# Rubik's cube notation

This page describes the classic Singmaster notation for the Rubik's cube, with some commonly used additions.

## Basic moves

Each of the six faces of the cube is assigned a letter:

U | Upper face |

D | Down face |

R | Right face |

L | Left face |

F | Front face |

B | Back face |

A single letter (like U) denotes a 90° turn *clockwise*, a
letter followed by a single quote (like U') denotes a 90° turn
*counter-clockwise*, and a letter followed by a 2 (like U2) denotes a
180° turn.

Basic moves are summarized in the following table (**white face on
top** and **green face on front**):

U |
U' |
U2 |

D |
D' |
D2 |

R |
R' |
R2 |

L |
L' |
L2 |

F |
F' |
F2 |

B |
B' |
B2 |

**Note:** "clockwise" or "counter-clockwise" is always
intended when *looking at the face you are turning*. This is
why from the pictures above it looks like, for example, U and D go in
opposite directions.

If this sounds confusing, think about it: if you put a clock face down on the table, does it turn clockwise or counter-clockwise?

## Full-cube rotations

Sometimes it is convenient to start a move sequence with the cube in a different orientation. To denote this, it is common to use the "moves" x, y and z that denote a full-cube rotation:

x | Follows R |

y | Follows U |

z | Follows F |

The same modifiers can be applied, so for example x2 is a full-cube rotation that follows R2 (or, equivalently, L2) and z' is a a full-cube rotation that follows F' (or, equivalently, B).

## Inner-layer moves

Moving two parallel layers of the cube, one clockwise and one counter-clockwise, has the same effect as moving the inner layer between them. We usually denote these inner-layer moves by M, E and S.

M | Follows L |

E | Follows D |

S | Follows F |

M |
E |
S |

The same modifiers can be applied, so for example M2 means moving the inner layer between R and L by 180°.

**Note 1:** unfortunately, the notation for inner-layer moves
is not consistent with that for full-cube rotations. For example x follows R
but M follows L.

**Note 2:** Inner-layer moves can always be rewritten as a
combination of basic moves and full-cube rotations. For example, M'
is equivalent to x R' L.