Math is a game, and yes there are hacks!

For example, did you know that when you multiply 9 by another integer, the digits of the result add up to 9?

This is because you are working in base 10. In base 10, when you add 1 to 9 you get 10; that is, you add a tens column and reset your 9 to 0. We add tens as 10, 20, 30, etc. So when we add nines, we are a little short of tens, and we get 9, 18, 27, etc.

That this is a feature of the base we are using is demonstrated in hexadecimal. Hexadecimal uses the digits 0123456789abcdef. 16 base 10 is 10 in hexadecimal (base 16). A hex f is 15 in base 10. Adding fs in base 16 gives us f, 1e, 2d, etc. Exactly the same pattern that we get when adding 9s in base 10.