# Cubing Standard #2: Basic 3x3x3 Moves

Status: `DRAFT`
Prescriptive or descriptive: descriptive (this standard attempts to describe existing conventions)

This standard describes the basic moves for a 3x3x3 cube.

The move names in this standard originate from David Singmaster, around 1981 .

## 2.1 Basic Moves

There are 18 basic moves:

 Layer Clockwise `U` `L` `F` `R` `B` `D` Counter-Clockwise `U'` `L'` `F'` `R'` `B'` `D'` Double-Clockwise `U2` `L2` `F2` `R2` `B2` `D2`

Each move corresponds to one unique way that an outer layer can be moved, while restoring the puzzle shape to a cube. Note that these moves keep each center in its original location (but possibly reoriented).

Note: This standard does not include double-counter-clockwise moves, since those can be written as double-clockwise moves for basic applications. This also matches the World Cube Association, which does not recognize double-counter-clockwise moves (e.g. for the Fewest Moves event) . Extensions of this standard may include such moves.

### 2.1.1 Clockwise Moves

There are 6 clockwise moves on a cube, corresponding to the 6 outer layers (standard 1.3.6): `U`, `L`, `F`, `R`, `B`, `D`.

Each face letter describes the following physical move:

• Look at the layer corresponding to that letter, from the outside of the cube.
• Turn the layer clockwise until the puzzle shape is restored.

Example: For a cube, `U` describes turning the `U` layer 90° clockwise. If we imagine the plane of the face as a clock face, this corresponds to moving the hour hand forward by 3 hours. Alternatively, this can be visualized as placing a screwdriver into the center of the layer, and turning it clockwise.

### 2.1.2 Counter-Clockwise Moves

A counter-clockwise move is the inverse of a clockwise move. This is written as the corresponding layer letter with a `'` symbol after it The `'` symbol is pronounced “prime”.

There are 6 counter-clockwise moves: `U'`, `L'`, `F'`, `R'`, `B'`, `D'`.

Example: `U'` is pronounced “U prime”.

### 2.1.3 Double-Clockwise Moves

A double clockwise move is the same as doing two clockwise moves consecutively. This is written as the corresponding layer letter with the number `2` written after it.

There are 6 double-clockwise moves: `U2`, `L2`, `F2`, `R2`, `B2`, `D2`.

Note: In the 1980’s, it was common to write `2` as a superscript `²`. A lot of modern cubing software only understands the regular number suffix `2`, so it is recommended to avoid the superscript version.

1. Notes on Rubik’s Magic Cube, David Singmaster. Section 3. Notation.
2. https://www.worldcubeassociation.org/regulations/guidelines.html#E2c4+

## TODO

• Images/Diagrams/Visualizations
• “move” is a physical move, “turn” is only for metrics?