Rubik's Cube Move Notation
This video shows how to read moves on the Rubik's Cube so you can follow written algorithms.
Below are the 3x3 moves for reference, but keep in mind that there is also different notation for big cubes (4x4 cube and up) mentioned in the video.
The basic moves are Up, Down, Right, Left, Front, Back.
Each move means to turn that side clockwise, as if you were facing that side.
An apostrophe (pronounced as prime) means to turn the face in the opposite direction (counterclockwise).
The number 2 means to turn that face twice.
Note: Double moves such as U2 can be done clockwise or counterclockwise. The direction of the move can be specified by using U2 and U2' (to show finger tricks), but this is not always used.
Wide moves turn 2 layers at once. They can be written in 2 ways:
- Lower case: u, d, r, l, f, b
- Ending in w: Uw, Dw, Rw, Lw, Fw, Bw
Note: Sometimes the lower case L (l) looks like an upper case i (I), but keep in mind that the upper case i (I) is not a possible move.
There is also Uw' and Uw2, etc.
Cube rotations are written as x, y, z.
x follows the R direction, y follows the U direction, z follows the F direction.
There is also x' and x2, etc.
Memory trick: x follows the same direction as R because x is closer to R than L in the alphabet. The same idea applies for y (follows U instead of D) and z (follows F instead of B).
Slice moves are written as M, E, S. Slice moves only turn the middle layer.
M follows the L direction, E follows the D direction, S follows the F direction.
There is also M' and M2, etc.
Memory trick: M follows the same direction as L because M is closer to L than R in the alphabet. The same idea applies for E (follows D instead of U) and S (follows F instead of B).
Base Moves Cheat Sheet