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F2L for different slots


Jan 31, 2012
I've learned to solve the F2L intuitively, in that I don't use any memorized algorithms to do it, but I do tend to use a general pattern that goes something like this:

1) Choose a corner that I see in the top layer
2) Look around the cube for the corresponding edge piece
3) If that piece is not in the correct slot, bring it to the top layer
4) Set that piece up for inserting into either the front left or front right slot by hiding my corner and positioning my edge
5) Insert my pair, and repeat

I'm currently averaging between 35-40 seconds with this method, and I think that my look ahead to find the next pair is what is slowing me down the most, and that the number of cube rotations I do setting everything up is what slows me down.

In order to cut down my cube rotations, I started looking into algorithms for some of these cases and was surprised by what I found. Everywhere I look, all of the F2L algorithms are only listed for inserting into the front right spot. They also mention that you should try to reduce the number of cube rotations that you have when solving, especially in F2L.

My question is how am I supposed to learn and apply these algorithms to get that insertion faster? If I am supposed to avoid cube rotations, I can only insert 1 pair using an algorithm before I have to use a cube rotation to move another slot to the front right.


Mar 23, 2008
Mirror your cases to the back right/front left/back left.

For example - set up using R U R' U'

[cube]alg=R U R' U'[/cube]

This would be solved with U R U' R'

You can mirror that case to the back as well

Setup - R' U' R U

[cube]alg=R' U' R U[/cube]

This can be solved with U' R' U R

Extrapolate this for all f2l cases.

Some rotations are usually necessary, try to use no more than 1 per pair, if you have troubles with certain cases, post them and see what others do, or check the [wiki]f2l[/wiki] page on the wiki. Also, try searching the forum, there are some threads called f2l help or similar titles where people post cases that they have troubles with.

Good luck, practice practice practice.


Dec 2, 2010
New York
I solve intuitively as well, but I do few cube rotations. You see, when you look at an alg for the front right spot, don't just memorize the alg. Understand it. Then you will understand how to get the pair in, but you will also be able to do it from different angles.

For sake of simplicity, I'll use the classic RUR' as my example. It merely connects the corner to the edge and inserts in 3 moves. Now, if I know that the corner edge are set up for that alg. But it belongs in the back right, then I do the alg from a different angle. Which would be R'U'R for this example.

Personally, I believe those algs are good to know, but not necessary in the slightest. If you are having trouble with a certain situation, then knowing the alg is good. But when I look at F2L algs, I don't memorize them, I do them once or twice and watch how they insert the pair, then i understand how to get that pair in and can apply it to other cases as well.

But most of all, perfect practice will make perfect. Work on your lookahead and look around for some shortcuts or maybe even delve into a little multislotting.

Hope this helps, its kinda hard to explain myself for this.

Edit: Rpotts beat me to it. But he did do a better job explaining so :p

Good luck


REAL Fingertricks!
Dec 15, 2008
West Virginia
Conrad Rider's alg rotator can quickly generate the mirror cases you seek, for those algs that are less than intuitive:



3) If that piece is not in the correct slot, bring it to the top layer
4) Set that piece up for inserting into either the front left or front right slot by hiding my corner and positioning my edge
See if you can combine these two steps intuitively. Don't just bring something to the top layer; be conscious of where it's going to come out with respect to the other piece and try to set it up as close to an ideal "ready-to-insert" case as you can.

And don't be afraid to start with a corner that's stuck in a slot (probably FR or FL) with an edge piece floating around the top layer. Expand your options.

Happy cubing.


Dec 22, 2011
British Columbia, Canada
Intuitive is intuitive. You must learn to deal with situations around the cube. You must imply the solution in a way that you can easily execute, but algorithms can restrict you from that; that is one of the reasons why algorithms are not the god of the world. If a case requires cube rotation because of the way you face the cube, you must do it unless, you are able to find shortcuts. Shortcuts can be found by fiddling with the cube (not timing) and investigating the algorithms and how you could improve them.

Also, you can substitute cube rotations with "d turns" for specific cases. For example, if the setup move was " F' U' F U " on the UBL slot, then you could normally do " y U' R U R' " OR you could use "d turns" like this " d' R' U R "