Introduction: Beginner's Method to Solving the 3x3 Rubik's Cube
Ok, So you've got yourself a cube, You don't have a clue how to solve it, and it's just sitting on your desk collecting dust. Most people think the Rubik's Cube is some kind of complex math puzzle that only geniuses can solve. It's not! With the help of this Instructable, you'll able to solve the 3x3 Rubik's Cube in a split-second! Well, maybe not that fast, but you will still impress your friends and get some attention. Let's get straight into it!
Step 1: Notations
The first step in solving the 3x3 Rubik's Cube is learning what all the faces and moves are represented by.
For example: The Front Face in the image above is represented by the letter F. Pretty simple. Here is a list of all the faces and their notations below:
- F - Front face
- R - Right face
- L - Left face
- U - Top face
- B - Back face
- D - Bottom face
When you see just a single letter such as F with nothing beside it you turn the Front face 90˚ Clockwise. If there is an Apostrophe after the letter such as: F', you turn the Front face 90˚ CounterClockwise. If you see a 2 next to the letter like this: F2 You turn the Front Face 180˚ Any direction.
For simplicity's sake, we will only be using the Front, Top, Left and Right faces in this tutorial.
Step 2: Solving the White Cross
The first thing you want to do in almost every method of solving the 3x3 is to create the White Cross. It doesn't have to be white but if you pick a different color then it will be more confusing. We recommend sticking with white for the sake of this tutorial. Now there isn't really a plain algorithm to creating the white cross but you want to follow a few basic rules.
First you want to find a White Edge piece, not a corner piece but rather the inside edge (has 2 stickers). Once you've found one you need to turn it until it matches with the White Center (The inside piece that never moves). If you've come across a case like in the 2nd picture of this step, hold the cube so that the piece you want to rotate is on the R face and the White Center is facing up. Then preform this algorithm once: R' U F' U'. It should have rotated the piece so that it matches with the white center and whatever other color is below it. Repeat this for the other 3 edges.
Step 3: Solving the White Edges
Once you've solved the White Cross, all you need to do to solve the White Face is to insert the correct edges into the correct slots and orientate them so all the white matches up to form the White Face.
In the 2nd picture of this step you will see a corner in the Bottom face that needs to be put into the Top face. To do this, position the corner below the corner it needs to be in and preform this algorithm: R' D' R D until the white corner is in the White Face. If you have a corner already in the White Face, but it is the wrong color, Preform the R' D' R D algorithm once to relocate it to the Bottom face. Then you can turn the Bottom face so it's under its correct slot, and R' D' R D it in place.
Step 4: Solving the Middle Layer
You just finished solving the White Face in the previous step. The next step is to solve the Middle layer. This step will have 3 algorithms in it and they are a little bit long. But don't fret, they are some of the easiest to learn. Once you've learned them it is also one of the fastest algorithms to preform.
First you want to rotate your cube so that the White Face is facing downwards as shown in the first picture. Rotate the Top face so that an edge's color matches that of the center piece below it as shown in the 2nd and 3rd pictures. To send the edge to the left side preform this algorithm: U' L' U L U F U' F'. To send the edge to the right side preform this algorithm: U R U' R' U' F' U F. If you have the case shown in the 4th picture, preform the U R U' R' U' F' U F once to pop it out, turn the U face 180˚ (U2) and preform U R U' R' U' F' U F to put the flipped piece in place. It should now be orientated correctly. Repeat this for the other edges until the middle layer is solved.
Step 5: Yellow Cross
Solving the Yellow Cross is much easier that solving the White Cross. You just repeat a simple algorithm a couple of times (or none at all if your lucky) There are 4 possible cases you may have.
Case 1: A Single dot in the middle: Hold your cube so that the dot is on the Top face and preform this algorithm: F R U R' U' F'. Move on to Case 2.
Case 2: An L shape like in the far-left cube in the 2nd picture. Hold your cube like in the far-left cube in the 2nd picture, and preform this algorithm: F R U R' U' F'. Move on to Case 3.
Case 3: A Line as shown in the middle cube in the 2nd picture. Hold your cube like in the middle cube in the 2nd picture. Then, preform this algorithm: F R U R' U' F'. Move on to Case 4.
Case 4. A Cross as shown in the right cube in the 2nd picture. Your done with this step and can move on to Step 6!
Step 6: Swapping Final Layer Edges
Once you've made the Yellow Cross, it's time to swap the edges out with each other so that they match the colors beneath them. To swap out the edges as shown in the 2nd picture, hold the cube as shown in the picture making sure the 2 edges you want to reverse are on the Front and Left faces. Then, preform this algorithm: R U R' U R U2 R' U. Keep finding more edges to flip, and once they're all done you can move onto the next step!
Step 7: Position Yellow Corners
Once the edges have been positioned, we need to position the corners as well. First we need to find a corner that is in the right place (doesn't have to be facing the right direction, as long as the colors are the same) then hold the cube so that it is in the Top Right Front corner. Preform this algorithm to swap the edges in order according to the 2nd image(OK is the corner that is already in the right spot): U R U' L' U R' U' L. If there is no corner in a correct position, preform the algorithm on any corner.
Step 8: Orientating Final Corners
Once your corners are in their correct positions, you will want to orientate them so that the yellow matches up with the yellow and the same for all the other colors. This is by far one of the most easiest steps in solving a 3x3 Rubik's Cube. To orientate the Last Corners, find a corner that is not orientated right (i.e. yellow not matching up with the yellow face). Once you've found one, preform this algorithm until it is orientated correctly: R D R' D'. You may recognize the algorithm from step 3. Once you've orientated it, turn only the Top face so that another incorrectly-orientated corner is where the first one was. The reason you only turn the top face is that when you preformed the algorithm, you temporarily messed up the cube. If you would have turned the whole cube, All the faces would have been thrown off and it would have gone straight back to scrambled again. Once you have finished that, you're done! You've just solved yourself a 3x3. Now you can go back and memorize the steps so that you can solve the cube anywhere, without instructions. Thank you for visiting my tutorial on how to solve a Rubik's Cube, it really helps out!