The Rubik’s cube has firmly established itself as one of the most essential logic puzzles. It can captivate someone for hours, days, or even years. But with the help of Rubik’s cube algorithms, you can solve it in just a few minutes. Surprisingly, some skilled enthusiasts can even accomplish this feat blindfolded.
Although solving the Rubik’s cube might appear daunting, mastering the basics can make it a breeze. Here’s a beginner’s tutorial that will equip you with the necessary knowledge to confidently showcase your problem-solving skills.
Steps for Solving Rubik’s Cube
Before delving into the steps, familiarizing yourself with the notations is essential. Each combination of letters, numbers, and apostrophes serves as a guide for your actions. All these instructions are carried out relative to the cube’s orientation as it faces you, known as the Front Face. Understanding these notations will pave the way for mastering the Rubik’s Cube.
One letter by itself refers to one clockwise-face rotation (90 degrees).
- F: the panel facing you turning to your right.
- R: the right column turning up
- U: the top row turning left
- L: the left column turning down
- B: the back panel (one facing away from you) to the left
- D: The bottom row turning right
A letter with an apostrophe after it means you turn it counterclockwise 90 degrees.
- F’: turn the panel facing you to the left
- R’: turn the column to the right down once
- U’: turn the top row to the right
- L’: turn the column on the left up
- B’: the back panel (one facing away from you) to the right
- D’: turn the bottom row to the left
A letter that has a 2 after it means 2 rotations, or 180 degrees.
- F2: two turns of the panel facing you
- R2: two turns of the right column
- U2: two turns of the top row
- L2: two turns of the left column
- B2: two turns of the back panel
- D2: two turns of the bottom row
Beginner’s Algorithm for 3×3 Rubik’s Cube: The White Cross
Don’t feel bad for starting out in beginner mode. The creator of the Rubik’s cube, Erno Rubik, needed a whole month to learn how to solve his own cube.
If you’re looking to start out easy, use this technique called the White Cross.
Form a white cross. Use this step to familiarize yourself with the mechanics of the cube. Get as close as you can, and if you have trouble getting the white cross, use this resource. It has tricks on flipping an edge (F U’ R U), grabbing a piece from the bottom layer (F’ U’ R U), and from the middle layer (U’ R U or U L’ U’).
Now it’s time to fill in the white corners. For each piece, get the white face under the corner it’s supposed to occupy.
- If the white is on the right side, use R’ D’ R
- If the white is on the front, use F D F’
- If the white is on the bottom, use F L D2 L’ F’
Now you’ve solved the first side! You should have completed the white face.
Now that you’ve solved one side, flip it upside down to focus on the opposite side. This step involves completing the first two layers (F2L). You use two symmetric Rubik’s Cube algorithms here, known as the Right Algorithm and Left Algorithm. You’ll use these to put the Up-Front edge piece from the top to the middle. If done correctly, this won’t mess up the white face.
For the Left, use: U’ L’ U L U F U’ F’
For the Right, use: U R U’ R’ U’ F’ U F
If the edge piece ends up in the wrong orientation, use the algorithm twice.
It’s time to work on the yellow face of the cube. Make the yellow cross on the top of the cube. Use the F R U R’ U’ F’ algorithm to achieve this. If you see a dot, apply the algorithm thrice. If you have a yellow “L” shape, only do the algorithm twice. And if you have a horizontal line, just do the Rubik’s cube algorithm once.
Align the yellow edges. Now that you have the yellow cross, it’s time to put the edges in place. Switch the front and left edge pieces with R U R’ U R U2 R’ U. If you aren’t there yet, apply the algorithm multiple times.
It’s time to put the yellow corners where they belong. Find a piece in the right place, and then apply this Rubik’s cube algorithm to get them in the right corners: U R U’ L’ U R’ U’ L.
So everything’s in place, but now you need to put the yellow corners in the correct position. Hold the cube so you have an unsolved corner in the front-right-top position. Do the algorithm R’ D’ R D as many times as you need to until that piece is in the correct position.
At this stage, you might panic. Because it looks like you messed up the whole cube. It’s okay. You’re almost there. Turn the cube again so an unsolved yellow piece is back in that front-right-top corner position. Perform the algorithm as many times as necessary.
While doing this, do not move the bottom two layers and never rotate the whole cube.
If you don’t break either of those rules, you’ll have a solved cube after you finish the corner pieces! The cube is solved.
Rubik’s Cube Algorithms: A Way to Enjoy the Game
The Rubik’s cube is genuinely fascinating, with approximately 43 quintillion possible combinations, yet remarkably, it possesses only one solution. This vast number of possibilities far exceeds the 14,000,605 seen by Dr. Strange in Infinity War.
The enduring popularity of a toy from the 70s still has such staying power today. Initially, the creator faced rejection from the first manufacturers, who doubted its appeal. However, the toy defied all odds and became a global sensation, earning a spot in the MOMA’s permanent collection. So while you may not be able to solve the cube in 3.47 seconds like Yusheng Du, we hope these Rubik’s Cube algorithms allow you to solve the Rubik’s Cube on your own!