How to Solve a Rubik’s Cube 3×3: A Beginner’s Guide to Advanced Techniques and Speedcubing Strategies

I. Introduction

The Rubik’s cube is a popular puzzle game that has fascinated people for over 40 years. In this article, we will provide a step-by-step guide to solving a Rubik’s cube 3×3, exploring beginner’s basic techniques, advanced methods, and speedcubing strategies. Before we dive into the solving methods, let’s briefly discuss the history and benefits of the Rubik’s cube.

B. Brief history of the Rubik’s cube

The Rubik’s cube was invented by Hungarian sculptor and professor of architecture Erno Rubik in 1974. It was initially created as a teaching tool to help students understand spatial relationships. However, it quickly became a worldwide sensation and a popular toy for puzzle enthusiasts. Today, the Rubik’s cube has become an iconic symbol of intelligence, creativity, and perseverance.

C. Benefits of solving the Rubik’s cube

Solving the Rubik’s cube is not only a fun and challenging activity, but it also offers a range of cognitive and emotional benefits. It can improve problem-solving skills, spatial reasoning, hand-eye coordination, and memory. Furthermore, it can boost confidence, reduce stress, and enhance overall mental well-being.

II. Step-by-Step Guide to Solving a Rubik’s Cube 3×3: Beginner’s Method

If you are just starting to learn how to solve a Rubik’s cube 3×3, the beginner’s method is the best place to begin. This method uses basic techniques that are easy to understand and memorize. Here are the steps to follow:

A. Understanding the cube

Before you start solving the cube, it’s essential to understand its components. The Rubik’s cube consists of three layers: the top layer, the middle layer, and the bottom layer. Each layer has nine small cubes known as cubies. There are six faces of the cube: front, back, top, bottom, left, and right. Each face has nine stickers of different colors.

B. Basic notation and terminology

The Rubik’s cube notation is a system of letters and symbols that represent the movements of the cube. It uses letters of the alphabet to indicate the different faces of the cube. Here are the symbols:

  • U – Up
  • D – Down
  • L – Left
  • R – Right
  • F – Front
  • B – Back
  • ‘ – Counter-clockwise
  • 2 – Double turn

C. Cross and first-layer corners

The first step is to make a cross on the bottom layer using the white side. The next step is to insert the corners of the first layer to form a complete white layer. This step might take some practice to master.

D. Second layer and orienting the last layer

The second step is to insert the edges of the second layer to match the center cubie’s color. Afterward, you orient the last layer to position the last-layer edge pieces and the yellow cross.

E. Permuting the last layer

The fourth step is to permute the last-layer corner pieces. This step can be intimidating at first, but with practice, it is easy to master.

F. Finishing the cube

The final step is to permute the last-layer edge pieces and position them correctly. Once you have accomplished this step, you have solved the Rubik’s cube 3×3 using the beginner’s method.

III. Mastering the Rubik’s Cube 3×3: Advanced Techniques for Solving

If you are interested in solving the Rubik’s cube 3×3 faster and more efficiently, it’s time to learn some advanced techniques. Here are some of the most popular methods:

A. Intuitive F2L

The first two layers (F2L) can be solved using intuitive methods. This means that you don’t have to memorize specific algorithms to solve the cubes. Instead, you use your intuition to complete the F2L.

B. Advanced F2L techniques

Using advanced F2L techniques, you can solve the first two layers faster and more efficiently. The most popular techniques are the ZZ method and the Heise method.


ZBLL (Zborowski-Bruchem Last Layer) and OLL (Orientation of Last Layer) are advanced methods for orienting and permuting the last layer. They require a significant amount of practice and memorization, but they can dramatically reduce solving time.


PLL (Permutation of Last Layer) is a method for permuting the last-layer edge and corner pieces. It involves a series of algorithms that you must memorize and execute quickly.

E. Advanced move sequences

There are various move sequences that advanced cubers use to solve specific cases on the cube. These sequences require a lot of practice to master, but they can help you improve your solving time significantly.

IV. How to Solve a Rubik’s Cube 3×3: Tips and Tricks for Speedcubing

If you want to become a speedcuber and break world records, you need to follow specific tips and tricks to improve your solving skills. Here are some of the most popular strategies:

A. Efficient turning and finger tricks

One of the most critical skills in speedcubing is turning the cube efficiently. You need to use finger tricks to minimize the amount of time it takes to execute an algorithm. Practice turning with different finger combinations to find the most efficient method for you.

B. Lookahead and recognition

Another crucial skill in speedcubing is recognizing the pieces’ position before you execute the algorithm. You need to develop your memory and spatial visualization skills for this to be effective.

C. Practice and repetition

Like any other skill, speedcubing requires practice and repetition. Set aside some time each day to solve the cubes and work on your weaknesses. Joining a cubing club or finding a cubing partner can also be beneficial.

D. Puzzle lubrication and maintenance

Keeping your Rubik’s cube lubricated and well-maintained can improve your solving speed and make the experience more enjoyable. Certain lubricants are designed explicitly for cube puzzles and can increase speed and smoothness.

E. Speedcubing resources

There are various online communities and resources available for speedcubers, including tutorial videos, forums, and social media groups. Joining these communities can help you stay motivated and get advice from experienced cubers.

V. Solving the Rubik’s Cube 3×3: Common Mistakes to Avoid

When solving a Rubik’s cube 3×3, it’s easy to make mistakes and end up with an unsolvable puzzle. Here are some of the most common mistakes you should avoid:

A. Misaligned layers and edges

One of the most common mistakes is misaligning the cube’s layers or edges, which can significantly slow down solving time and make the cube unsolvable.

B. Disoriented pieces

Another common mistake is disorienting the cube’s pieces by executing algorithms incorrectly or accidentally scrambling the cube.

C. Breaking up solved parts

Breaking up parts of the cube that have already been solved is another mistake that can significantly slow down solving time and make the cube unsolvable.

D. Losing track of progress

It’s easy to get lost and confused when solving the cube, especially for beginner and intermediate solvers. Make sure to keep track of your progress and what steps you have completed.

E. Solutions to common mistakes

The best way to avoid these mistakes is to practice and to be patient when solving the cube. Try not to rush through the steps and take your time executing algorithms. It’s also helpful to use online resources and tutorial videos to get advice on how to solve specific problems and mistakes.

VI. Solving a Rubik’s Cube 3×3: Using Algorithms and Sequences

If you want to solve the Rubik’s cube 3×3 faster and more efficiently, you need to understand and use algorithms and sequences. Here are some of the most popular algorithms and sequences:

A. Introduction to algorithms

An algorithm is a sequence of moves that you use to solve specific cases on the Rubik’s cube. Some algorithms involve only a few moves, while others require several sequences of moves.

B. Popular algorithms for Rubik’s cube solving

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of algorithms for solving different cases on the Rubik’s cube 3×3. Some of the most popular algorithms include the Fridrich method, the Petrus method, and the ZZ method.

C. Understanding algorithm notation

Algorithm notation is similar to Rubik’s cube notation. It uses letters and symbols to represent the movements of the cube, but it also includes algorithm-specific words and abbreviations. It’s essential to understand algorithm notation to memorize and execute algorithms quickly.

D. Sequences and their uses

Sequences are a series of algorithms that you use to solve a specific case or pattern on the Rubik’s cube. The most popular sequences include the ZBLL sequence, the OLL sequence, and the PLL sequence.

E. Algorithm resources

There are various resources available for learning and practicing algorithms, including online communities, tutorial videos, and mobile apps. It’s essential to find the right resources that suit your learning style and skill level.

VII. Solving the Rubik’s Cube 3×3: Competition-Ready Method for Speedsters

If you want to compete with speedcubers worldwide and set new records, you need to use the best solving methods available. Here are some of the most popular competition-ready methods for speedsters:

A. CFOP method

The CFOP (Cross-F2L-OLL-PLL) method is the most popular method for speedcubing. It involves solving the cross and the F2L at the same time, then completing the last layer using OLL and PLL algorithms.

B. Roux method

The Roux method is an alternative method to CFOP that focuses on preserving the block structure of the cube rather than solving it layer by layer. It involves splitting the cube into two blocks and solving them independently.

C. ZZ method

The ZZ (Zbigniew Zborowski) method is another alternative method to CFOP that involves orienting and permuting the last layer before solving the first two layers. It requires a lot of memorization and practice but can lead to faster solving times.

D. Comparison of methods

The choice of solving method ultimately depends on your preferred solving style and skill level. Each method has its strengths and weaknesses, and it’s essential to try different methods before settling on one.

E. Tips for competition success

If you are planning to enter a Rubik’s cube competition, it’s crucial to practice and prepare well in advance. Make sure to study the rules and regulations of the competition and to arrive early on the day of the event. It’s also essential to stay calm, focused, and confident during the competition.

VIII. Conclusion

In summary, solving a Rubik’s cube 3×3 can be a fun, challenging, and rewarding activity. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced solver, there are various techniques and strategies you can use to improve your skills. Remember to practice regularly, be patient, and enjoy the process of solving. Good luck!

D. Additional Resources for readers

If you’re interested in learning more about Rubik’s cube solving, here are some additional resources:

  • CubeSkills – an online tutorial website by Faz Rakhmanov, a world-ranked speedcuber.
  • Speedsolving – an online forum for Rubik’s cube enthusiasts to discuss and share their methods.
  • CubeNotation – a website by Chris Hardwick that explains Rubik’s cube notation and algorithm notation.
  • Cubicle – an online store that sells high-quality Rubik’s cube puzzles and accessories.
  • World Cube Association – an international organization that governs Rubik’s cube competitions and provides rules and regulations.

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