Step 3

Step 3: the middle layer

<< Step 2

Step 4 >>

Congratulations. You just solved one layer. This is the point where most people get stuck, and where 'intuition' fails to help. However, a couple of simple logical steps can help you solve this layer. At this point, it is obvious that moving any of the six possible layers except for the bottom layer will disrupt your beautiful top layer.

That is why you will have to break the first layer in order to make the second one. What we do here is basically the same thing over and over again for every cubie. Even the most advanced systems are always based on this step: You connect the corner with it's rightful neighbour edge, and then they travel into their 'slot'. You will need only one algorithm, and it's mirror to solve the second layer!

Follow these steps to do this:

  • Turn the bottom layer until one of the center pieces 'connects' to the center of one of the edges that should go to the middle layer. There are four of these edges, do not be confused when some other edge lines up with the center, these are the other four edges that should go on the bottom. So check the bottom to see if the edge is one that goes in the second layer.
  • Once you have it lined up with the center piece, keep the center piece in front of you.
  • If the piece has to go to the left side in the second layer, perform
    moves will appear here

  • If the piece has to go to the right side in the second layer, perform
    moves will appear here

The final D' in the first and D in the second algorithm is only for consistency, it's actually never necessary to make this move. This makes both algorithms 9 moves in total.

Flipped case

There is one other situation that I didn't cover though: what if an edge piece is in place, but it's flipped? Well, in that case you can simply perform either one of the above algorithms. Instead of putting a piece in, it will push the current piece out. After that you can again use the same algorithms to insert the piece back in the correct orientation. Some moves will cancel each other here.

moves will appear here

Step 4 >>

7 thoughts on “Step 3

    1. Yes, it is. This is a well known algorithm that most layer-by-layer methods promote. I don’t however, since it is 8 moves to remember. For my method you need to remember only 3 repeated moves, even though it is longer.

  1. You haven’t taught how to solve if the edges are in the middle layer and misplaced .

    I have a situation in which the top layer is solved and only one edge in the middle layer is misplaced . It so happens that they face the wrong centres . Top (blue layer is solved). And in the middle layer all edges are solved except the white – orange edge . The white face matches with the orange and orange with the white face . How to get that right . Can’t figure it out . Please help .

  2. Thanks a lot . This really helped . This should be the no 1 site in google listing for solving rubik’s cube . The ones at the top are all crappy . I hope that it soon is , so that most can benefit from the simple ways that you demonstrate .

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