This page lists useful techniques for solving the Rubik's Cube.
Algorithm notation is generally quite consistent worldwide. The sides are usually labelled as being Left, Right, Up, Down, Front and Back as shown, and the algorithm is expressed as rotations of a side. A letter on its own indicates a clockwise 90° turn, while a suffixed symbol (typically either an apostrophe or asterisk) indicates an anticlockwise turn. The direction is determined as if you were viewing the side face-on. Finally, a suffixed "2" indicates a 180° turn, for which the direction is irrelevant. Here are some examples:
- R = rotate the Right side 90° clockwise
- L' = rotate the Left side 90° anticlockwise
- D* = rotate the Down side 90° anticlockwise
- F2 = rotate the Front side 180°
This algorithm consists of seven steps. Some Rubik's Cubes are packaged with an instruction booklet containing this algorithm, hence the placeholder name. If you know of an actual name for this algorithm, please change the heading.
All of the colours are appropriately interchangable by rotation, so the colours mentioned are just an example.
Hold your Cube so that the green centre cubie is on the U side. Get the red centre cubie on the R side and solve the red-green edge cubie. Now turn the Cube to the left (so that red is on F and white on R) and do the same for the white-green edge. Continue in this fashion with the orange, and finally the yellow. If one of the edge cubies is in the correct place, but flipped the wrong way (as seen in the diagram), use the following sequence:
Find a green corner cubie in the bottom layer, and rotate the bottom layer until it is below the corner it should be in. Rotate your Cube so that the cubie is in the F-D-R corner and its home is in the F-U-R corner, then use the following sequence an odd number of times until the cubie is in place:
If a green corner cubie is in the top layer already, but in the wrong place or flipped the wrong way, use the same algorithm once to get it to the bottom layer, then repeat this step as normal until all four green corners are solved.
Flip your cube over so that the green side is on the bottom. Now find the red-yellow edge cubie. If it is on the top layer, rotate the layer until your Cube resembles one of the two states shown to the right. If your Cube matches the left-hand image, use the following sequence:
If you have the one on the right, use this instead:
If one of the needed edge cubies is already in a middle layer edge position, but is wrong, hold your Cube so that the offending cubie is in the F-R edge position and perform either of the two sequences to move it to the top layer. Once you finish this stage for all four side colours, the bottom and middle layers will be completely solved.
Turn the top layer until your Cube matches one of the three pictures. Perform this sequence:
If the blue cross is not solved, check that your Cube resembles one of the other two images and repeat the sequence.
Rotate the top layer until the red-blue edge cubie is in the correct place (left-hand picture), then use this sequence either once or twice until the Cube matches the right-hand picture.
Now turn your Cube to see if the white-blue and orange-blue edges are solved. If they are, move on to the next stage. If not, hold your Cube with white on F and red on R, and repeat the sequence once, before adding one more clockwise turn on the top layer.
Without twisting any of the Cube's sides, find at least one of the blue corner cubies that is in the correct place, regardless of whether its orientation is correct. With this corner (which in the picture is the red-blue-yellow one) as the U-F-R corner, perform this sequence either once or twice until the other three corners in their correct places.
If none of the corners are in the correct place, perform the sequence with any of the four blue corners to make at least one of them move to the right place, then carry out this stage properly.
Hold the cube so that it resembles the left-hand picture. Now turn the top layer until you find a corner that needs to be flipped into the correct orientation. Perform the following sequence an even number of times until the corner cubie is back in place, but with its blue face uppermost:
The bottom two layers will get "messed up" by this. Don't panic, because it's not actually messed up; it's actually "scrambled" in a very precise way – "encoded" is probably the best word for it – and will be fixed automatically as you do the other corners.
Now turn the top layer (not the whole Cube; keep red on the F side) until you find another mis-orientated corner cubie and do the same thing. Once you have all four blue corners solved, your Cube will be one single (and obvious) twist away from completion.
Congratulations! You've solved the Rubik's Cube!
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