How to Solve a Rubik’s Cube

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Throughout my childhood, when I ever I saw a Rubik’s cube, I would always hand it off to my mother to solve. Not too long ago, my daughter was a sent a Rubik’s Cube and sure enough, she handed it off to be to solve. Now, it would seem history has come back to bite me for me handing off a Rubik’s cube to my mother for her to Solve.

When I was given the cube to solve, I was like, erm. There have to be a few tutorials on How to Solve a Rubik’s Cube. Sure enough, there were LOADS of them all over the internet, but I needed a simple and direct guide and I found one. After using the step by step process, I now know how to solve a Rubik’s Cube.

A Small History of the Rubik’s Cube

Ernõ Rubik, a University Professor from Budapest In Hungary, wanted to help his students understand three-dimensional problems. The Original Magic Cube as made out of wood and Erno Bubik admitted that he could not even solve his own invention. He then spent a whole month trying to figure out the

The Rubik’s Cube was originally marketed and sold as the “Magic Cube” before a toy marker spotted the puzzle at a Toy fayre in Nuremberg, Germany. Tom Kremer immediately saw the power and potential of the Cube and helped rebrand the Magic Cube into the Rubik’s Cube which we now know it as today.

How to Solve a Rubiks Cube Video

If you ever ask a child these days about how to solve a Rubik’s cube, you will most likely give you the answer that is too difficult. Most people can solve one side of Rubik’s Cube. Some may be able to solve two colours connected to each other. Yet, a lot of people will admit that it takes time and patience, to completely solve a Rubik’s Cube.

The first time I solved a Rubik’s cube using these algorithms and methods, it took me about 2 hours. I got that down to 45 mins and now I can solve a Rubik’s Cube between 5-6 minutes. So yes, it does help by practising and learning these Algorithms. Memorizing the Algorithms is my next step.

Which Side to You Solve First?

So, you have taken The Cube out of its packaging and started to jumble up the puzzle. All the square are not so neat anymore. So, ‘Which Side do You Solve First?‘ The side you complete first is the white face. But before you start to solve the white face, there are some things you need to learn. Like, cube ergonomics. Rather than thinking of the Rubik’s Cube with 6 sides like a Dice. Think of the Cube with 3 layers. Top, Middle and Bottom.

The first stage of solving a starting to solve the Rubik’s Cube is to start moving the white sides to the top where the middle yellow square. This will make the yellow face look like a Daisy. White petals with a yellow centre.

Okay, the next step is more straight forward. On the side of each middle piece, there is a non-white colour. Which will be either, Red, Green, Blue or Orange. Align the non-white piece with the middle of the matching colour. So if you have a ‘White’ and ‘Red’ piece. Twist the top so Red piece matches the middle of the same colour.

This being the Red piece and then twist matching White/Red to Red centre 180 degrees in any direction. You need to do this for the other white/orange, white/blue and white/green edge pieces. Align them to the middle piece and twist those faces 180 degrees. Once you are done. You should have your white ‘Cross’. The remainder of the solve, the white face is going to be at the bottom the entire time.

Time to Solve the Second Line

Okay, you have moved the edge pieces and aligned them to the corresponding middle piece. And by doing so, you have now completed the white face with all the correctly aligned corner pieces. The white face and side edges should be completed properly. Now it is time to complete the second row. Always remember that the white face is still facing down for the entire time of the solve.

Now, here is the tricky part but if you hold with me, it is very straight forward. In the image above, you can see there is a blue middle edge piece, That edge piece needs to be in the middle of its own colour, which is blue in this case. If the colour on the other side of that blue edge piece is orange or red, then you have to turn that edge piece

How to Hold and the Cube

Now, there is one thing we have not really spoken about, which How to Hold the Cube. I did mention about Cube ergonomics. On the video, I have linked above. Go to 06:32; (How to Hold the Cube). This explains what the ‘Left or Right Trigger’ is. This helps you learn to move each face and solve the cube faster. Don’t worry if this takes a while to master, but I assure you, but by the time you have mastered the left and right trigger. Your times for Solving the Rubik’s cube will come down dramatically.

Now that you have completed the Whiteface and the middle row, it is time to work on the Yellowface. Just like we did with the white cross, we need to do the same thing and create a Yellow cross using the two coloured edge pieces. Don’t worry if you have only one 1, 2 or 3 edge piece, we still have to get them all lined up so we have the yellow cross.

Rubiks Cube Notations and Algorithms

It is now time to talk about Cube Notations and algorithms. There are many types of algorithms you can find on the internet and I did find LOTS. However, these are the ones which worked for me. Rather than give them all at once, let’s work through each separate algorithm for each stage.

What each letter of the Algorithm means as follows:

  • F stands for Front relative to you.
  • U stands for Up
  • R stands for Right
  • L stands for Left
  • B stands for Back
  • D stands for Down

If you see a letter, it means to turn the corresponding face 90-degree Clock-Wise (CW) relative to the perspective of somebody looking at that face head-on.

Where the is a number after a Letter like U2. You have to rotate that face 180 degrees, or two 90 degree turns to complete that move of the algorithm.

Where there is an apostrophe like R’, this is called “R Prime” and you have to rotate that face Counter-Clock Wise (CCW). So L’ is L Prime and you turn the left face in your left hand, 90 degree’s Counter Clockwise. Are you still following me? YES – NO? Good. We are getting there.

Algorithms which you will be using to complete the cube are as follows:

  • F U R U’ R’ F’ – You use this algorithm to complete the Yellow cross

No matter what happens, even after the first attempt, you keep going until you have the yellow cross using the F U R U’ R’ F’ algorithm.

  • R U R’ U R U2 R’ – This algorithm is complete the entire Yellow-face after you have made the Yellow Cross.

Time to Complete the Final Side

You have completed the white and middle rows and now its time to start on the yellow side. There is an algorithm that can help with this. We want to create the yellow cross and the only algorithm which will help achieve this is the F U R U’ R’ F’ Algorithm.

Once you have completed the Yellow cross, we use the next algorithm to fully complete the Yellowface. The algorithm you use for this next stage is R U R’ U R U2 R’. No matter how long it takes, you continue you use this algorithm to finish the Yellowface. When you have one yellow corner piece in any corner, turn the top face so it looks like an upside-down fish. Then repeat the R U R’ U R U2 R’ algorithm again until you have finished the Yellow-face.

Just as used the R U R’ U R U2 R’ algorithm to fully complete the Yellow Face. We use a new algorithm to start the next step.

  • L’ U R U’ L U R’ R U R’ U R U2 R’ – This algorithm is tricky and one wrong move and completely undo EVERYTHING and it took me a few times to get it right.

Notice at the point where we get to R’ and R. We are doing and undoing the same move but it is all apart of the algorithm and removing it will NOT make the algorithm work. Trust me, I have tried it. Also, if you go back to the algorithm above, it is the same as the second half of this algorithm.

The Final Stages of Completing the Puzzle

The Last and Final Phase for pieces that need the one last movement. These pieces may be just miss-aligned to the left or right or completely opposite one another. So these last two Algorithms will correct these pieces to complete the puzzle.

  • F2 U R’ L F2 L’ R U F2 (Clockwise Algorithm) – If any of the middle squares are out of place and need to be turned in a clockwise rotation of the top face, then this is the Algorithm to move these pieces in the clockwise rotation.
  • F2 U’ R’ L F2 L’ R U’ F2 (Counter Clockwise Algorithm) – If any of the middle squares are out of place and need to be turned anti-clockwise, this if the Algorithm to correct these middle top pieces.

If any point you have completed one extra side, while the three remaining sides have the middle squares still needs to be solved. We have the extra completed side at the back for the remainder of the solve. Then perform any one of the above two Algorithms.

Why Does Solving a Rubiks Cube Help You Solve Problems

Learning to solve a Rubik’s cube is good for muscle memory and hand and eye coordination. In team sports or any type of sports, it can help you to plan fitness routines and help improve situational awareness of problems which arise. At work, it could help you figure out solutions to problems which you have never thought of.

By demonstrating you can solve a Rubik’s cube, it shows your work colleagues that you are willing to problem solve or as it is known in the business world, be a Fire Fighter. Someone who is willing to step up and find and work out business solutions to improve productivity.

Solving a Rubik’s Cube can be very beneficial for the way your brain works for problem-solving and approaching tasks which for some may cause great difficulty or anxiety.

By Completing a Rubik’s Cube on your own, it gives you a feeling of accomplishment, that you can overcome any issues or problems. It also helps you to plan out the issues that you may find, then plan a way to resolve them logically. Now, not all problems can be solved logically, but it is a start at least.

What Is the Fastest Time to Complete a Rubiks

Feliks Zemdegs has taken back his World Record which originally stood just over 5.45 seconds. A South Korean beat down that time to 4.59 seconds. Feliks’ new Record now stands at 4.22 seconds in the quickest time to completely solve a Rubik’s Cube. Here is the World Record-Breaking achievement.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Please bookmark it and come back it if you get stuck.

John M

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    1. I know that feeling very well. Now, I can show people how to complete the first stages, the algorithms take a bit more learning to fully complete the cube.

      John M

    1. My daughter asked me to solve it and it reminded me of what I did to my mum. Now, I can solve it and I am trying to teach my daughter how to do it.

      John M

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