3x3 Rubik's Cube


Simplest Tutorial - Beginner's Method

The Basics

In this section we review the basics. The cube has 3 different types of pieces:

Center Piece | Edge Piece | Corner Piece

Center piece has ONE color. It never moves and denotes the color of the face it is on.

Edge piece has TWO colors. It is used for building crosses and the second layer.

Corner piece has THREE colors. It is usually the most versatile piece and is placed last.

The First Layer

The first layer is quite challenging, since it requires the solution of the cross. This is the only part that requires intuition and an understanding of the cube, so once you figure it out, you should be good to go!

The Cross

For the cross we focus on finding the FOUR edge pieces that have GREEN on them

We want to connect them to the green center and the color center as in the image below

The edge piece can be in Top Layer | Middle Layer | Bottom Layer

The key is to get it into the bottom layer but with the right orientation

Top Layer

If the edge is in the top layer it can have 2 orientations

Green Up

Green up, just do a double rotation and put it in the bottom layer, green side down, then move onto the “Bottom Layer” sub-step

Green to the Side

Green side, do one rotation to the side then move onto the “Middle Layer” sub-step

Middle Layer

Bring the edge down so that it is green side down

Move the edge away and fix the mistake you made, if any

Move onto the “Bottom Layer” sub-step

Bottom Layer

If the edge is in the bottom layer it can have 2 orientations:

Green Down

If green down, line the second color with its appropriate center and swing the edge all the way up

Green to the Side

If green to the side, twist it up and move onto the “Middle Layer” sub-step

The cross is complete!

The Corners

Find a corner with green on it. This can be in 3 positions:

Optimal Position

The Optimal Position is the corner in the bottom layer with green on the side

If this is the case, perform the following steps:

- Note the two other colors of the corner

- Turn the bottom layer until the corner is in between its two appropriate centers

- Hold the cube so that you are looking at the face which has the green part of the corner (the green “eye”). Note where this “eye” is, on the right or on the left.

- Turn the bottom layer in the opposite direction of this. So if the “eye” is on the Left, turn the bottom layer Right and if the “eye” is on the Right, turn the bottom layer Left

- Bring down the side the “eye” used to be on

- Return the bottom layer to where it was before

- Lift up the side you brought down

The corner should be in place! Repeat for each additional corner

Top Layer

If the corner is in the Top Layer do the following:

Bring down the side that has the corner. Make sure the green part ends up on the side.

Turn the bottom layer twice

Lift up the side you just brought down

Proceed to the “Optimal Position” section

Top Layer Flipped

If the corner is in the bottom layer with green facing down, do the following:

Find a “hole” in the top layer (a place which doesn’t have a corner yet)

Place the corner you’re working on under this hole

Turn either side of the cube the corner is now on

Turn the bottom layer twice

Lift up the side you just brought down

Proceed to the “Optimal Position” section

All corners should now be in place!

The Second Layer

This layer is very easy! It involves inserting the 4 edge pieces correctly into the second layer.

The Trick

First find a piece in the bottom layer that doesn’t have the color of the bottom layer on it (in the example case, an edge that doesn’t have blue)

If you can’t find one, then see the “Edge Case” section

Line up the side color of the edge with the appropriate center (to create a T-shape)

Find the center with the same color as the bottom color of the edge. It will be to the *right* or *left*

If *right*, move the bottom layer away to the *left*

Bring down the *right* side

Reconnect the T-shape by moving the bottom layer back to the *right*

Notice the misplaced corner. Insert it back in using the steps in the Optimal Position section.

If *left*, move the bottom layer away to the *right*

Bring down the *left* side

Reconnect the T-shape by moving the bottom layer back to the *left*

Notice the misplaced corner. Insert it back in using the steps in the Optimal Position section.

The Edge Case

If all edges have blue on them, that means one edge was inserted into the second layer and was accidentally flipped.

We need to take it out and then put it in correctly. To take it out, take any “bogus” edge with blue on it and pretend like it is going in that slot. Then insert as above.

The Third Layer

This layer is mostly algorithms. There are 4 steps and each requires one algorithm to be memorized.

Build the Cross

First, hold the cube correctly. Hold it so that your bottom color (blue) is facing up. Now for each case:

Dot – hold it however you like

L-shape – hold it with one part of the L pointed to the right and one pointed towards you

Line – hold it horizontally

The algorithm for this is F R U R’ U’ F

In basic terms:

Turn the front clockwise

Lift up the right

Turn the top to the left

Bring down the right

Bring the top back

Turn the front counterclockwise

As you do the steps, look at the cube and see how it gets disassembled and re-assembled. Pay attention to this and it will help you orient yourself should you forget the exact steps.

Align the Cross

Now that we’ve built the bottom cross, we need to align it with its appropriate centers.

Turn the layer until at least *two* of the edges are aligned correctly

Hold the cube so that one of the incorrect edges (if any) is pointed towards you. Have the other incorrect edge pointing either to the right or away from you.

The algorithm for this is R U2 R’ U’ R U’ R’

In basic terms:

Lift up the right

Spin the top twice

Bring down the right

Bring the top back (turn the top to the left)

Lift up the right

Bring the top back again

Bring down the right

Turn the top until all the colors are aligned. If they are not, do the algorithm again (see above to make sure you’re holding the cube correctly)

Notice that this algorithm simply cycles around. Notice that you lift up the right and see a green line. Then you destroy the green line and slowly rebuild it again. Pay attention to this to make sure you’re doing the algorithm right.

Place the Corners

For this step, we want to place the corners into their correct slots. Every corner has 3 colors – Blue, X, and Y (X and Y are two other unknown colors). At the end of this step, every Blue/X/Y corner should be between the Blue, X, and Y centers.

Take a look at the corners of your cube. Either 0, 1, or 4 corners should be correctly placed.

Hold the cube so that the correctly placed corner (if any) is on your bottom right)

The algorithm for this step is L’ U R U’ L U R’

In basic terms:

Lift up the left

Turn the top to the left

Lift up the right

Turn the top to the right

Bring down the left

Turn the top to the left

Bring down the right

Re-align the cross

This algorithm has you lifting up the left and right sides repeatedly, breaking them, and then re-constructing them. Again pay attention to how you break up the first layer as you do this and how you then rebuild it to make sure you’re doing the steps right

Final Step - Rotate Corners

This is the final step, where we rotate the corners and solve the cube.

Hold the cube so that an incorrect corner is on your bottom right.

The algorithm is (R U2 R’ U’ R U’ R’) (L’ U2 L U L’ U L)

In basic terms:

--

Lift up the right

Spin the top twice

Bring down the right

Bring the top back (turn the top to the left)

Lift up the right

Bring the top back again

Bring down the right

--

Lift up the left

Spin the top twice

Bring down the left

Bring the top back (turn the top to the right)

Lift up the left

Bring the top back again

Bring down the left

--

Notice that the first half of this algorithm is the same as step 2. This makes it very easy to remember. The second part is the same thing but on the left side. Make sure you finish both parts before you turn the cube or do anything else.

If corners are still wrong after this algorithm, hold the cube correctly again (as above) and follow the step.

Congratulations! The cube should be solved!