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How To Solve The Rubik's Cube
By Ryan Kagin

Now, this guide is going to be brief and subtle. In order to do any of the moves, you need to know the notation:

Side Direction Explanation
L U,D When the Rubik's is facing you, turn the left face up or down, respectively.
R U,D When the Rubik's is facing you, turn the right face up or down, respectively.
F U,D When the Rubik's is facing you, turn the front face counter clockwise or clockwise, respectively.
B L,R When the Rubik's is facing you, turn the bottom face left or right, respectively.

These are pretty much the essential notation that you will need when solving this.

But, before we actually start solving the Rubik's Cube, you need to know what the strategy is, so that you know when to use the codes!
Strategy:   The strategy is that we solve by rows. You solve the first face by solving the first row with it. When you solve the first face, make sure the pieces match up with the other faces, don't just match them up in any old way. Next, you will solve for the second layer, not the bottom. After solving the second layer, you solve for the corners on the bottom, and then the edges on the bottom. After that, you are done!


Now here are the codes you have been waiting for:

Solving the First Row and Top Face

First, I must assume that you can solve one face by yourself. In order to even start this instruction basis, you must know how to do that. Otherwise you will finish this guide without having the front face done. Not only that, but as soon as you try to solve for it, you will screw up the rest.

Ha! What a joke that is. I think I'm the only one who can attempt to give you an incite on solving THE FIRST LAYER of the cube. All you need to know is the short hand above, and you'll be set. Let's get started!

The key to understand the first row is basically understanding where pieces go when. The cube orientation is placed so that you have the white face on top and the red face facing you. What I mean by this is that the red center is facing you and the white center is facing towards the sky/ceiling (whatever you want to call it). Lets say you want to put a red-white edge piece (white facing you, red on the bottom) where it belongs. It's location is at the bottom of that face. If you wanted to do that, all you would do is move the center row up. But then you lose the faces you originally had. If you wanted to move it up, you'll have to compliment it by moving it down. Therefore, you move it off to the side (bottom towards the right, BR), move the center down (equivelant of Right Up, RU, and left up, LU, and then rotating the cube downwards in fashion 90 degrees), put the piece back (BL), and moving the center back up (RD, LD). Now the piece is in the correct place! Now that you have the first one done, it's a lot easier to explain the rest of them.

That piece you had was oriented in the correct way placed on the bottom row in the center column. The place you wanted to put it (which will be referred to as the blank) is in the bottom center. Therefore, all you had to do was move it out of the way, put the row down, slide it in, and put it back. But what if the piece was on the left middle? Then you have to think a bit. The blank is at the bottom center. However, if you rotate the cube 90 degrees to your left, and rotate the left side down, you have the blank in the left middle. If you turned it 90 degrees to your right, and you rotate the right side down, you have the blank in the right middle. It's an easy way to switch where the blank would appear. So, what you want to do in this case is actually put the piece under where it would belong. That would require you to move the top left and the bottom left. Now look at the cube where it is. Just move it out of the face in which you will be turning (since you'll be turning the left face, move it to the right), turn the left face down, slide it back in, and put it up.

A similar thing happens if its the other way. Instead, just do a mirror image on the right side, by rotating the center to the left, and aligning it under it.

Now onto the corners. The concept is similar, only it'll be bottom left, and bottom right. All you have to do is find the appropriate piece, find the blank, and then move it out of the way, rotate the row down, slide it in, and put it back up. Piece of cake!

But what about if it's in the wrong orientation? Then you might have a problem. Here's a way to solve that. What you want to do is put it where it would belong under it's blank. Remember how I said move it out of the way? If you don't, it gets caught in the face, and starts to rotate. Put the piece under where it belongs. For example, lets say it's on the bottom left, and it belongs right above it. If you leave it there, and rotate the left row down, then it rotates. To get a good look at it, put your hand there, but then turn your head to the side to see. Look at the piece as you turn the face, and you'll see that the bottom showing part of the corner actually now points outwards. What you want to do then is move the bottom corner out of the face, and rotate that row back up. Now you have rotated it. Then you just follow the procedures.

That should get you all you need to know. If you don't know what's going on, or something is unclear about it, send me a letter on the form below. Thank you for your cooperation! Now it's time to go onto the second layer.


Solving the Second Row

When solving this row, what is basically going to happen is a piece from the bottom row is going to come up to the second row, and rotate 90 degrees. Here are four ways of doing it:

1.   For example, lets say you have your orange face facing you, and the yellow face to your right. The piece you want in the bottom row in the center is that orange and yellow piece. However, you want the yellow side to be facing you, since it will rotate 90 degrees. The way to do it is:

RD, BR, RU, BR, RD, 2BR, RU, BL, RD, BL, RU

But, this may not always work, which means you need this second code:

2.   If you have your orange face facing you, and the yellow on the right, but the piece in the bottom row in the center is the orange part of that facing you, then you'll need a different variation. Move this cube over to the yellow face, by rotating the bottom right. Then, face the yellow face, and do the following code:

LD, BL, LU, BL, LD, 2BL, LU, BR, LD, BR, LU

These two codes are the two essential codes I learned when solving the Cube. You do not need the other two codes. But, if you find these other codes to be easier to do, you can feel free to use the bottom two. Neither of these codes are necessary. You can use one pair or the other, but no need to use both. Upon meeting someone doing it a different way, he said this:

3.   Let's set up the same scenario as the second one, with the orange face, and the cube at the bottom with the orange side facing you. Rotate the bottom row to the left. Now perform this slightly shorter combination:

RD, BR, RU, BR, FD, BL, FU

4.   Now, let's set up the same scenario as the first one, with the yellow face in front of you, and the orange to the left. The piece you have at the bottom is the yellow on top, and the orange under. What you will do is rotate the bottom row to the right, and perform this slightly shorter combination:

LD, BL, LU, BL, FU, BR, FD

Using these combination, you should be able to solve the entire second row. Remember, the last two combinations are just different variations of solving the first two, but with shorter moves.


Solving the Third Row: The Corners

Now, let's go ahead, and solve the last row. What you need to know is that we will be solving the corners first. This combination switches the corners at the bottom of the front face. Don't worry about orientation of the corners yet, we will solve that later. To switch the bottom front corners, here is the combination:

RD, BL, RU, FD, BR, FU, RD, BR, RU, 2BR

You may need to do this code up to three times. If you do it more than that, you didn't plan ahead so far, and moved a corner in the wrong direction, switching it with something that shouldn't have. You'll get used to it after you do it a while.

Now that you have the corners in the proper place, let's fix the orientation. What this code does is hold one corner in place, while it rotates the other three. Specifically, it holds the front bottom left corner in place, and rotates the other three.

1.   To rotate the other three counter clockwise, here's the combo:

RD, BL, RU, BL, RD, 2BL, RU, 2BL

2.   To rotate the other three clockwise, here's the combo:

2BR, RD, 2BR, RU, BR, RD, BR, RU

You may be required to do one of these moves many times before solving this. Here is a sample predicament. All corners are mixed up. Two of them need to be rotated once clockwise, and two of them need to be rotated once counter clockwise. Instead of fumbling around, what you can do is hold one piece that needs to be rotated clockwise. Then, perform the second combination (rotating clockwise), so that you will solve one corner, but the other two will be rotated the wrong way. Now, you will have the other three that need to be rotated clockwise. Hold the solved corner, and do the second combination again, and you will have the corners solved. Now, onto the edges!


Solving the Third Row: The Edges

The edges are slightly different. Some of these codes take a while to solve. I had to invent some of these codes by myself, which means they are quite long and hard to do. They are variations of others, and combinations that I can't exactly decipher. Please, if anyone else has any better codes to solve it, please fill out the form below.

Anyway, there are two basic codes to solving the edges. This holds one edge in its place, and rotates the others. Here's what they specifically do. It holds the front edge that you see, and rotates the others around. Sometimes, they flip, and sometimes they don't. You will see a better description following each of the codes. Once you get to a position, where all the pieces are in the correct spot, but not in the correct orientation, jump to the next part, the "impossible" predicaments. With no further ado, here they are:

1.   What this code does, is holds the front face cube alone. The edge on the left moves over to the right side, but stays in the same orientation. The edge on the left side, moves to the bottom, and flips making the bottom color now appear on the side, and vice versa for the other side. The edge on the back also gets flipped, and moves over to the left face. Here is the combination:

RU, LU, FD, RD, LD, 2BR, RU, LU, FD, RD, LD

2.   What this code does, is holds the front face cube also. The edge on the right, moves over the the left side, but stays in the same orientation. The edge on the right side moves to the bottom, and also flips. The back edge flips over and moves to the right side. Here is the combination:

RU, LU, FU, RD, LD, 2BR, RU, LU, FU, RD, LD


Solving The Edges: The "Impossible" Predicaments

Now, here are the more difficult codes. What these codes do is solve the sides when you are in a strange predicament. They will be stated in each description of the combination. But remember, all the edges must be in their proper spot, but they don't have to be in their proper orientation.

1.   Look on the bottom. If you see the letter H, in the more dominant color, with each edge in it's proper spot, but not orientation, this is the code for you. Otherwise, skip to #2. If they are in the proper spot, but not orientation, you will use this code. It is somewhat long, but it will solve the cube completely. Don't loose your place, cause it's not cool. Believe me, I've learned from experience. You hold the cube by placing one of the correct spots but wrong orientation edges in front of you. Then you use this code:

RU, LU, FD, RD, LD, BR,
RU, LU, FD, RD, LD, BR,
LU, RU, 2FD, LD, RD, BR,
LU, RU, FD, LD, RD, BR,
LU, RU, FD, LD, RD, 2BR

2.   If you see that there are two pieces in the correct spot, but in the wrong orientation, and are diagonal to each other, you will use this code. It has two parts, so beware. If someone can find a way to solve it with one combination, that would be great. Just fill out the form below. To hold the cube, you put the wrong two pieces on the left and back. So, here is the code:

Part 1
RU, LU, FD, RD, LD, BL,
RU, LU, FU, RD, LD, BL,
RU, LU, 2FD, RD, LD

Part 2
Rotate your cube to see the face to the right of the original front face. Then perform the following:
RU, LU, FD, RD, LD, 2BR,
RU, LU, FD, RD, LD

3.   If you see that all four pieces are in the correct spot but in the wrong orientation, you will use this code:

LU, RU, 2F, LD, RD, 2B,
LU, RU, FD, LD, RD, 2B,
LU, RU, 2F, LD, RD, BL


An Alternative to The "Impossible" Predicaments

Through much research, I've actually found alternative ways to solve the Rubik's cube without using the "impossible" predicaments codes. These next two moves actually do the triangle move, only differently. You hold the cube differently, but it performs a triangle move.

1a.   On the triangle move, if you want to only move the left cube to the bottom, and flip the bottom to the right and the right to the left, flip your cube 90 degrees to the right, putting the piece you want to move on the bottom and it'll move to the right.
1b.   Perform this code:
LU, FU, RU, FD, RD, LD
BL, RD, BR, RU

2a.   If you want to move the right to the bottom, flipping the bottom to the left and the left to the right, move the cube 90 degrees to your left, so that the piece you want to move is on the bottom, moving to the left.
2b.   Perform this code:
RU, FD, LU, FU, RD, LD
BR, LD, BL, LU

3.   The converse can also be done, by doing the move backwards. If you want to move the back to the left or right, do 1 or 2 backwards.


 

 

CONGRATULATIONS!
You have officially solved the Rubik's Cube!
Please, follow below to fill out the form for comments.


Once you get the hang of it, send me your personal fastest time, and I'll post it up here! The following are the individual personal bests:
Rank
Name
Time of Personal Best
1
Chris Short
1:12
1
PJ Raoub
1:12
3
Ryan Kagin
1:29
4
David Kroboth
2:03

If you have any cool patters, you can fill out the form below. Here are some of the patterns I have now:

Checkerboard:   2RD, 2LD, 2BR, 2 top R, 2FD, 2 back D.
Mixed Centers:   RD, LD, top R, BR, FU, back U, top R, BR.


Once you have solved the Rubik's Cube, please, tell me about my site. Was it informative, or not at all? Do you have a new code that could possible make it faster to solve (the layer by layer way, still, but it does a move in shorter time)? Give me your input on this site, and how it could be improved to help others!

What is your name?What is your email?

Put here your combination, in my notation, or spell it out, and tell me what it does.
If you have any combinations, you can put it in here, too.

Was this page of any help? Is it not clear? Anything to fix?


Updated 10/16/01 at 22:06:18 by Ryan Kagin