How To Solve The Rubik's Cube

The Rubik's Cube has been around since the 80s as this puzzle that you probably own, that sits in a drawer somewhere....eternally scrambled. Or...if you were clever, you swapped the stickers around so that it was solved again.

NO MORE.

Today, I teach you how to go about solving one of these puppies, so you can show off to your friends and show that cube proudly on your desk.

There are a few ways to go about solving the Rubik's Cube, but let's start with something that's easy and intuitive and will eventually get you solving a cube consistently in under 5 minutes. Sound good? Good.

One of the first AHA moments I had when I started trying to solve the cube was when someone told me that there are only 3 kinds of piece. The centers (one sticker), the edges (2 stickers), and the corners (3 stickers). Here's the piece of advice that really got my noodle cooking: the center pieces don't move. Seems obvious, I know, but it's crucial to understand this. Why is that important? Well because it can help you understand how the pieces move relative to one another. If the centers are fixed, then the white center piece is where all the white pieces NEED to go, the green center piece is where all the green pieces NEED to go, and so on. What's more, the pieces move around the center one. No way around that fact. The centers are fixed.

Okay once we wrap our head around that a little bit, next is to start solving.

So how, do we start solving? Let's do it in layers and solve the first layer first. If you imagine the cube to be a 3 layer cake, the first layer is what you want to solve. So basically, get one side all the same color, with the side stickers of that layer all correct as well. Best place to start is with the white side up, so try and solve for the white.

Step 1 - Find the cross: Try to first, get a cross shape on the white side. A "plus sign". This part is intuitive, yet might take you a little while to get good at (it's not hard, just play around with it).

Step 2 - Put in those first layer corners. Remember, the top sticker of that corner piece should be white, and the side stickers should match the center piece sticker that is on the same side. Make sense? Now, how to put in those corners is where you need to start learning something called "Algorithms". An algorithm in very simple turns is a series of instructions. In terms of the cube, it's a series of letters (representing parts of the cube) that represent an order of how to turn different parts of the cube.

Here's the syntax: Hold the cube in front of you. F is the front facing face. B would be the back. U is the top face facing up and D is the downward facing face. L is the outward left facing face and R is the outward right facing face. If a letter is written, you turn that face in the clockwise direction, if the letter is written but with a little tick next to it, it means turn that face counterclockwise. So R means turn the right face clockwise, R' means turn the right face counterclockwise. An algorithm might look something like this:

FURU'R'F' - Which translates to: turn F face clockwise, U face clockwise, R face clockwise, U face counterclockwise, R face counterclockwise, F face counterclockwise. Voila.

I won't put the algorithms here, you can find them all here: https://ruwix.com/the-rubiks-cube/how-to-solve-the-rubiks-cube-beginners-method/ But I will go over the rest of the steps to solve the cube (you'll just need some of those algorithms to help you along the way).

Step 3 - Fill in the edges of the second layer (remember the center piece is already fixed and in place, and there are no corners on this layer. Only edges, so fill in those edges!

Step 4 - Get the cross on the yellow (bottom) face.

Step 5 - Make the whole bottom face yellow

Step 6 - Move the corners so they are still yellow face up but in the right corner (matching the other stickers).

Step 7 - Final step. Move the edges so they are in the right place.

That's it! The rest is just practice!