, Number Patterns

These math magic tricks can be engaging and enjoyable ways to strengthen various math skills while sparking curiosity and interest in mathematics. They often involve surprising results that are backed by mathematical principles, encouraging students to explore and discover the underlying concepts. However, it's important to remember that while math tricks can be fun and educational, they are not a substitute for a comprehensive understanding of mathematical concepts.

If you teach math to elementary, middle school, or even high school kids, the more tools you can use to engage your students, the better!  

PICK POCKET NUMBER TRICK: Pretty cool math trick to impress your friends and family by correctly guessing the amount of change they have in their pockets!

MIND READING NUMBER TRICK: Great trick.  Takes you to another page. But come on back afterwards.   And just keep clicking on the little guy in the bottom right-hand corner and he'll tell you what to do.

Here's another page on our website with even more number tricks you and our students will love and hopefully boost their mental math skills too!

They have fun doing the math number tricks, but at the same time they are getting better at doing the math.  Make sure they don't use a calculator...sort of defeats the purpose.  You might also want to see the main elementary math games page or the middle school math games page.

Math number tricks are great for practicing addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

Go To main Math Tricks Page

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