Rubik's cube is among the most loved and popular puzzles. It might seem quite an intimidating challenge for some, but that does not need to be the case. If you have some trouble solving the Rubik's cube, don't give up just yet.
All you need are a few algorithms (that we will cover later in this article) and sheer determination to solve the cube. The easiest way to learn to solve a cube is to follow proven guides and tutorials.
In this beginner's guide, we will walk through the steps to solve the cube, with notations and descriptions of the algorithms that you would need to memorize. But before we jump right in, let's get familiar with the terms associated with the Rubik's cube.
Important Vocabulary To Learn
Before we get into algorithms and strategies, let's start with some cube vocabulary. This will make it simple for you to follow algorithms and permutations.
Edge: An edge is a part where two different colors meet, and there are 12 edges in all.
Corner: A corner is a piece located in the corner of each side of the cube. There are eight corners in all visible colors.
Center: The center cubes are situated in the center of each side and have one visible color. They do not move in position, and there are six such centers in a Rubik's cube.
Faces: The Rubik's cube has six sides or faces. As we go through this guide, you will notice a prominent assumption that you are seeing the cube with the white face up.
Regular And Inverted Turns
There are two ways to turn a layer – regular and inverted. A regular turn is a clockwise turn, and an inverted turn is a counterclockwise turn. A notation like R’ would mean that you need to rotate the right side anticlockwise. Here R’ is also known as R dash or R prime.
Rubik's Cube Algorithm
An algorithm in the context of solving a Rubik's cube is an operation or a series of sequences and rotations that will help move the blocks to the desired outcome.
Cubing Notation to remember
- Left Face - L
- Right Face - R
- Up Face - U
- Down Face (bottom of the cube) - D
- Front Face (the side facing you) - F
- Back Face (the side facing away from you) - B
How To Solve A Rubik's Cube
To learn how to solve a Rubik’s Cube, you can watch our step-by-step tutorial.
Step 1: Solve the First Layer
Solving Cross: The first step of solving a Rubik’s cube is solving the cross and corner. A cross on a Rubik’s Cube encompasses four edges and the edges correspond to the centers on the other side. As a beginner, consider starting with the center with the sticker or the white center. A white cross would look like this.
Here is a video of How to Solve a Cross - Beginner and Advanced Cross Tutorial by Aryan Chhabra | Hindi | Cubelelo
- Solving Corners: Once you have created the white cross, you can use some algorithms to solve this puzzle in no time and bring it to its original form.
Note: White face should be at the bottom
Algorithm - R U R’ U’
The above algorithm will help you locate all the corners in the right places.
- Bring the corner piece above its correct position and apply the algorithm until it is placed correctly.
Keep repeating this algorithm until all the corners fit into the right places.
- If you notice that a piece is in position but not in the right face, in such a case, you need to bring that piece out of its position using the same algorithm. This will bring the piece above its position and repeating the algorithm a few times will bring it to its right position.
Step 2: Solve the Second Layer
Similar to the first step, solving the second layer also involves four pieces. However, instead of four corners, it now encompasses four edges. Therefore, you need to first search for the edges. Remember that the color of the piece that you are looking for should match the center. To position your pieces correctly, you must keep that face to your right, then see if it should be placed in front or at the back.
Case 1: If the edge piece is placed in front: Apply the following algorithm - R’ U’ R’ U’ R’ U R U R
- Case 2: If the edge piece is placed at the back: Apply the following algorithm - R U R U R U’ R’ U’ R’
These algorithms will help you get the desired edges into their positions. You can repeat this algorithm until you get the desired edge colors placed in accordance with the color of the centerpiece. This will help you finish solving the second layer.
Learn to Solve 3x3 : How to solve 3x3 Cube | Hindi Tutorial | by Nitesh | Cubelelo
Step 3: Solving the Yellow Cross on the Top Face
Now that you are done solving two layers of the Rubik’s Cube, you need to solve the third or the last layer. However, you would now be in one out of three cases. Remember, in all 3 cases, you will have to use the algorithm given below -
Algorithm: F R U R’ U’ F’
- Case 1 (Dot Case): You would encounter a dot in the center of the face. Apply the algorithm once and you will get either case 2 Or case 3.
Case 2 (L Case): You would encounter an L-shape on the face. Hold the cube as shown below. Apply the algorithm twice and you will get a yellow cross on the top face.
- Case 3 (Line Case): You would encounter a bar shape on the face. Apply the algorithm only once and you will get a yellow cross on the top face.
Hold the cube in such a way that the bar appears horizontal as shown below.
Once you have executed the algorithm, you will have a yellow cross on the face.
Step 4: Orientation of the Last Layer
Next, you need to get all the yellow-colored pieces facing upwards. For this step, you must use the Sune algorithm - R U R’ U R U2 R’
Note: Remember to hold the cube in such a way that the unsolved corner is at the top left position.
You can encounter the following cases while applying this algorithm.
Case 1: If only one corner is matched then you have to keep that piece to the top left and apply the algorithm.
Case 2: If two corner pieces are solved then keep them vertical to your right and then apply the algorithm. You will get case 1 after applying the algorithm.
Case 3: If none of the corner pieces are matched then keep one of the unsolved corners to the top left (Such that the yellow sticker is facing left) by rotating the top layer and after applying the algorithm you will get case 1.
- Case 4: If two diagonally opposite pieces match then keep the unsolved piece to the top left by rotating the top layer and after applying the algorithm you will get case 2.
You can repeat this algorithm until all the colors match the face.
To Learn OLL: Watch Learn Full OLL in 30 Mins
Step 5: Permutation of the Last Layer (PLL)
The next step involves permuting all the remaining pieces of the cube into their correct positions. There are two simple algorithms you can use for this step.
Algorithm 1: T-Perm Algorithm - R U R' U' R' F R2 U' R' U' R U R' F'
In case of either of the cases given below, you can use the T-Perm algorithm,
Case 1: If two corners adjacent to each other are of the same color.
Match the colors to the face they belong to, and keep this solved face to your left. What you will then have on the face is an unsolved corner on which you should perform this T-Perm algorithm. You can repeat this algorithm until all the corner pieces are solved.
Case 2: If no two adjacent corners are solved.
In such a case, you must search for one solved corner. Position this towards your top left and execute the T-Perm algorithm.
Once done, you need to look for two corner pieces that are adjacent to each other and are solved. Match those corner pieces with their centerpiece, position them towards your left, and perform the T-Perm algorithm.
Repeat this until all the corner pieces are oriented correctly.
However, the edges are yet to be oriented with their centerpieces. To do this, you must execute the U-Perm algorithm.
- Algorithm 2: U-Perm Algorithm
R U’ R U R U R U’ R’ U’ R2
Note: To execute this algorithm, find one edge piece that has been solved. Orient that with its centerpiece and hold it at the back. The three remaining edge pieces will have to be rotated on the top layer. You will notice that the pieces need to be moved in a clockwise Or counterclockwise manner. Execute this U-Perm to complete solving the remaining pieces. You may need to apply it twice in some of the cases.
Read More - 13 benefits of solving Rubik's cube
Wrapping it up!
And there you have it! There is no denying that you might need to invest a considerable amount of time to get the hang of it. However, master this beginner's method before you move on to learning any advanced methods. This beginner's method will create a great foundation for you to understand the working of the cube and the seamless movements of your fingers. Thereafter you can move on to learning finger tricks that will help reduce your average time.
If you want to get faster at solving a Rubik's cube, read our guide on how to get faster in Rubik's Cube from beginner to pro level.