Get to know the cube


A standard Rubik’s cube is made of 6 sides or faces. (Up, Front, Right, Left, Down, Back) Each face is a different solid color when the Rubik’s cube is solved. Each face has 3 vertical layer and 3 horizontal columns. Each layer and column can be turned independently.

Each face is represented by a letter. For example, U represents the face on top of the cube.








The Rubik’s cube is made up of 26 smaller pieces. 6 center pieces, 8 corner pieces, and 12 edge pieces. The cube is solved when each of the smaller cubes is in the correct spot.

Center Piece

Center pieces have one color. Although they rotate in place when you make turns, the center cubes cannot move. The center cube determines the color of the face. The face is solved by matching other cubes to the color of the center cube.

Corner Piece

Corner pieces have three colors. They are positioned on each of the 8 corners of the cube. Corner cubes are solved when each of the three colors matches to a corresponding center piece.

Edge Piece

Edge pieces have two colors. They are solved when its two colors match the colors of center pieces they touch.

Face Turns

A turn is made by rotating one of the faces of the Rubik’s cube. Turning the face 90° is called a quarter turn. A 180° turn is a half turn. A turn can either be done clockwise or counterclockwise.

Clockwise turns are designated by the face letter. (Ex. F means rotate the front face clockwise 90°) Counter clockwise turns are represented by adding an apostrophe next to the letter. (Ex. F’ means rotate the front face counter clockwise 90°) Half turns are represented by the number 2 next to the face letter. (Ex. F2 means rotate the front face 180°)

Two Layer Turns

Turning two layers at once is designated by a lowercase letter. (Ex. f means rotate the front face and the layer underneath clockwise simultaneously)

Middle Turns

Middle turns are made when only the middle slice is moved. There are three middle slices.


Clockwise is relation to the R face.


Clockwise is relation to the D face.


Clockwise is relation to the F face.


Multiple turns made together in order is called an algorithm. Algorithms are used to move the pieces of the Rubik’s cubes. Algorithms are described by a list of Turns. R U R’ U’ is an example of a simple algorithm. Many algorithms are used throughout these tutorials

Holding the Cube

Holding the cube properly before performing an algorithm is important for the algorithm to work. You hold the cube with your right hand on the right face, and you left hand on the left face. You look down on the cube at a slight angle so you should see the front and top face at the same time.

At times during this tutorial you will be instructed to hold the cube with a particular center piece on the top and in the front. There are two different types of visuals used to help portray what the cube should look like.

Front/Right View

These images show the front, top, and right faces. In this picture red is the front face, white is the top face, and blue is the right face.

Top View

The top view shows a birds eye view of the top face. In this example yellow is the top face and blue is the front face.

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