Move notation

Rubik’s Cube Terminology and Move Notation

The terms used in the Rubik’s cube strategy guide are well-known to the cubing world. The squares that make up the Rubiks cube are known as Cubies. The colored stickers on the fronts of all the Cubies are known as Facelets. There are three types of Cubies: Corners, Edges and Center Cubies. Corners have three Facelets, edges have two and the centers Cubies have only one facelet. Notice that in our graphic there is also a label under one side of the cube that says "Front". Since all of the diagrams are shown at an angle, also showing the right and top sides of the cube, it's important to always look at the cube from the front perspective when making your moves. Showing the cube at an angle is necessary because you will have to make different sets of moves based on various arrangements of Cubies on both of these other two sides.

 
 


This group of notation graphics indicate which direction the various horizontal rows of the Rubiks cube should be turned. There are 3 different rows.


This group of notation graphics indicate which direction the various vertical columns of the Rubiks cube should be turned. There are 3 different columns.


These notation graphics indicate which direction the entire front face of the cube should be turned.
Now that you know the terminology used throughout the strategy guide, let's learn how to understand the move notation graphics. Utilizing the Rubik's cube move notation chart, you can find the definitions of each tiny graphic. The first two sets show which horizontal row or vertical column should be moved, and in which direction. When looking at the front of the cube, the top three horizontal Cubies make up the top row. The middle horizontal row of cubies (from the top or bottom) makes up the middle row, and finally the bottom three horizontal cubies make up the bottom row. So what about the columns? Still looking at the front of the cube, the three vertical cubies on the left make up the left column. Then the next three vertical cubies make up the middle column and the last three vertical cubies make up the right column. But what about the looping arrow notation graphics?
      When you are looking directly at the front of the cube, which you should always be doing, the nine Cubies with various facelets that you see are known as the front face of the cube. When you see the "turning arrow" notation graphics from the third set, they are instructing you to turn all nine of these cubies at the same time to either the right (clockwise) or left (counter-clockwise). So instead of moving individual rows or columns, when you see these graphics you should turn the entire front face of the cube to the direction indicated. Using these and the other notation graphics explained above you are now ready to begin solving the cube. But before you begin, we suggest that you first play around with the cube for a while and try to understand these moves and how they move the various parts of the cube around. Some of the moves can be a bit tricky for your fingers. For example, when you are moving a middle row or column, you in fact must move two columns or rows, and then turn the non-middle one back to its previous spot. This is because the middle rows or columns do not move independently. Don't forget to move the other row or column back! Once you are comfortable with all of the moves, it's time to solve.
 
 
 
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