Introduction: How to Solve a Rubin's Cube! (Also Some Pretty Patterns!)


Step 1: Notation!

Notation is very important when learning algorithms. each letter represents a different type of turn respectively.All single turns are represented by capital letters such as U or F, lower case letters means two layers to be turned in the same direction.

All of the images above are from the position of white on top, blue towards you, red on the left, orange on the right and green at the back.

Image 2 shows the R move, moving the right side away from you.

Image 3 shows the R' move, this is just moving the right side in the opposite direction from the R move.

Image 4 shows the U move, this is moving the top face clockwise.

Image 5 shows the U' move this is moving the top face anti-clockwise or the opposite direction to U.

Image 6 shows the F move, this is moving the front clockwise or towards the right.

Image 7 shows the F' move, again this is the opposite direction to the F move.

Image 8 shows the L move, this is moving the left side towards you.

Image 9 shows the L' move, this is the opposite direction to the L move and is moving the left side away from you.

Image 10 shows the B move, this is moving the back face clockwise from your perspective.

Image 11 shows the B' move, this is moving the back the opposite way to before or anti-clockwise from your perspective.

Image 12 shows the D move, this is moving the bottom face anticlockwise from above or the bottom left piece to the bottom right.

Image 13 shows the D' move, this is moving the bottom face clockwise from above or the bottom right piece to the bottom left.

If any of these don't make sense then visit this website for an actual demonstration:

You have to click on the letters to see what they mean.

Step 2: White Edges

  1. There are two ways to do this step, the easier method is the one I will explain here, you will move all four white edges into place so that they are surrounding the yellow middle piece in any order. You will the move the edge piece into position and double twist it. The more difficult method is quicker, however you have to get the white pieces surrounding the white cross in the correct order which is harder to do at the beginning.

Firstly you will move the pieces into the correct position, as you can see the red corner piece is already in place next to the yellow.
The next obvious piece to move into place would be the green corner.

You can then move the next two white pieces into place in three moves which is shown by the photos 5 through 8 above.

This creates a white cross around the yellow middle piece. You the move the edge piece into its correct position and double twist it as shown above. Luckily with this scramble the white pieces are already in place to double twist, if not you will just have to turn the top piece with either the U or U' move. You will then have solved the white cross with the correct permutation and can move on to solve the first two layers!

Step 3: First Two Layers! (F2L)

From the first photo you see the red/blue/white corner piece next to the red/blue edge piece, what you want to do is to move it so the lower facing edge colour is the top colour of the corner piece. In his case you want red on top for the corner piece. To achieve this we have to move the edge piece out of the way and move the corner piece with the red facing upwards. In the following situation I will be using the cube as if the yellow is the top face and blue is the front.

The sequence of moves should be L U2 L'

This should move the corner out of the way, move the edge piece to the back of the cube and move the corner piece back. This leaves the corner piece in a position to move the red on top and not interfere with the edge piece, ( This will be an F move ) Then you will have to move the White edge piece you have moved out of the cross into place without affecting the two pieces you're focusing on. To do this do U/U' until you can do an F' without affecting the pieces you are using. Then do U/U' until it is in the correct permutation. Now we have moved the white corner into place we would sometimes move the corner piece around because otherwise it would not match up with the colour pairs (e.g. The White piece would be in the way of one of the pairs and would be in the wrong permutation. This would be done with a B U/U' B' or B' U/U' B. However the algorithms are not needed in this case.

To match up the pair we would first have to move the corner into place by having the piece in between the Blue/Red/Yellow faces. Again it is luckily in place.
With the blue face facing you and the yellow up the sequence will be R U R' . What this does is that it matches the Blue/Red corner and edge pieces, the U moves it into place next to the right face, then the R' moves the matched pieces back down without messing up the right cross. This is shown by pictures 6-9

So what we have learned so far is too move the corner piece so the colour facing upwards is the opposite of the edge piece, then move the corner piece into the correct position. We can then move the corner piece into the right place to match up with the edge piece and move into position to solve a full corner.

I will now go through all other examples of the matching edges and corner pieces for this scramble to solve the First Two Layers. If you think you can understand this step or have completed it move onto step 4 where we will look at creating the yellow cross. However you will have to make sure not to mess up parts already solved, I will show how to do this later in the step.

From the 10th picture you should be able to see the orange blue white corner and the orange blue corner. Because the corner is in the second layer we will have to bring it up before doing anything. However because the orange is on top we can think ahead and aim to move the edge piece so that it is facing upwards. In the. 11th and 12th photos you can see me moving the corner piece around so it is not affected and move the edge piece up. If we move the corner piece in the rut place we should be able to orient it and move it into place, other wise you may have to go back to the first example. We can then move the corner piece to match the edge piece, with a U' move it in between the orange and blue faces and back down to solve the second corner.

We are half way through step three! Congrats!

Picture 18-21 show that the orange and green corner/edge are already matched up, the photos are giving and example of how to move it into the corner.

Picture 22 shows the red green corner and the red green edge (you can only see the green for the edge) because this is the last corner we have to make sure we do not mess up the corners already solved. This means we can only do moves that affect the pieces between the green and the red faces. Because the red is on top that means it has the correct orientation, however if we were to to and move it into place it would not match up as the whit piece would be in the way. To fix this problem we want to move the corner piece around without manipulating the edge piece and without messing up the corners we have completed. To do this, we can only do moves that bring the pieces between red and green to the top layer of the cube. To move the green red white corner piece around we have to move the edge piece out first. To do this we bring it above either the green or the red face. In this case it is the green. If you imagine that the green face is towards you and the yellow face is on top, do an F move. This move it out of the way and brings up only useless pieces. When moving the edge piece round in this situation it should always end up in a corner as far away as possible form the face the edge piece is on, this will be a top right or top left. As it is in the wrong place and top left, I do a U move and move it to the top right. I then do an F' to move the edge piece back in the top layer and do U2 to get the corner between green and red. I can then move it so it matches up, do a U' move and move the two matched pieces into place and then move them down so that the first two layers are complete!

This is the most time consuming part, the way to get quicker is by doing it a lot of times so it can become intuitive. This is where you will see intuitive F2L. However, if you need to you can look up algorithms for all the possible situations.

We are onto the final layer!!!

Step 4: Yellow Cross

Pictures 1, 2 & 3 are the three different scenarios you will have to deal with when trying to make a yellow cross. (You may also get a cross and be able to skip this step)

Scenario 1 is the one I come across most. It is shaped like an arrow head of some sort, we can ignore all corner pieces for this step. When we come across this scenario we must move the top layer or the entire cube so that the arrow points top left. This is what I have done in the first picture. If this doesn't make sense you want to have both edge pieces facing towards you and out to the right. Here is where the first algorithm comes in. For this scenario the algorithm is with a double layer turn. In this case it begins with a lower case f.

Algorithm: f( R U R' U') f'

The bracket is just for a common algorithm.

This will move the two corner pieces onto the top layer and create a cross. To remember that it is a double turn, think of the yellow edges facing out in two directions!

Scenario 2 is the line, if you have this then you should make it horizontal to you.

Algorithm: F( R U' R' U') F'

To remember this think of the line only going in one direction. Again this will leave you with a cross.

Scenario 3 is where all of the pieces and on the outside of the first layer. To move them all up we have to do the algorithms for scenario 2 then 1.

Algorithm: F( R U' R' U') F' , f ( R U R' U') f'

This will get you to completing the yellow cross as shown in picture 4! We can now move onto orienting out edge pieces. Almost there!!

Step 5: Yellow Edge Pieces

For this step we have to orient the edges of the yellow cross.

This requires an algorithm which swaps the corner piece closest to you and the corner facing to the left.

Algorithm: R U R' U R U2 R' U

There are three possible scenarios for this step. Now you may have to do a number of U/U' moves to get the pieces into one of the scenarios.

The 1st scenario is shown by pictures 3 and 4. This is where two of the edges are in place and the final two are in the wrong place. To solve this have one of the unmatched edges facing you and the other to the left. Then proceed with the algorithm and it will match the pieces.

Picture 5 shows the cube after having gone through the algorithm.

The 2nd scenario is shown by pictures 6 and 7. This is where there are a pair matched by the are opposite each other. Have one of the matched edges facing towards you, go through the algorithm but miss out the U at the end. Then move the cube so you have the unmatched corner towards you and the other one out to the left. Then follow through with the algorithm another time and you will have solved the corners.

The third scenario is shown by picture 12, this is where the corners are already solved and you don't have to do anything!

Now we can move on to the final step on solving the cube!!!

Step 6: The Final Corner Pieces

First things first, there is an algorithm you will need to learn for this step. It is one of the hardest to remember and will take some time to get used to and become instinctive.

Algorithm: U R U' L' U R' U' L

What this does is it switches around all three pieces except for the one in the bottom right-hand corner if you're looking at it from above.

What you want to do is do U moves until one of the corner pieces is in the place.

For example having the red green yellow piece in between the yellow green and red face. It does not have to look matched up or be orientated, it just has to be in the right place. If the other pieces aren't in the correct place do the algorithm above until the are in the right place. They will most likely be in the wrong orientation.

To fix this you must have all of the correctly matched pieces from the bottom right going to the bottom left and then the top left. You will then do a U move and do the following algorithm two to four times until the yellow corner being moved is in the correct orientation. (The cube will look like it is getting unsolved but it is only temporary)

Algorithm: R' D' R D

Do a U move until an unsolved yellow corner is in the bottom right.

When all of the corner pieces are solved do a U move until the top layer is in the correct place.

Congratulations!! You have solved the rubiks cube! On to the after message!

Step 7: You Have Completed the Cube!

You have completed the cube! All you have to do now is do it about 20 times and you will have it covered!

Haha, only joking, however you will have to solve it a few times before remembering the algorithms.

But know you can do it! You have achieved your goal and can put all the pieces in the right place! As you have hopefully seen solving the cube is not overly hard, it's just a few sequences and some smart thinking.

Now you can relax and think about how you can do what the majority of people can't do!

If you want to solve the cube again reread this instructable. if you want to make some pretty patters on the Rubiks cube please move on to the next step. If this is where you finish, congratulations! Have a great time!

Step 8: Some Pretty Patterns As Promised!

You've completed the cube! Now you can make it look pretty!

To do the pattern in image 4 for you have to double twist each inner layer. The order does not matter.

Or use this Algorithm: U2 D2 F2 B2 L2 R2

Then you have the easy checkerboard pattern! The next few patterns are a bit harder and have more difficult algorithms you will have to memorise.

This algorithm is for the proper checkerboard pattern in picture 5 which looks even nicer: F B2 R’ D2 B R U D’ R L’ D’ F’ R2 D F2 B’:

In picture six we can see the dots pattern, this is where each face is surrounded by a different colour.

The algorithm is: U D’ R L’ F B’ U D’

Picture seven consists of lines surrounding the entire cube as shown in picture 7

The algorithm is: F U F R L2 B D’ R D2 L D’ B R2 L F U F

I believe these are the nicest patterns on the rubiks cube. Sadly this is where we finish out tutorial and where I say goodbye. Congratulations on following all the way to the end and I hope you have had fun learning from this tutorial. Have fun solving!

Kian Kordtomeikel

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