Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, learning how to solve a Rubik’s cube is fun and rewarding. The process also improves hand-eye coordination and reflexes.
Solving a cube requires patience and perseverance. But the end result will always be worth it.
How to solve a Rubik’s cube
Rubik’s cube is the world’s most popular puzzle, but it can be a daunting challenge for beginners. However, with a little patience and determination, you can learn how to solve the puzzle quickly and easily.
First, rotate the cube until all the white edge pieces next to the center are oriented properly. The top layer will look scrambled at this point, but don’t panic!
Now, move a corner cubie to the correct face by applying either U or U’. You will need to repeat this process on all the incorrect corners, but it’s worth doing so as it will help you complete the cube in a fraction of the time.
Once you have all the corners in place, it’s time to solve the bottom layers. You’ll need to apply all the same algorithms again as you did in the previous stages.
Scrambling the cube
Scrambling is the process of generating random moves on a Rubik’s cube. The result is a sequence of random states that are all equal in probability, called a Markov chain.
This is similar to how card shuffling works: as the number of random moves increases, the probability distribution of the cube’s states gets closer and closer to a uniform distribution.
In scrambling, a certain number of turns is required to generate a solution. It is important to keep in mind that when a cube is scrambled, the colors of the pieces no longer match.
This is why it’s essential to always start a cube from the initial position. Otherwise, you can end up in a position where a specific turn is impossible to make.
Solving the corners
The cube is solved using a series of movements called algorithms. Each algorithm is a sequence of twists that accomplishes a specific task.
In a completed Rubik’s Cube there are six central pieces that show one colored face, twelve edge pieces that show two colored sides each, and eight corner pieces that show three colored faces each. These cubes can be manipulated by twisting an outer third of the cube by increments of 90 degrees, but the location of the colored sides relative to one another in the completed state of the puzzle cannot be altered; it is fixed by the relative positions of the center squares and the distribution of color combinations on edge and corner pieces.
Solving the corners of the cube can be difficult, especially when there are only a few corners in the correct position but in the wrong orientation. In my experience, there are a few methods that can be used to solve the corners in a few quick steps without having to take apart the cube.
Solving the edge pieces
Before you begin working on solving the cube, it’s important to understand what pieces you need to get into place. This will help you to solve the puzzle intuitively without referring back to predefined algorithms.
Depending on the orientation of your cube, you might have to rearrange a corner piece to put it in the correct position. To do this, hold the top layer and spin it clockwise to orientate one of the corners.
Next, you will need to repeat the same algorithm on the opposite corner until it’s in the right position. This will usually take a few iterations.
Once you have orientated the edge piece, it’s time to move it onto the first layer of the cube. This stage is fairly straightforward, and there are only a few algorithms that you’ll need to know.
Solving the centerpieces
The Rubik’s cube has six centerpieces, which are the middle blocks of the moving edges. It also has eight corner pieces and twelve edge pieces.
Each of these cubies shows one colored face and can only be in a single orientation in its position. The colored sides are never interchangeable.
When you solve the cube, you need to orient all of its corners properly (aka get those yellow sides facing upwards). This can be tricky, but it will all come together in the end.
You’ll need to use a set of algorithms for this step, but it will be very simple and intuitive once you learn them. If a corner piece is in the right place, but not oriented correctly, you can reorient it by using the “right-hand algorithm.”e
Steven Barron is an expert in many fields like tech, education, travel, finance, games, cars, and sports. He started his career in the tech industry, where he learned a lot and got good at spotting tech trends. Steven then moved into writing. He loves technology and is great at telling stories. His articles cover topics like new gadgets, education, and finance. They are full of detail but easy to read. Steven loves to travel and is a big sports fan. This shows in his travel and sports writing, where he draws in readers with clear descriptions and smart insights.