Many Grade 9 mathematics learners face difficulties in solving number-pattern problems due to insufficient exposure to strategies in solving such problems. The aim of this exploratory qualitative study was to investigate Grade 9 mathematics learners’ strategies in solving number-pattern problems. The problem-solving conceptual framework of Singer and Voica (2013) highlighting four indicators, namely decoding, representing, processing and implementing, underpinned the study. Ninety Grade 9 learners were purposively selected from three rural schools (30 from each school) to participate. Qualitative data were collected through a written activity and semi-structured one-on-one interviews. The study found that learners utilise four main strategies to solve number-pattern problems, namely (1) direct counting; (2) direct proportion; (3) recursive strategy; and (4) mental image representation. Knowledge about learners’ strategies can assist teachers in their pedagogies to teach number-pattern problems. The study adds to the research on problem solving, specifically pertaining to number patterns.