Solving the Rubik’s Cube
Centerpiece Corner piece Edge piece Left – L L clockwise L´ counterclockwise Front – F F clockwise F´ counterclockwise Top – T T clockwise T´ counterclockwise Right – R R clockwise R´ counterclockwise Back – B B clockwise B´ counterclockwise Legend for Algorithms C U B I S M A basic solution for the Rubik’s Cube
Centerpiece Corner piece Edge piece Left L Right R Top T Front F Back B Side Clockwise Counter- clockwise Legend for Algorithms C U B I S M A basic solution for the Rubik’s Cube

First Layer

Goal: Solve the first layer. Its top should be all white, and the other colors along its edge should match one another.

Form a white cross

Step 1: Form a White Cross

Position the cube so that the white centerpiece faces up. Move each of the four white edge pieces up into the first layer using the following algorithms. For an explanation of the letters in the algorithms, see the legend at the top of this webpage. An x on each illustration shows the final position of the piece after using an algorithm.

T´ R T

T T R T´ T´

T R T´


T´ F´ T

T T F´ T´ T´

T F´ T´

What if an edge piece is in the top or bottom layer?

Perform F or moves to bring the edge piece into the middle layer. Then use the appropriate algorithm listed above.

Step 2: Solve the Corners

Flip the cube over so that the yellow centerpiece faces up. Then find a corner piece that has white and is in the top layer. Use T or moves to relocate it directly above its target position, then use one of the following algorithms to put the piece into place. Repeat this process for the remaining three corner pieces.

T R T´ R´

T´ F´ T F

T´ F´ T F

What if a corner piece is in the bottom layer but not oriented correctly?

Use this algorithm: R T R´ T´. It will bring the piece to the top layer. Then use one of the algorithms listed above to put the piece back down into the right spot.

Middle Layer

Goal: Move four edge pieces into the middle layer, matching the colors on each piece with the centerpieces on the sides of the cube.

Look for edge pieces that do not have a yellow sticker on them. Position each piece, first using T or moves to put it on the desired side, and then using one of the following algorithms.

These slightly lengthier algorithms will preserve the positions of the pieces in the layer you already solved.

T R T´ R´ T´ F´ T F

T´ L´ T L T F T´ F´

What if the edge piece you want to place is already in the middle layer but not oriented correctly?

Use one of the previous algorithms to temporarily switch the piece with another piece in the top layer. Then proceed to reposition it correctly.

Final Layer

Goal: Solve the Rubik’s Cube by completing the last phase, which has four steps.

Step 1: Orient the Edge Pieces

Use the following six-move algorithm to get the yellow on all the edge pieces facing up.

R´ T´ F´ T F R

Step 2: Orient the Corner Pieces

Repeat the following eight-move algorithm until the yellow on all the corner pieces is facing up.

R T R´ T R T T R´ T T

Step 3: Position the Corner Pieces

Use the following 13-move algorithm to swap the positions of two corner pieces. Repeat until all four corner pieces are in their correct places.

R´ F R´ B B R F´ R´ B B R R T´

Step 4: Position the Edge Pieces

Use the following 12-move algorithm to move the edge pieces into their final positions.

R R T R T R´ T´ R´ T´ R´ T R´

More Stories

Deputy’s SUV collides with bystander’s car

A college professor returning to his lab after dinner finds himself in the middle of a high-speed police chase. His car is totaled, and a patrol vehicle overturns. Read.

Celebrating a street-ball mecca

Envision a courtside view at a legendary basketball court, the Rec. In its day, it was a proving ground for several players who later went on to compete in college and the NBA. Read.

Pinned in a scorching vortex

Wildland firefighter Ed Vuolo is in his tractor cutting paths into the soil to keep a wildfire from spreading. The fire suddenly blows up, trapping Vuolo in a fiery tornado. Read.