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How to Solve the 2x2 Rubik's Cube Full Tutorial

Updated on October 15, 2018

Solving The 2x2 Cube Introduction

For many years I have dreamed of solving the rubik's cube. Recently I came across a smaller version which only has 4 pieces on each side as apposed to the regular sized ones which have 9. I decided to go ahead and purchase it as I thought it would be a lot easier to learn than the regular sized one. After an afternoon of learning how to do it I finally solved it and after a week or so of practice I was able to solve it within a minute. Hopefully after reading this article and giving it a try for yourself you are able to do the same thing.

The first thing you will need to learn is the basic moves. There are 6 different faces to the rubik's cube and each of these sides have different names. The top side is referred to as up or "u", the right side is right or "r", the bottom side is called down or "d", the left is called left or "l", the front side which faces towards you is called front or "f", the back side which faces away from you is called back or "b". There are two ways in which a side can move. For example the top side can be moved clockwise or anti clockwise. When the top side needs to be moved anti clockwise we refer to this as u' and if it needs to go clock wise then it is u. With the right and left sides right inverted means you are bringing the right side towards yourself and right means you are moving it away from yourself. Right inverted is referred to as r' and right is referred to as r. With the left side I use to same method as this helps to keep things simple so moving the left side towards myself I will refer to as left inverted.

The white side of the cube
The white side of the cube

Solving The White Side

So the first thing I do when solving the 2x2 cube is to solve the white side. This is fairly simple to do. I usually make an L shape with the white pieces and then what you want to do is line up a white piece underneath the spot where you would like to put it. It can be in any place underneath as there will be a few different places where it could be. Now you want to repeat the following algorithm until the white piece moves into place. The algorithm is r',d,r,d' . So you move the right side towards yourself, move the bottom side clockwise, move the right side away from yourself and then move the bottom side anti clockwise. As I said before you may need to follow this algorithm a few times until it moves into place.

The L shape we need to solve
The L shape we need to solve

Solving The Top Layer

Now that we have solved the white side we need to solve the top layer. The top layer is the layer that is directly below the white side. The first thing we need to do is to check if any sides on the top layer match up. If a side matches up there will be two matching colors on one side for example two orange pieces will be on the same layer. If we don't have any matching sides don't worry we are still going to perform this algorithm. The algorithm is r', d, r',l',d',l. Now if you did not have any sides matching before preforming this algorithm you will now have one side that matches. You need to face this side away from yourself and preform this algorithm once again.

The top layer solved
The top layer solved

Solving The Yellow Side

Now that we have solved the top layer we need to solve the yellow side. There are a lot of different algorithms used to solve the yellow side however I usually just use 2. To keep things I will refer to these two algorithms as algorithm 1 and algorithm 2. With the yellow side facing upwards we want to have the yellow pieces arranged so that when we hold the cube we have a yellow piece on the front face on the top right hand side, a yellow piece on the top face on the left hand side closest to use and a yellow piece on the right side at the top in the place furthest away from us. When we have the cube arranged like this the algorithm that we use to solve the yellow side is algorithm 2 and it is r,u,r',u,r,u,u,r'. The other algorithm that we use is the first one and we use this to try and get the yellow pieces in the correct place to solve it. This can also solve the yellow side as well sometimes. This one is r,u',u',r',u',r,u',r' . Keep following this one and turning the cube around until you get it in the right place.

How the yellow pieces should look before performing the 2nd algorithm
How the yellow pieces should look before performing the 2nd algorithm

Solving The Bottom Layer

Now we want to solve the last layer. Once this is solved the cube will be complete.First we want to see if there any sides that match up. We can rotate the cube if we see that there are 2 pieces on a top layer and 2 pieces on a bottom layer that will match up so that all 4 pieces are the same on one side. Now we put the matching side away from us and perform the following algorithm. r',f',r',b,b,r,f,r,b,b,r,r now if you did not have any matching sides before doing this you should now have a matching side. Point the matching side away from you and perform this again and it should be complete. Thanks for checking out my post and I hope that this helps you to solve it for yourself. I have also left a video below explaining how to solve it in a little more detail.


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