Layer by layer
3x3x3 LBL Method
Layer-By-Layer, or normally only LBL is a group of methods that solves the cube in layers. In the basic, beginner LBL method, the solver finishes the layers one at a time: the first layer edges, then corners, then the second layer edges, and finally the last layer. This is a common method for new cubers to discover on their own. In more advanced LBL methods, you solve layers more efficiently or solve two layers at once. For example, in the CFOP method, one solves the first two layers simultaneously by forming a cross of the first layer edges, and then filling in four pairs of a corner and an edge into the so-called slots.
Although it is not known who first performed a Layer-by-layer solve, the first detailed description of the method was the one invented by David Singmaster. He published it (along with his 3x3x3 notation) in his Notes on Rubik's 'Magic Cube' in 1979. During the 1980s cube craze Layer-by-layer was rivalled by Corners First methods in popularity. At the World Rubik's Cube Championship 1982 only four out of the nineteen competitors used methods based on Layer-by-layer, although these included Guus Razoux Schultz (CFCE method), and Jessica Fridrich (who did CFOP without F2L). Since speedcubing revived in the late-1990s, the Layer-by-layer approach has dominated both beginner solutions (where it is often called the beginner's method), and speedcubing (especially CFOP).
There are many 3x3x3 methods that fully or partially use a LBL approach, including CFOP, the method used by most top speedcubers in the world. Three examples of how cubers might approach LBL:
Beginner 3x3x3 LBL
With this method, the novice cuber truly completes each layer one after the other, using few algorithms (but taking perhaps over 100 moves). This is one of the most popular beginners' methods in existence.
- ( Daisy )
- Bottom layer: Corners XG (Cross plus Corners)
- Middle Layer: Insert the 4 middle layer edges (each edge is inserted individually)
- 4-Look Last Layer, sometimes actually more like 8-looks by re-using algorithms
Intermediate 3x3x3 LBL
At this stage the cuber may develop strategies such as keyhole to reduce middle layer moves, as well as learning further last layer algorithms.
Advanced 3x3x3 LBL
The advanced LBL cuber often uses CFOP, employing fast, intuitive F2L techniques and learning many more last layer algorithms to reduce moves and improve speed further.
2x2x2 LBL Method
As if you are solving the 3x3 using the Layer-By-Layer method.
- How to solve the Rubik's cube The official beginner's guide on rubiks.com
- Jasmine Lee's Beginner Solution Excellent beginner's solution, more concise than the rubiks.com version.
- Andy Klise's beginner's guide (pdf) A "cheat sheet" summary version of Jasmine Lee's page, with less explanation.
- Beginners solution with animations Excellent tutorial at www.rubiksplace.com
- rubikscube.info Beginner LBL for the 2x2x2
- 3x3x3 LBL tutorial in French by speedcubingtips.eu
- 2x2x2 LBL tutorial in French by speedcubingtips.eu
- Tyson Mao's tutorial on rubiks.com
- CubeRight's Beginners Tutorial (HD) Excellent tutorial, easy transition to Fridrich method.
- Badmephiosto's Beginners Tutorial Quality tutorial, also designed for easy transition to Fridrich method
- Dan Brown's Beginner Method combines corner orientation/permutation into one step making the solve a little easier, but much slower and more difficult to transition to Fridrich (video)