The abacus has many features. One of the first things you may notice are the columns and the beads. Each column represents a place value and the beads each have a number value. Starting from the very right, the first column is the ones. The second column to its left is the tens, and as we continue to shift left, the place value increases ten times. As for the beads, each bead below the middle, or answer, line has a value of 1, 10, 100, etc. The beads above the line, however, represent the 5s. The value of the beads is determined by the column in which it resides.