3x3 SolvedThis beginner’s method is a tutorial that I created using the easiest and quickest methods and taught many people with it.  After teaching people, they are able to solve it in under 60 seconds and sometimes faster than that!  So I decided to post it online for others to see and learn how to solve the 3×3 as well as introduce yourself to speed cubing.

If you haven’t checked out the Introduction or the Notation Page yet, I suggest you do so before you continue with this tutorial.  If you have, then let’s get started!




Step 1. The Cross

3x3 crossThe cross is the base of solving the cube.  Whatever side you decide to start the cross on will be the side that you focus on for a majority of the solving process.  People typically create a white cross and that will be the side that you’ll see on most tutorials, so it may be a good idea to start with that.

To get a cross, you’re really going to have to do it intuitively.  I’d say start off with the white center on top and focus on getting the edge pieces that have a white side to the top.  To do that, you need to analyze the way the pieces move and rotate when they are turned.  The sooner you figure this out, the better!

Some helpful hints would be to look at the white edge pieces and notice how they move from one side to the other.  You don’t need to worry about any other pieces except the white ones.  When you see how they change when they are one side to another, then you’ll start getting the idea of how they move on the cube.

Once you’ve got that figured out, you need to make sure that the other side of the white edge piece matches the corresponding color center.  Looking at the picture on the right, you can see that the blue matches the blue center, red on red, green on green, and orange on orange.  This is another crucial step to the cross.  Make sure that the edge pieces match on all the center pieces they touch.  Once that is taken care of, then we’ll move to the next step!

Step 2. The Corners

3x3 cornersNow I can help out on this part.  This step still requires a bit of intuitive thinking, but it will be a little easier to understand now that you’ve gotten the cross.  There are 3 different scenarios that you will come across at this point, and they are all very easy to figure out, but make sure you keep the cross on the top so you can see where you’re trying to put the pieces.

Find a corner piece that has a white side on it.  Corners have three sides, so you need to look on all sides to find a piece.  Once you find a piece, look at the other two colors that are with the white side.  An example would be the white, blue, and red side that you see in the picture.  Once you locate that piece, put it directly under the slot that it needs to be in.  Now we’ll come across the three different scenarios.

(Now I understand that the cross is green instead of white, but just bear with me and imagine that it is white.  I will attempt to create visuals that are more accurate for what I’m teaching.)

White on the right

white to right

When the white is on the right side, you want to have the white facing you and perform the following algorithm.

D, L, D’, L’

And there you go!  If done correctly, you will see that the corner piece is now in the correct spot on the cube.



White on the left

white to left

When the white is on the left side, you want to have the white facing you again, but we’ll be doing a reverse of the previous algorithm.

D’, R’, D, R

Similar to the previous scenario, you’ll see that the corner piece is now in the correct position and you can move on to another corner piece.



White on the bottom

white to bottom

This is a little tricky if you don’t know what you’re doing, but thankfully we can change that!  When the white is on the bottom, perform the following algorithm.

R’, D2, R, D  or  L, D2, L’, D’ (depending on what side the corner piece is on)

Then check where the white is and refer to one of the above scenarios!


Note: If the corner piece that you need is in the slot but not in the correct position, perform one of the algorithms above and the piece will come out.  After that, check the piece and then act accordingly from there.

Step 3. The Edges

3x3 edgesThe edges are the next step to solving the cube, and this is one of my personal favorite steps.  I’m not sure why, but maybe it’s just because this was a little easier for me when I first started.  I’m sure it’ll be the same for you!  For this part, you only have to learn one algorithm, and it’s very easy to memorize.

You are looking for the edge pieces that do not have a yellow side on them, because we are now filling the holes in the middle row.  For the sake of the tutorial, we will be looking at the blue and red edge piece.

With the white side fully solved on top, match the edge piece color to its center piece.  If the red is on bottom, match the blue with the blue center.  If the blue is on bottom, match the red with the red center.  Once that is completed, You need to have that edge piece facing you.

Finding out what the bottom color is will determine how you perform this algorithm.  If the bottom color matches the side that is on the right (for example: blue that matches the right side which is the blue side) then you need to perform the following algorithm.

D’, R’, D, R, D, F, D’, F’

If the bottom color matches the side that is on the right (for example: red that matches the left which is the red side) then you need to perform this algorithm instead.

D, L, D’, L’, D’, F’, D, F

Note: If the piece you need is already in an edge, but not put in properly, just perform one of the above algorithms and it will come right out!  Then you check it again to see what actions you need to take.

Step 4. The Yellow Cross

3x3 yellow crossFrom now on, we will be learning several algorithms that are required to move forward.  Again, these are not hard as I’ve picked the simplest algorithms that will have you solving in under a minute after you’ve practiced this method.

Place the white side on the bottom so the yellow side is now on top.  You will come across.. Yet again.. 3 scenarios.  If you have the white side solved, then you can skip this step!  If you don’t, keep reading.  Because we are only working on the yellow cross (edges) we do not look at the corner pieces.  We only pay attention to the edges and how they look.

Bar shape

If you have a yellow bar across the top, then you want to place that bar horizontally (sideways) and perform the following algorithm.

F, R, U, R’, U’, F’



L shape

If you have an “L” shape instead, move the top side until it the yellow edges make’s a “⅃” shape.  Then perform the algoritm above twice.  Then you’ll have your cross!

(F, R, U, R’, U’, F’) (F, R, U, R’, U’, F’)



Dot shape

If you have just a yellow dot and none of the above scenarios, then just do the above algorithm and follow the rest of the steps above.

(F, R, U, R’, U’, F’)

And there you have it, folks!


Step 5. The Yellow Corners

cornersNow that the yellow cross is done, we now move onto the corners.  With the yellow still on top, we want to make sure we have at least one yellow on the top left side on the side of the cube.  When we get to what looks like a fish, we know that we are close.

Every time you see a yellow on the top left on the side of the cube (that means not the yellow side.  Just the blue, orange, green, or red side.) we put that side facing us and perform the following algorithm.

R, U, R’, U, R, U2, R’

We continue to do that until we get the fish shape as seen in the picture on the right.  When that fish comes up, then face it in the direction shown and perform the same algorithm.

R, U, R’, U, R, U2, R’

If it still shows a fish, that’s okay.  Do it one more time and you’ll have all of the yellow side completed, but we’re not done yet!

Step 6. Moving the Corners

Screen Shot 2013-05-23 at 6.02.37 PMIf you’ve noticed by now, you can see that you have almost all of it done but the sides of the cube.  This is where you’re supposed to be so you’re alright.  You want to start looking at the sides and see if you can find two matching corners (shown with the blue corners matching in the picture to the right).  Sometimes you won’t have one and that’s okay.  We’ll just perform this algorithm twice if that happens.

When you have two matching corners on one side, turn the cube so that particular side is on the bottom and the white side is facing you.  Then perform this algorithm.

R’, U, R’, D2, R, U’, R’, D2, R2

If you didn’t have a matching corner side, then just pick a side and do the same thing above.  After you do it once, you’ll have a matching corner side and then you can follow the steps above.

Step 7. Moving the Edges

This is the seventh and final step to solving the 3×3.  You’ll want to put the yellow back on top from the previous step.  If you have a solved side besides the yellow and white, turn that side AWAY from you and perform the algorithm below.  If you do not have a solve side beside the white and the yellow, then continue on with this algorithm.  You may have to perform this algorithm as many as 3 times.  It’s the same algorithm, so you won’t have to memorize too much.

3x3 solveR, U’, R, U, R, U, R, U’, R’, U’, R2

It looks really long, so I’ll break it up into some easy memorizing steps.

(R, U’, R, U,) (R, U, R, U’,) R’, U’, R2
And that’s it!  A fully solved cube!  Congratulations!


I hope you enjoyed my tutorial on how to solve the 3×3, and that this sparks your interest in solving more cubes and solving them faster.  Good Luck!