**How to Solve a Rubik’s Cube**

In the movie Pursuit of Happyness, Will Smith’s character impresses his new boss by solving a Rubik’s cube for him. The boss doesn’t think he can do it, but Will’s been studying and solves it on a cab ride home.

The cool part about this is that instead of calling in an extra for the part or getting Mr. Rubik to do the scene and Crop Will’s face out of it – Will Smith decided to learn it himself and do it live for the camera. And that’s exactly what he did.

**Will Smith Rubik’s Cube Scene**

The thing is – you don’t have to be Will Smith to solve a rubik’s cube – anyone can learn how to solve a rubik’s cube – and you don’t have be a genius to do it! Nope, there’s a method to the madness that you can learn (and that’s what you’ll find in this tutorial today).

I picked up Rubik’s Cube a few years back when I was bored at work and needed to keep my mind busy. I learned how to do it in less than a day and learned how to get faster over the next few weeks.

I’m no where near the elite level of rubik’s cubing, but I’m good enough to pull it out as a party trick :). Keep in mind, there are whole underground communities dedicated to this (more on this later), but today is aobut learning how to solve your first rubik’s cube.

## A Note on Rubik’s Cube Notation

Table of Contents

First of all, solving a rubik’s cube involves various “moves.” At each step, you’ll need to do a series of moves. I’ll be explaining the moves with visuals, but I’ll also include notations for how to make each move work.

Here’s what each of those mean – a sort of “rubik’s cube glossary”, if you will.

**Rubik’s Cube Notation**

r

u

f

F

b

Please note: all the ‘ mark means is that these moves mean to do the opposite of the original move. So, instead of moving it clockwise, you move it counterclockwise (in the reverse motion of the original mark)

f’

u’

f’

F’

b’

Got it?

All right, time to solve your first rubik’s cube.

## How to Solve a Rubik’s Cube

I took much of this from Badmephisto’s great website – which unfortunately is no longer available (as of this writing). This is by no means the fastest method, but is the most accessible for beginner’s.

**Make The White Cross**

Start with the white side. The center square should have a sticker on it. This will be your starter side.

Create a “white cross” as shown in the photo. You can do this pretty easily without any previous rubik’s cube knowledge.

First, you need to put the

**Bottom White Corners**

Once you have the cross ready to go, you need to fill in the corners.

There’s 3 main moves you need to move a white corner pieces into place.

**Move #1**

R U R’

**Move #2**

F’ U F

**Move #3**

R U2 R’ U’ R U R’

**Middle Layer Edges**

There’s 2 main moves you need to learn here.

*Scenario #1*

This move is where you need to move the designated square to match teh color on the front side of the cube.

The algorithm you use here is:

R’, U’, R’, U’ R’ U, R, U, R

Here’s a visual of this:

*Scenario #2*

This move is where you need to move the designated square to match the color on the back side of the cube.

The algorithm you use here is

R, U, R, U, R, U’, R’, U’, R’

Here’s a visual of this

*Note, this is the exact opposite of scenario #1.*

**Edge Orientation**

if no edges on top are yellow, apply the algorithm until you get it.

If you have opposite edges that are yellow, apply the following algorithm.

F (R U R’ U’) F’

If you have kitty-corner edges that are yellow, apply the following algorithm.

f (R U R’ U’) f’

**Corner Orientation**

The goal of this move is to make sure your yellow corners are oriented in the correct manner so that the yellow sides will all end up where they should be.

If one corner is yellow, move it to the bottom left, then apply the algorithm.

If two corners are yellow, rotate the top layer until the yellow sticker is on the front left, then apply the algorithm.

If zero corners are yellow, rotate the top layer until the yellow sticker is on the bottom left, then apply the algorithm.

R U R’ U R U2 R’

**Corner Permutation**

The goal here is to make sure that all your yellow corners are aligned in the proper positions so that they’re aligned with the right corners of the cube, before finally solving the cube.

Rotate the top layer until the headlights are in the back. If you do not have headlights, then apply the algorithm to get them.

R’ F R’ B2 R F’ R’ B2 R2

**Edge Permutation**

The goal here is to line up everything on the correct sides and solve your cube!

Rotate the top layer until the solved edge is in the back. If you do not have a solved edge, apply the algorithm to get them.

(R U’) (R U) (R U) (R U’) R’ U’ R2

## How to Solve A Rubik’s Cube Faster

**Step 1: Practice**

Practice Practice Practice. No one got fast just by solving a cube once. Leave the cube around the house and practice when you have downtime (or even when you’re watching commercials on TV). Pretty soon, you’ll be able to solve it in a couple minutes or even just a minute – which is great (although the world record times are much, much faster).

**Step 2: Time Yourself**

When you want to get started getting serious, start timing yourself. You can get a rubik’s cube timer here. Time yourself and see how fast you can solve them. Then, slowly get faster and faster. My best time is ~20 seconds.

**Step 3: Get a Faster Cube**

Contrary to what you might think, normal Rubik’s cubes that most people have are not what pros use while “speedcubing.” Most pros get special cubes that make it much easier to rotate & make different moves.

**Step 3: Learn Advanced Moves**

The method I’ve detailed out above is how you can do things step-by-step. Once you go down the rabbit hole of speedcubing though, you’ll find that there are tons of ways to solve multiple problems at once. You can get good at pattern recognition and different formulas to put multiple squares in multiple spots at the same time. This saves you moves and cuts down your time. You can learn some of these advanced moves at the following links:

- Badmephisto’s speed cubing guide
- Speedsolving speed cube forum
- Speedsolving wiki page
- Speedcubing.com

## More Rubik’s Cube Resources

This is just one of the things on my Impossible List that I’ve worked on – that I used to think were *IMPOSSIBLE * but decided to do anyways.

If you want more on Rubik’s cube solving, here are some communities you can jump right into.

- Badmephisto – the original rubik’s guide. This is how I first learned.
- Badmephisto’s app – the app is not that great, but it gives you the info you need.
- Rubiks.com