Mar 27, 2010

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Comprehensive Guide on Solving the Rubik's Cube, with A Rubik's Cube to Play with!

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MenuHow To Solve the Rubik's Cube
Solve 3x3 Rubik's Cube Top Edge Cubies
Solve 3x3 Rubik's Cube Top Corners
Solve 3x3 Rubik's Cube Middle Layer
Solve 3x3 Rubik's Cube Form a Cross on Last Layer
Solve 3x3 Rubik's Cube Correct Corners on Last Layer
Solve 3x3 Rubik's Cube Orient Corners on Last Layer
Solve 3x3 Rubik's Cube Correct Edges on Last Layer
Get a Rubik's cube or a Rubik's cube solving guide on Amazon
3x3 Rubiks Cube


Our goal is to solve a three-by-three Rubik's cube.

Let's do it!

A 3x3 Rubik's cube has 6 faces, each consisting of 9 little squares. Each square has a color out of 6 colors. You can rotate any side and the goal is to make every side have the same color. This tutorial teaches you EXACTLY how to solve the Rubik's cube. It is one of the easiest rubik's cube solutions. There are many websites on solving a Rubik's cube, but it's so DIFFICULT to find one that tells you exactly how to solve it from start to finish

Most of them either brag about their achievements or their awards or tell you part of how to solve it. I was very upset. Now that I know how to solve the rubiks cube, I am determined to write a post about it so anyone interested in solving a Rubik's cube can learn how to do it in a matter of hours.

Let's get our terms synchronized before moving on.

A cubie is the little cube in the Rubik's cube. A 3x3x3 Rubik's cube, for example, has 27 cubies.
A Face, depending on the context, can mean a Rubik's cube's face or a cubie's face. However, "...on red face..." would refer to the Rubik's cube's red face.
A square, depending on the context, can mean a side of a cubie or that of a cube's face.
An edge cubie is a cubie that sits on some edge of the Rubik's cube.
A corner cubie is a cubie that sits on some corner of the Rubik's cube.

Play with the Rubik's cube and you should be able to observe the following properties of the Rubik's cube:

The centered square of any face is fixed, meaning that the color of the face must match the color of the square at the center. Every cubie belongs somewhere, and belongs there only.

For example, an edge cubie consisting of color green and blue belongs to the edge between green face and blue face. You can find numerous instances of symmetry while solving the Rubik's cube. The examples I show might not cover all absolute cases, but they should cover all symmetrical or mirror cases. So if you don't see the configuration you need at first look for the symmetrical configuration.

Remember the above properties as well as you can. Repeat them in your mind several times. You cannot proceed without knowing those properties.

An algorithm is a sequence of moves you do on a Rubik's cube in order to go from one configuration to another. An algorithm is represented in this format: [letter][special symbol or empty] [letter][special symbol or empty] ...

[letter]: It represents the face you rotate. The following is a list of possible values and what faces they represent:
* L - left face
* R - right face
* U - top face (up)
* D - bottom face (down)
* F - front face
* B - back face
[special symbol or empty]:
* [empty] - rotate clockwise once
* 2 - rotate clockwise twice
* ' - rotate counterclockwise once

For example, "L R' U2 D F B" means "rotate left face clockwise, rotate right face counter-clockwise, rotate top face clockwise twice (same as counter-clockwise twice), rotate bottom face clockwise, rotate front face clockwise, rotate back face clockwise." I will be speaking in these terms when I describe an algorithm. So you MUST know these terms before moving on.

The orientation of the Rubik's cube you see when the webpage finishes loading is the orientation we use. It should be straightforward where "left", "right", "front", "back", "top", and "bottom" are. If you rotate the Rubik's cube with your mouse, you need to refresh the webpage in order to have the Rubik's cube revert to the original orientation.

In the examples I show, I only show colors for relevant cubies and leave the rest cubies gray. Also, to be consistent, the front face in my examples is always red.

You might be confused as to what direction "clockwise" and "counter-clockwise" refers to. Play with the following Rubik's cube by pressing the Play button. It represents the algorithm "L L' L2 R R' U U' D D' F F' B B'".

Familiarize yourself with the buttons in the animation and drag your mouse on the cube to get a feel for it. It should be pretty straightforward how it works.

NOTE If you see no animations below let me know!

Solve Top Edge Cubies ▶
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One Minute Information - by Michael Wen
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