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The Chinese Abacus 3

Stacking and Withdrawing

To stack or withdraw a bead, any of the following finger motions can be used.

  1. Using only the forefinger,
  2. Using both the thumb and forefinger
  3. Using the thumb, forefinger and middle finger.

The second method is probably the easiest one to use.

Manipulation of the beads

  1. Stacking of counters
  2. Withdrawing of counters
  3. Stacking topbeads (5) and withdrawing a unitbead (1)
  4. Stacking a untibead (1) and withdrawing off a topbead (5).
  5. Withdrawing unitbeads and stacking a bead to the left.
  6. Withdrawing a bead on the left and stacking unitbeads.

Something to remember

As we have said, certain things about abacus arithmetic are very different from that of writing down the numbers and then doing the arithmetic. It is mainly because of the small number of beads on the abacus which forces such differences, and that in some operations, we commence from the left rather than the right.


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© Dylan W.H.Sung 1996-onwards
This page was created on Sunday 28th June 1998. It was recently updated on Monday 22nd April 2002