How to Solve a 3*3 Rubik’s Cube for Starters?

Amelia
19 Min Read

Rubi’s cubes are viral puzzles that people love to solve. Yet, it might also be a daunting challenge for some people. But that doesn’t need to be true for everyone. If you are facing troubles and wondering how to solve a 3*3 Rubik’s cube, you have landed at the right place. All you need is to understand the algorithms & steps through which you will learn to solve a 3*3 Rubik’s cube.

Abstract

This blog post will explain step by step how to solve a 3*3 Rubik’s cube using the Layer-by-Layer Method and the Advanced CFOP Method. From understanding crucial vocabulary to mastering basic rotations and essential algorithms, this post will equip you with the knowledge to solve a 3*3 Rubik’s cube. Moreover, you’ll also find clear instructions, helpful tips, and examples to accelerate your progress. So, don’t wait anymore and start reading this blog post.

Crucial Vocabulary to Solve a 3*3 Rubik’s Cube

Before you start reading this blog post, it is crucial for you to learn some crucial vocabulary. As a result, this will allow you to understand the Rubik’s cube algorithm properly.

  1. PB – It stands for “Personal Best” which is very self-explanatory. It refers to the fastest time that you might have achieved to solve the cube, while you are competing with yourself.
  2. DNF – It stands for – Did Not Finish. Thus, it means that you did not solve the cube within the fixed time frame.
  3. Edges – It refers to the pieces in the middle of each side of the cube’s edge. Also, each of them may have 2 colored stickers.
  4. Permutation – It refers to the arrangement of pieces on the cube that involves getting all pieces into their correct positions.
  5. Commutator – It’s a sequence of moves that manipulates a small number of pieces on the cube. But you must use the Commutator technique while leaving the rest of the cube unchanged.
  6. Swapping – Refers to exchanging the position of 2 pieces on the Rubik’s cube. Therefore, people use the word “Swapping” to describe a specific move or algorithm that exchanges 2 edges or corners of the cube.
  7. CFOP Method – CFOP primarily stands for Cross, First 2 Layers, Orientation of the Last Year, and the Permutation of the Last Year. Well, it’s a popular technique for solving a 3*3 Rubik’s Cube.
  8. Speedcubers – It is crucial for you to know all these vocabulary words before learning the basic rotations of a Rubik’s cube.

You should finally be able to understand the crucial vocabulary that will help you to understand this blog post easily.

Rotations of a 3*3 Rubik’s Cube

Before learning how to solve a 3*3 Rubik’s cube, you should be aware of some basic rotations. So, you should go through this section right away.

Basic Face Rotations

This rotation allows the gamer to turn one of the 6 cube faces clockwise or anti-clockwise. So, explore some basic face rotations below.

  1. Clockwise Rotation – It involves turning the face of the cube 90° in the clockwise direction.
  2. Anti-Clockwise Rotation – This involves rotating the face of the cube 90° in the opposite direction of the clock.

Slice Turns

This turn refers to the movement that involves rotating 2 layers of the cube at the same time. However, you also need to ensure that you do not change the rest of the cube. So, here are some types of slice turns you should know about.

  1. Single Slice Turn – This involves rotating a layer of the cube while keeping the remaining cube stationary.
  2. Double Slice Turn – It requires rotating 2 adjoining layers of the cube while keeping the remaining cube stationary.

Two Layers at the Same Time

This involves turning 2 adjacent layers of the cube at the same time. For instance, U2 represents a double-layer turn of the top (U) layer, rotating 180°. Also, D2 constitutes a double-layer turn of the bottom (D) layer, rotating it 180°. Furthermore, R2 acts for a double-layer turn of the right (R) layer, rotating it 180°.

Whole Cube Orientation

This orientation refers to solving the entire cube within a specific reference frame. Thus, it describes the cube’s positioning. So, here are a couple of whole cube orientations you should know about.

  1. Rotation – You can rotate the cube around any axis, changing its orientation in space.
  2. Orientation – A Rubik’s cube has 6 possible orientations, representing each of the 6 faces of the cube.

Big Cube Rotation

In Rubik’s cube notations, letters & symbols don’t represent the big cube rotation. Instead, they typically describe verbally or visually. For instance,

  1. Clockwise Rotation – Turn the entire Rubik’s cube 90° in the clockwise direction.
  2. Anti-Clockwise Rotation – Rotate the entire Rubik’s cube 90° in the anti-clockwise direction.

Piece Rotation

In the Rubik’s cube, letters & symbols represent the Piece Rotation. Therefore, it denotes that you should rotate the specific piece of the cube on the necessary side. However, there are no specific notations for a specific piece rotation. Also, it is, typically, a part of the larger algorithms, such as basic face rotations, slice rotations, etc.

Finger Trick Rotation

It is crucial for achieving faster solve times in speedcubing. There are various types of finger trick rotations that you can use, such as the following:

  1. Single Finger Movement – This involves using individual fingers to flip specific faces or layers of the Rubik’s cube.
  2. Double Finger Movement – It requires using 2 fingers in different combinations to flip faces or layers of the cube faster.
  3. Rapid Wrist Movement – This entails using your wrist rotations to flip faces or layers with greater speed & efficiency.

Algorithms of a 3*3 Rubik’s Cube

Now you must know about some basic algorithms of a 3*3 Rubik’s Cube:

Edge Permutations:

  1. UA Permutation – [R U’ R] U R U R U’ R’ U’ R2; and (y2) R2 U’ R’ U’ R U R U R U’ R]
  2. UB Permutation – R2 U R U R’ U’ R’ U’ R’ U R’; and (y2) R’ U R’ U’ R’ U’ R’ U R U R2]
  3. Z Permutation– M2 U M2 U M’ U2 M2 U2 M’ U2; and (y) [U R’ U’] R U’ R U R U’ R’ U R U [R2 U’ R’ U]
  4. H Permutation  – M2 U M2 U2 M2 U M2.

Corner Permutations:

  1. AA Permutation – l’ U R’ D2 R U’ R’ D2 R2
  2. AB Permutation– l U’ R D2 R’ U R D2 R2
  3. E Permutation – x’ [R U’ R’ D], [R U R’ D’  R U R’ D  R U’ R’ D’] and (y) x’ [R U’ R’ D] [R U R’ D’] [R U R’ D] [R U’ R’ D’]

Corner & Edge Swap Permutations:

  1. T Permutation – [R U R’ U’] R’ F R2 U’ R’ U’ [R U R’ F’]
  2. F Permutation– [R’ U R U’] R2 y’ [R’ U’ R U] y x [R U R’ U’] [R2 x U’]; and R’ U2 R’ d’ R’ F’ R2 U’ R’ U R’ F R U’ F
  3. JA Permutation – [R’ U L’] U2 [R U’ R’ U2] [L R U’]; and (y) L’ U’ L F L’ U’ L U L F’ L2 U L U
  4. JB Permutation – [R U R’ F’] [R U R’ U’ R’ F] [R2 U’ R’ U’]
  5. RA Permutation – [L U2′ L’ U2′] L F’ L’ U’ L U L F L2′ U; and (y) [R U R’ F’] R U2 R’ U2 R’ F R U R U2 R’ U’
  6. RB Permutation – [R’ U2 R U2] R’ F R U R’ U’ R’ F’ R2 U’
  7. V Permutation – [R’ U R’ U’] [x2 y’] [R’ U R’ U’] [l R U’] [R’ U R] U; and [R’ U R’ d’] R’ F’ R2 U’ R’ U R’ F R F
  8. Y Permutation – [F R U’ R’ U’ R U R’ F’] [R U R’ U’] [R’ F R F’]
  9. NA Permutation – {L U’ R U2 L’ U R’} {L U’ R U2 L’ U R’} U; (y) {L U’ R U2 L’ U R’} {L U’ R U2 L’ U R’} U’; (y) [R U’ R’ U] l U F U’ R’ F’ R U’ R U l’ U R’; and (z) D R’ U R2 D’ R D U’ R’ U R2 D’ R U’ R
  10. NB Permutation – {R’ U L’ U2 R U’ L} {R’ U L’ U2 R U’ L} U’; (y) {R’ U L’ U2 R U’ L} {R’ U L’ U2 R U’ L} U; (z) U’ R D’ R2′ U R’ D U’ R D’ R2′ U R’ D R’; and (y) R’ U R’ F R F’ R U’ R’ F’ U F R U R’ U’ R

Corner & Edge Cycle Permutations:

  1. GA Permutation – [R2 u] R’ U R’ U’ R u’ R2 y’ [R’ U R]
  2. GB Permutation – [L’ U’ L] y’ {R2 u R’ U R U’ R u’ R2}; and (y2) [R’ U’ R] y {R2 u R’ U R U’ R u’ R2}
  3. GC Permutation – [R2 u’] R U’ R U R’ u R2 y [R U’ R’]
  4. GD Permutation– [R U R’] y’ R2 u’ R U’ R’ U R’ u R2

After learning about the basic algorithms, now you must move on to the next section to learn how to solve a Rubik’s cube 3*3.

Methods to Solve a 3*3 Rubik’s Cube

If you are wondering how to solve a 3*3 Rubik’s cube step by step, it involves a series of algorithms. Moreover, they are also the sequences of moves that can manipulate specific parts of the cube while other parts remain unchanged. So, here is a basic and an advanced method along with the key algorithms you can use.

How to Solve a Rubik’s Cube 3*3 Using Layer by Layer Method?

Follow these layer by layer method carefully to solve a Rubik’s Cube 3*3:

Solve the White Cross

  1. Key Goal – Create a cross on the white face with matching edge colors on adjacent edges.
  2. Algorithm to Follow – Intuitive, no specific algorithms; simply position the white edges.

Solve the White Corners

  1. Key Goal – Place the white corner pieces correctly.
  2. Algorithm to Follow
      • RUR’U’
      • Repeat until the corner piece is correctly placed.

Solve the Middle Layer Edges

  1. Key Goal – Position the edge pieces in the middle layer.
  2. Algorithm to Follow
      • For moving an edge piece from the top to the middle layer (right): URU’R’U’F’UF.
      • For moving an edge piece from the top to the middle layer (left): U’L’ULUFU’F’.

 Solve the Yellow Cross

  1. Key Goal – Create a cross on the yellow face.
  2. Algorithm to Follow (based on the current state) –
      •  FRUR’U’F’ (if you have a line or an L-shape).

Position the Yellow Edges

  1. Key Goal – Place the yellow edge pieces correctly.
  2. Algorithm to Follow
      •  RUR’URU2R’U (also known as the “Edge Cycle”).

Position the Yellow Corners

  1. Key Goal – Correctly place the yellow corner pieces.
  2. Algorithm to Follow – URU’L’UR’U’L (If 2 corners need to be swapped).

Orient the Yellow Corners

  1. Key Goal – Correctly align the yellow corners.
  2. Algorithm to Follow
      •  R’D’RD (Apply multiple times to align a corner, then move to the next corner).

How to Solve a 3*3 Rubik’s Cube Using Advanced CFOP Method?

Now start reading about how you can solve a 3*3 Rubik’s cube using the CFOP Method.

Cross

  1. Goal – Solve the white cross on the bottom layer.
      • Identify Edge Pieces – Find the white edge pieces.
      • Position Edges Correctly – Place each white edge piece so that it aligns with the corresponding centrepiece on the sides.

Tip – Practice creating the cross on the bottom layer to speed up solving.

First Two Layers (F2L)

  1. Goal – Solve the F2Ls simultaneously by pairing up corner & edge pieces.
      • Locate Pairs – Identify edge pairs & corner pieces that need to go to the same slot.
      • Insert Pairs – Use algorithms to insert these pairs into the correct positions without rearranging the already solved cross.

 Orientation of the Last Layer (OLL)

  1. Goal – Orient all pieces on the last layer so that the top layer is entirely yellow.
      • Recognize Patterns – There are 57 different OLL cases.
      • Execute Algorithms – Use specific algorithms for each case to align the last layer.

Permutation of the Last Layer (PLL)

  1. Goal – Diversify the pieces on the last layer to complete the cube.
      • Recognize Patterns – There are 21 PLL cases.
      • Execute Algorithms – Apply the correct algorithm to diverge the last layer pieces.

Practice & Tips for How to Solve a 3*3 Rubik’s Cube

Now, you must follow the below tips to solve a 3*3 Rubik’s cube.

  1. Learn the Algorithms – Memorize the steps for each case in OLL & PLL.
  2. Practice Recognition – You should quickly recognise OLL & PLL cases to speed up your game.
  3. Look Ahead – You should also anticipate the next moves during F2L to save time.
  4. Use Efficient Movements – You should, lastly, optimise your finger tricks & turns to minimise pauses.

If you are wondering how to solve a 3*3 Rubik’s cube step by step, simply practice these steps carefully and familiarise yourself with the algorithms.

Wrapping Everything Up

This blog post further breaks down the complexities and provides information regarding how to solve a 3*3 Rubik’s cube step by step. In addition, it also sheds light on some crucial vocabulary, basic rotations, and essential algorithms.

Whether choosing the primary layer-to-layer or advanced CFOP method, discover the most effective tips to solve the Rubik’s cube faster. So, let’s start learning about how to solve the Rubik’s cube with detailed instructions now. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Question – How to solve a 3*3 Rubik’s cube?

Answer – To solve a 3*3 Rubik’s cube, complete the First Layer Cross, the First Layer Corners, the Second Layer, the Third Layer Cross, and the Third Layer Corners.

 Question – How to solve a Rubik’s cube 3*3 quickly?

Answer – Also known as the Fridrich method, the CFOP method is among the most commonly used methods to solve a Rubik’s cube 3*3 quickly. This method was developed in the 1980s. And you need to combine innovations with speedcubers.

Question – What’s the ZZ method to solve a 3*3 Rubik’s cube?

Answer – The ZZ method was released in 2006 by Mr. Zbigniew Zborowski. Also, people use this method to solve a 3*3 Rubik’s cube quickly. Also, the main variants ZZ method are ZZ-a, the original, ZZ-b, ZZ-c, and ZZ-d.

Share This Article