The Beginner’s Rubik’s Cube Algorithms: The White Cross Method

Rubix Cube

The Rubik’s cube has solidified itself as one of the quintessential logic puzzles. It can occupy someone for hours, days, or even years, but with one of the Rubik’s cube algorithms, you can complete one in minutes. Some people can do it blindfolded.

While they can seem impossible, if you know enough the basics, you can complete them with ease. Here is a beginner’s tutorial you need to know to show off your skills when you solve the Rubik’s Cube. 

Steps for Solving Rubik’s Cube

Before you learn the steps, you need to learn the notations. Each of these letter, number, and apostrophe combinations tell you what to do. All of these directions are done based on the way the cube is facing you. That is called the Front Face. 

Rubixs 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
Rubixs Cube

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
Rubixs Cube

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.

Rubixs Cube Algorithm

Step 1:

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’).

Rubix Cube Algorithms

Step 2:

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.

Rubix Cube Algorithms

Step 3: 

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.

Rubix Cube Algorithms

Step 4:

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.

Rubix Cube Algorithms

Step 5:

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.

Rubix Cube Algorithms

Step 6:

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.

Rubix Cube Algorithms

Step 7:

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

How fascinating is it that the Rubik’s cube has around 43 quintillion combination possibilities and only one solution? That’s way more possibilities than the 14,000,605 possibilities Dr. Strange saw in Infinity War

It’s impressive how a toy from the 70s still has such staying power today. The first manufacturers the creator presented his idea to said no one would ever play with it. Not only has the toy become a worldwide craze, the MOMA chose the Rubik’s Cube for its 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 give you the opportunity to solve the Rubik’s Cube on your own!

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