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How do you solve a Rubik's Cube?

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See the Wikibook How to solve the Rubik's Cube.


This solution assumes a normal cube (3x3x3) with the standard colors in the standard positions. This is the popular layer-by-layer solve.

Notation Edit

  • F - front, B - back, L - left, R - right, U - up (top), D - down (bottom)
  • Hold the cube so that you can distinguish between these positions.
  • A normal move is a clockwise move of the face indicated (when looking at the face). A counterclockwise move is indicated by a prime ("'") A 180-degree rotation is indicated by "2".
  • Parentheses might be added for clarity or repetition.

Solving for the white cross Edit

First, orient the cube so that the center white piece is on top.

Next, try to solve for the edge pieces so that they form a white cross on the top face. Remember that the color of the edge piece other than the white color is significant. Since the center pieces of the cube can't change their order, you can use that as a guide.

Solving for the white corner pieces Edit

Try to solve for the corner pieces to place them in their right positions. If the white color is facing the bottom face, move it first so that it faces a center face. If the white color is in the top face, move it out of there first.

When finished, align the pieces with the center faces' center pieces. You should now see T's.

Solving for the middle edge pieces Edit

This time, orient the cube so that the white face is in bottom. Then look at the top face for non-yellow edge pieces (a middle edge piece). If found, align the color of the piece not facing the top face with the corresponding middle center piece and do the following:

  • If the color of the piece facing the top face is to the left then do:
    U'
    [M1] L' U' L U F U F'
  • If the color of the piece facing the top face is to the right then do:
    U
    [M2] R U R' U' F' U' F

Repeat until all four middle edge pieces are in their correct positions. If a middle edge piece is in the middle and it is not in its correct position or is oriented incorrectly, you have to move it out first:

  • Orient the cube so it is on front.
  • If it is to the left, do (M1). If it is to the right, do (M2).

Solve for the yellow cross Edit

The formation of the edge pieces on top should now be only the following:

  1. No edge piece oriented correctly.
  2. A line. (Orient the line horizontally)
  3. An L-shape. (Orient to form a left-right inverted L like this: _|)
  4. A completed yellow cross.

(If not, check to see if a middle edge piece is incorrect)

To move from one formation to another, do:

  • F U R U' R' L'

Solve the corner pieces to complete the yellow colors on top Edit

Look at the corner pieces and count the number of pieces with yellow on top.

  • No corner pieces
    Orient the cube so that the front-left corner piece has a yellow color on left.
  • One piece
    Orient the cube so that the corner piece with the yellow on top is at the front-left.
  • Two piece
    Orient the cube so that the front-left corner piece has a yellow color on front.

Then do:

R U R' U R U2 R'

Repeat until the yellow face is completed.

Orient the corner pieces correctly Edit

Look at the pairs of edges by face.

  • If there is a pair that has the same color, orient the cube so that it is on the back.
  • Otherwise, do nothing.

Then do:

(R' F) (R' B2) (R F') (R' B2) R2

Repeat until all four corner pieces are oriented correctly. Then align the corners with the middle and white parts.

Position the edge pieces correctly Edit

  • If all four edges are in incorrect positions, do any move described below.
  • If three edges are in incorrect positions, orient the cube so that the edge in correct position is at the back.
    • To cycle the edge pieces clockwise, do:
      F2 U (L R') F2 (L' R) U F2
    • To cycle the edge pieces counterclockwise, do:
      F2 U' (L R') F2 (L' R) U' F2

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