Common Rubik’s Cube Tricks: Tips and Techniques

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Rubik's Cube Tricks

The Rubik’s Cube, a seemingly simple but notoriously complex puzzle, has fascinated solvers since its invention. Mastering the cube does not just involve memorizing steps but also adopting various tricks and techniques that can significantly enhance your solving speed and efficiency. Whether you are a beginner hoping to complete the cube for the first time or an intermediate solver aiming to improve your time, understanding some common Rubik’s Cube tricks can greatly aid your progress. This guide delves into tips and techniques that encompass both strategic solving methods and manual dexterity improvements, providing you with comprehensive insight into the world of speedcubing.

1. Understanding Cube Theory

Before diving into specific tricks, it is crucial to have a fundamental understanding of the cube’s theory. This includes recognizing patterns, understanding how different moves affect the cube, and predicting outcomes without executing them. Grasping these concepts can help you anticipate how to manipulate the cube to achieve desired results more efficiently.

2. The Cross First Method

One of the foundational Rubik’s Cube tricks is to start solving the cube by forming a cross on one face, typically the white face. Focusing on creating a solid cross as the first step simplifies the subsequent steps. The trick is not just to place the white edges around the center piece but to ensure that the sides of these edge pieces also match the center pieces of adjacent sides. This sets up the cube for easier completion of the first two layers (F2L).

3. Finger Tricks and Hand Movements

Improving your finger dexterity can significantly enhance your solving speed. Learn specific finger tricks such as the flick of the index or middle finger to rotate the upper face (U move), or using your ring finger to perform a down move (D move). Reducing wrist movements and relying more on fingers can decrease solve time drastically.

4. Advanced F2L Techniques

After mastering basic F2L, advancing to more sophisticated F2L techniques is crucial for improving speed. Learn to insert corner and edge pairs into their slots without having to align them on the top layer first. This involves recognizing various scenarios and executing the corresponding algorithms quickly, minimizing cube rotations and unnecessary moves.

5. Look-Ahead Skill

Developing the look-ahead skill is one of the most valuable tricks for speedcubing. The goal is to minimize pause between moves. This is done by constantly scanning the cube for the next pieces to solve while executing current algorithms. Improving look-ahead requires practice and helps maintain a constant flow during the solve, thereby reducing total solve time.

6. Algorithm Optimization

Using algorithms efficiently is key to solving the Rubik’s Cube faster. Learn multiple algorithms for the same scenario and apply the shortest or most comfortable ones based on your hand position and previous moves. Additionally, customize algorithms to fit your style and strengths, which can improve both speed and accuracy.

7. OLL and PLL Shortcuts

For the last layer, learn to recognize patterns that allow for OLL (Orientation of the Last Layer) and PLL (Permutation of the Last Layer) shortcuts. Some configurations can be solved with fewer moves or simpler algorithms than the standard ones, significantly cutting down solve time.

8. Solve with Both Hands

Balancing the use of both hands can improve solving efficiency. Practice algorithms that require movements from both hands to maintain a rhythm and speed up the solve. Avoid relying on one hand for most actions, as this can lead to slower solving times and increased fatigue.

9. Corner Cutting

Corner cutting refers to turning the next face of the cube before completing the current face turn. High-quality cubes allow for this maneuver, which can save precious seconds in speed solves. Practicing corner cutting can help maintain momentum and fluidity in your solve sequence.

10. Regular Practice and Analysis

Regular practice is essential, but so is analytical practice. After each solve, take the time to analyze your moves. Identify areas where you hesitated or made unnecessary moves, and work on these weaknesses. Use tools like solve timers with step-by-step time breakdown to pinpoint stages where you can improve.


Mastering these Rubik’s Cube tricks involves both understanding the underlying mechanics of the puzzle and refining physical techniques. By integrating these tips into your practice routines, you can improve both the speed and efficiency of your solves. Remember, consistent practice and a willingness to learn from each solve are key to your progression from a novice to an adept cuber. Whether for competition or personal achievement, refining your approach to solving the Rubik’s Cube can be a rewarding and intellectually stimulating experience.

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