Introduction to the Tutorials

If you know the way a cube works, then you can skip this introduction, but if you haven’t I strongly urge you to read this or else you will have a hard time solving puzzles of any size or shape.  I wrote this for the purpose of explaining the structure of a puzzle and how to use it to help you learn any puzzle.

Learning how to solve a cube can be easy or hard depending on what you want to learn and your knowledge of how puzzles work.  Now what you want to learn is entirely up to you, but as far as learning how the cube works, I can help with that.  This page is a learning tool as well as a myth-buster for several topics that confuse those who are new into cubing.

 

How You Will Be Learning 

Each tutorial will be set up with step-by-step instructions through text, pictures, and videos when possible.  Each step will be clearly defined for cubers of any experience.  I will teach everything as intuitively as I can, but there will be algorithms that have to be memorized.  If there is something that doesn’t make sense to you, send me an email and I will explain it as best as I can and then add my explanation to the tutorials for the benefit of others.

When learning the algorithms, you will need to be aware of the notations that are common among cubers.  If you do not know what the notations are, I have placed the notations on a Notation Page in the Tutorial section of my site for your convenience.  Once you have these down, you will be ready to memorize algorithms and move onto learning the tutorials.

Now for the new cuber that has never touched a cube before, I have some common myths that I want to bust for you.  These myths are common among the non-cubing community, and these conceptions need to be cleared up before you decide to learn how to solve any puzzle.

 

Common Myths About Cubes

3x3 Core1. The Centers

The first and formost thing you should know about a cube is that the center pieces never move…. ever.  Some people have this idea that the center pieces move and, quite honestly, it just makes every puzzle seem so much harder.

If you can see in the photo to the right, you can see that this is what the cube looks like when it is taken apart.  This is called the core, and it is what holds all of the other pieces together.  The centers are screwed down to the core and that means that they cannot move; only rotate.  This also allows for memorization of the cube’s color scheme.  I always remember that if red is facing me and white is on top, then I know that blue is on my right, green is on my left, yellow is on bottom, and orange is in the back.  Pretty simple!

Now the centers never moving is not always true.  For instance, every even-number cube (e.g. 2×2, 4×4, 6×6, and 8×8) will have movable center pieces, but that is something that we will go over when the time comes.  For now, you just need to understand that the center pieces never move and that will help significantly.

 

Cuboid Scrambled2. Solving The Whole Cube

One thing to remind yourself is this: don’t get too far ahead of yourself.  A lot of people think that they have to solve everything at once!  Why?  I’m not sure.  My only assumption is that people don’t see the whole complete package until AFTER the solving is done.  This idea is as ridiculous as saying you have to build a house or draw a masterpiece all at once.

The same concept goes with puzzles.  If you were to attempt solving a puzzle all at once, then you’d probably never get it (unless a miracle happens, or you’re just a genius.)  Instead, there are steps that you follow and they will lead you to solving the cube. It all starts with just one piece at a time.  Once this new idea is implemented, your mind will be open to more possibilities.

 

3. Messing Up Solved Sides

This is the most common issue I deal with when I’m teaching someone how to solve a cube.  They are in the middle of a solve and then suddenly realized that they are messing up one of their solved sides!  This is when I have to tell them it’s natural.

You will have to mess up your solved sides, but only for a little bit.  If you follow the steps correctly, your “messed up” side will go back to normal as if you never touched it in the first place.  I know that’s hard to fathom, but just understand that there are steps that (in a new cuber’s mind) will mess up a side of your cube when in reality, it is not messed up at all.  When you continue to finish the process, you’ll see that your puzzle is back to the way you had it.  Simple as that.

 

3x3 Peeling Stickers4. If All Else Fails… Don’t Pull The Stickers Off

Please no…..  Some find this as the only way to put the cube back into its original state, but I’m telling you there are other ways!  Just don’t pull the stickers.  There are many reasons why, but I’ll point out the more obvious problems.

In short, the first problem will be that the stickers will lose its stickiness, and you’ll be stuck with a cube without stickers unless you go buy some.  Just save yourself the trouble and don’t do that…

Another scenario I encountered were some new cubers who got into it because I showed them some speed solving.  They came up to me with a cube and asked for me to solve it so they could see how I do it.  When they handed me the cube, I could tell something was up but I didn’t say anything.  Nearing the end of solving the cube, I realized that they had put the stickers in the wrong spot!  I couldn’t solve the cube because the stickers weren’t even placed properly!  I had to give them the cube and say that it is virtually unsolvable at that state.  Moral of this story… Don’t take off the stickers!!!!