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How to solve a Rubik’s cube

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Different pieces in a Rubik’s cube

1In any 3X3 Rubik’s there are Six Center Pieces, Twelve Edge Pieces and Eight Corner Pieces.
Each Center Piece has one color, each Edge Piece has two colors and each Corner Pieces has three colors.

Different sides in a Rubik’s cube

There are 6 Sides of a Rubik’s cube.Front, Back, Left, Right, Up and Down.

We letter them as follows for future references. (We don’t consider Back side for lettering)

F – Front
L – Left
R – Right
U – Up
D – Down

Located Correctly and Oriented Correctly

Located correctly means a piece (center, edge or corner) is in the correct position with the interchanged colors. So, that piece must be able to be corrected by interchanging it’s own colors. Oriented Correctly means a piece is located correctly and its colors are also in the correct places without any interchange.

So, if a piece is oriented correctly it is definitely located correctly too. Six center pieces are always oriented correctly (and located correctly). They declare and indicate the correct color for each side. So, orientation and location of a piece must be considered compare to the corresponding center pieces.

Turning the Sides of the cube

Side of a cube must be turned 90 degrees at once (clockwise or anti-clockwise). It is represented as follows using the above mentioned side letters.

  • F – Turn Front side 90 degrees clockwise
  • F’ – Turn Front side 90 degrees anti-clockwise
  • L’ – Turn Left side 90 degrees anti-clockwise
  • 2D – Turn Down (Bottom) side 180 degrees clockwise

You can turn the entire cube anytime as a unit. But make it sure to keep it steady while you are moving it’s sides. And when you move the entire cube as a unit, always move the cube around Y axis throughout the stages below described. This will maintain top and bottom side are unchanged.

Standard Sequences.

You are free to turn an unsolved side of the cube any time. But you can’t turn an solved side that much freely because you will break what you have make. So, there are standard sequences to follow to turn through a solved sides also without breaking them. So, don’t apply any movement outside of these sequences on an solved side of the cube.

You have to keep in mind below 10 standard sequences. They will be used in different stages.

  • seq 01 : R’ D’ R or L D L’ (reversal sequences)
  • seq 02 : F’ U L’ U’
  • seq 03 : R’ D’ R D
  • seq 04 : D’ R’ D R
  • seq 05 : R’ 2D R D
  • seq 06 : U’ L’ U L U F U’ F’
  • seq 07 : U R U’ R’ U’ F’ U F
  • seq 08 : F R U R’ U’ F’
  • seq 09 : R U R’ U R 2U R’ U
  • seq 10 : U R U’ L’ U R’ U’ L

Remember when you applying these sequences, whole unit must be remain steady. You are only turning sides.

Solving the cube :

We are Solving the cube through three main stages.

1. Solving the Bottom layer
2. Solving the Center layer
3. Solving the Top layer

1. Solving the Bottom layer.

Select one color and hold it in upside (Normally I prefer white). At the end of this stage it will be the bottom color. (And remember, centerpiece indicate the correct color for each side). Keep this top color side always at the top while you are solving this layer.

1.1 Solve the Edge Pieces – Make a Center cross (aligned with 4 side Center Pieces) at the top

– Take / Make an edge piece located correctly :2
I don’t mention any sequence in this stage since you have a lot of freedom to make it there. So, use your brain. Your freedom will be limited when sides are getting solved on by one. In that case, above sequences will help in to solve the rest without breaking them. Here, You are free to turn D and an unsolved side as you wish. But if you turn an order side, make sure to do reverse it back using an seq 01.

– When an edge piece located correctly Execute seq 02 to make it oriented 3correctly
– Do this until all 4 edge pieces are oriented correctly making the below presented center Cross.

1.2 Solve the Corner pieces

Target to solve each FRU corner (Front-Right-Up). There are four FRU corners and each corner must have three colors represented by the each sides center pieces. By looking at them, identify the corner piece that must be placed in FRU corner. That corner piece may be in U or D layers. Wherever it is, first bring that corner to FRD (Front-Right-Down) position. Here, You are always free to turn D. So, if that piece is in U, bring it to D by applying seq 01, and bring to FRD position by turning D freely. For that FRD position, one of below condition must be satisfied. So, check it and apply the relevant sequence on them to take it to the corresponding FRU corner.4

  • Condition 1: If Front color of FRD corner piece is placed correctly, do seq 03
  • Condition 2: If Right color of FRD corner piece is placed correctly, do seq 04
  • Condition 3: If Both Front and Right colors of FRD corner piece are not placed correctly, do seq 05 to make the Front color to be placed correctly. Then do seq 03.

Do this until all 4 corner pieces are oriented correctly. You can turn the entire cube around the Y axis as a unit to find other pieces.

Make the cube upside down (White is in the bottom) – Now entire Bottom Layer with four sides and four side centers must have been correctly placed.

2. Solving the Center layer

In this stage you must focus on the edge pieces of U. You have the freedom to turn U, clock wise or anti clockwise. Rest of the moments must go through the below mentioned sequences. First find the top color. (In my case it is yellow)5

  • Find a top edge piece that doesn’t contain top color and work on it as follows.
  • Turn U freely and locate that edge piece as the that edge’s Side Color align with correct Front Layer.
  • In this case, up color of that edge piece will belong to Left Side or Right Side. (You can check it by doing F or F’. But we are not doing it because it will scramble the Bottom Layer we have already made. Below two expressions are to do it without break that we have already made)6

– If it is belong to Left Side, do seq 06

– If it is belong to Right Side, do seq 07

  • Do this for until all center pieces are Oriented Correctly.
  • If there are no top edge piece that doesn’t contain top color (and center layer is not yet solved) in U, those pieces must have been in the center layer with interchanged colors.
  • First find one in the center layer and hold it as, it is in the F, and apply one of below sequence t7o take them to the U.

– If that edge pieces is in Left, do seq 06

– If that edge pieces is in Right, do seq 07

  • Then proceed again as you found a top edge piece that doesn’t contain top color…
  • Now Center Layer is solved.

3. Solving Top Layer

3.1 Make a Cross of the Top Color. (Don’t consider side colors in this time)

Check whether you can find a Mirror L or Horizontal line shape in the top side?8

  • If Mirror L or Horizontal Line is NOT found (only Top Center is found) : Just do seq 08. This will make a Mirror L or Horizontal Line
  • If Mirror L is found : Hold the Mirror L’s hands are in Left and Back and do seq 08 – This will make a Hori9zontal Line
  • If Horizontal Line is found hold it horizontally and do seq 08

– This will make a Cross10

3.2 Solve top four top edge pieces.

  • Turn the U, clockwise or anti-clockwise check is there any correctly oriented pieces in there.
  • If no top edge piece is correctly oriented, just do seq 09
  • If one top edge piece is oriented correctly : Hold it to the Front and do seq 0911
  • If two opposite top edge pieces are oriented correctly : place it in a vertical position. (Front and Back) and do seq 09
  • If two adjacent top edge pieces are oriented correctly :

place it in L position (Right and Back) and do seq 09

Then you’ll get correctly oriented top four edge pieces. (Turn U couple of times to check – if needed).

3.3 Make the top corner pieces are located correctly

Here after, don’t turn any side except using the standard sequences. You can turn entire cube around the y axis if you want.

  • Find the top corners that located correctly (May or may not oriented correctly)
  • If no top corner is located correctly, just do seq 10 and check for top corners located correctly
  • If one top corner is located correctly hold it to FRU position and do seq 10 and check for top corners located correctly.
  • If two same side top corners are placed correctly Hold it front side and do seq 10.

Do this until all four top corners are located correctly. At the end, you’ll get correctly located top four corners.

3.4 Make all top corners oriented correctly.

Hold the correctly oriented top corners (if any) to back right hand side as much as possible. Here keep in mind that the goal is solving each FRU corner one at a time. So, do seq 03 until each FRU corner is solved.

When the first FRU Corner is oriented correctly, do U’ until you get the next unsolved FRU corner.

Do this repetition until all top corners are oriented correctly.

In this step don’t move the entire cube. Move only U’ and then do seq 03.


Now it is solved. (Sometimes you may need to do couple of simple U / U’ or D / D’ more )

Note that there are many ways to do this and this is only one way. And it is very hard to explain each step by step in micro level. This is just a guide. So, I believe you’ll also use your brain to catch the pattern of this. I also learned it through couple of Youtube videos.

References :

Just google : “how to solve a rubik’s cube for beginners youtube”. 😛


Written by Namal Fernando

March 30, 2015 at 10:51 pm

Posted in Fun

Tagged with ,

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