This guide is intended to show you how to solve the 3x3x3 Rubik’s Cube. There are many different ways to solve the cube however I have studied and used only one. I will try my best to describe how to solve this in as simplest as terms as possible along with pictures.
Understanding the cube
For the most part all you have to do is figure out your starting point and memorize the turns I will describe. Keeping things simple is the key. Do not worry if you mess up a side while making your turns as it’s going to happen whether you want it to or not.
Terms to remember
Block – a cube contains 27 blocks Cube – in the guide when stated to turn the cube it means literally turning the whole cubeFront Face – Side of the cube that faces you the whole time you’re doing the steps turnsPiece – the coloured sticker referred to
The Block Terminology
When I reference turns and setting up the cube for the turns I will talk about 3 kinds of things. The center Block, the middle side blocks, and the corners.
There are 6 center blocks. Each a different colour. No matter how you turn the cube this block will remain in the same spot and that is the side that is meant for that colour.
There are 12 side blocks. Each has 2 colours. They represent where in the cube two colours are suppose to connect to each other.
There are 8 corner pieces. Each has 3 colours. They connect 3 colours that are supposed to be next to each other.
Cube positions and Turns
First thing to do is to understand how the turns will work when you hold the cube in front of you. Here is a picture to explain.
During this tutorial I’ll be using words like “top right” and “front left” to describe how to turn the cube. To better understand this try to think of the cube as a 2 dimensional square and it should work out okay. The pictures on the next page show examples of the turns but can be confusing if you over think it. Depending on who you are you may want to come back to the pictures when doing the turns until you understand them.
The first Step is a combination of a few things. First find the side you want to work with for the first few steps as you don’t want to keep changing your mind. To do this find the center block of the colour you want to work with. (For the guide I’ll use green as the example)
The goal is to have the side looking like a plus sign.
Now keep in mind we have to use the side blocks to do this. Don’t worry about anything other than the green side blocks and the center block. First find a green side block somewhere on the cube. Now before moving it to where the center block is you now have to remember that the colour that is matched with the green colour will also need to match with that colours side. Here's an example of how the first block when in position with the center block can be right or wrong.
Here is an example of two parts of the plus being right and wrong
Now to do this the right way for beginners the easiest thing to do is once you have found a green side block make a turn which puts the green piece on the bottom of the cube so you can’t see it.
The next thing to do is to match the colour attached to the green piece to its side.
The final part of this is to turn the side of the cube so the green piece matches its center block.
Once you have 3 parts of the plus complete (or sometimes even before then) you may have to move one part of your plus in order to complete it. Here is an example.
The goal is to fill in the corners of the side. Keep in mind same as the side blocks; they all have to match their colours side. Here is the example.
There are 3 main scenario’s to use during this step.
(A). If you find a green piece on the bottom row continue with these steps. If not continue on (B). Once you have found a green piece on the bottom row, look at the bottom of the cube and see what colour the green piece is attached to. Then turn the bottom row so that piece is matched with that colour The example below will explain in greater detail.
In order to get the corner where you need it to go there is now a set of turns to accomplish. Here is an example
(B) If you cannot find any green pieces on the bottom row turn the cube slightly so you can see the bottom of the cube and find a green piece. If you cannot find one continue onto (C). Once you have found a green piece you must turn the bottom row so the green piece is matched to an empty slot at the top of the cube where a green piece should go. Here is an example
Use the example on the next page to place the green piece on the bottom row.
(C). Your side should almost be complete now unless somehow all 4 corners are at the top but all messed up. If you still have green pieces on the bottom row or bottom of the cube finish them first.
Okay now locate a corner on the green side that has a green piece in it but is not correct. Here is an example of what I mean.
The goal is to get this piece on the bottom row so you can complete the turns in part (A) to get it in the right corner. Here is an example of how you accomplish that.
After this has been done the green piece should be either on the bottom of the cube or on the bottom row. Simply repeat (A) or (B) to complete the side and move onto step 3
Now that you have one full side complete make it the bottom of the cube (turn it over) From now on that completed side whatever colour it is (green for the examples) will always be on the bottom now.
The goal of this step is to complete the bottom two rows of each side so it looks something like this:
At this point we are looking for any side block that would fit into any of the 4 side slots. Again 3 main scenarios to watch for.
(A) You will look on the top row (NOT the top of the cube) for a colour piece that can be put into a side slot. For example if a side piece needed is yellow and red and you see it in
the top row (either colour is fine) Move it to that colour to match it up. Here is an example
If you find one or more side blocks on the top go to part (D) Other wise go to (B)
(B) This part is the same as (A) however the block is backwards. Here is what I mean.
(C) If you cannot find a block on top that should go into a side slot it means the rest of the ones you need are all ready in the sides and are set wrong and need to be brought back out. Here is an example of what I mean.
Now this is where it gets easy to complete. Simply do the turns in (D) until it is on the top and then set it up to put it in the right slot (you may have to do the turn 2 or 3 times to get it in the right slot depending on the blocks position in the cube.
(D) NOTE: If coming from (A) and you no longer have anywhere to go, but the two bottom rows are not complete then go to part (B) to find the reason why and if that doesn’t finish it go to part (C). If you still have problems you have made a mistake somewhere. Simply these are the turns needed for all the situations for A, B, and C. Don’t over think this as it is much easier than what you may think.
For the example in order to show you in the picture how it works I had to change the front face to the left side instead of the right. Just keep that in mind and try not to get confused.
Now that you have the two bottoms rows complete it is time to focus on the top of the cube. The goal is to make a plus sign on the top of the cube however the method we used before to get the original plus sign will not work. Keep in mind now that front face will be back to the right side of the examples. The top of the cube can now look many different ways. There are even some times when you will all ready have a plus sign on the top and if you do move onto Step Five. Here are some examples of different tops you may have.
The ideal top to have is the long L however when you make the turns I will list in this step you will eventually get the plus sign anyway. The mind can play tricks with you on this step as in the 4th picture it does look like an L BUT don’t consider it one. The reason is when you make the turns it will just keep you going in circles. So with the two pictures listed as straight lines as long as you have them facing you the same way in the pictures (right side front face) the turns will work. When you have nothing it does not matter what side of the cube is your front face as long as your completed side is on the bottom. Here are the turns on the next page. If you try the turns and don’t get a plus sign repeat the turns until you do and move onto Step Five.
Now that you have a plus sign on the top of the cube the goal is to get all the side top middle colours to match their side. Here’s an example.
At times by doing the Step 4 you may have all the sides match in which case move on to step Six. What you have to do is move the cube around to see what you can match. You can even move the top row left or right to match up a side. A lot of the time you may only have to do the following turns once. In order to do that you need to have two sides that attach to each other have their top blocks match like in the picture above. If you are able to find that kind of match (using the example above) your front face becomes the side attached to the red. (not yellow but the colour on the other side) By doing the turns from that side you only have to do the sequence once. If you cannot match more than one side or you have two opposite sides that match it doesn’t matter what side is your front face but you will have to do the turns multiple times. Once you’re done move on to Step Six.
On this example my brown and white side both match so my face becomes the side attached to my brown side.
So at this point the bottom of your cube should be complete. The bottom two rows should be complete and the middle top center pieces should also be complete.
NOTE: At anytime the cube could actually be completed.
The next step is to set up your top 4 corner blocks for the final set of turns in step Seven. Now they may all ready be set up so after verifying that move onto step seven. If not follow the turns in this step and repeat them in order to set up the final turns.
Here is an example of how to tell if the corner blocks are set up right.
Now the important part in this step is to find front face the right way. Look at the corners and see if any are in the right spot. If you find one using the top of the cube as a reference turn the cube so that corner is in the bottom right hand corner of the top and then whatever that side is there becomes your face for the rest of the turns. If you don’t have any corners that match do the turns anyway and after doing them find one that does match then repeat the steps. Here is an example.
Here’s how to complete the turns for this step.
Now that all 4 corners are in their right spot they are set up for the final turn. Once you understand this turn it becomes the easiest to memorize. The goal is to complete the cube.
You may have one of a few possible outcomes to start with on the top of the cube and it is important which side becomes you front face. Here is an example with the possibilities of what the top of the cube may look like and I have placed the cube to show where your front face would be.
Most of the time you will have to do the turns multiple times just to solve one corner. Then you do One special turn and repeat the normal turns until that corner is complete and continue for all 4 corners. Please note your cube will get extremely messed up during this step and if it does and you lose your place, you may as well start all over again from the top. Now to know if the corner block is fixed the only thing you need to remember is when the top colour (blue in the example) shows up in the corner the right way that corner is complete. Here is an example of the turns so you know what I mean.
Once one corner is complete you have will have something like this
Now comes the part of the special turn. I will show 2 possibilities to try to explain it.
Or the other possibility is this:
To put it simply don’t do the turns if the corner block is all ready complete. Make a second top right turn to put the cube to a corner that needs to be completed. After doing the turns the cube should now be complete.