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Roux is a speedsolving method discovered by Gilles Roux in 2003. The word is pronounced as “Roo”, as “x” is silent. This method uses the “block building” and “corners first” strategies. It features a low number of movements, reduced hand rotations, and is suitable for one-handed solving. In contrast, the more popular Fridrich method requires many more hand moves. It helps players to look ahead and inspect their cubes while solving it.
The Roux method uses four steps. The first two steps involve building 1x2x3 blocks, followed by solving the corners of the cube. The final step is to implement the LSE strategy. Although the Last Six Edges (LSE) step of the Roux method is easy to learn, beginners may find the block building strategy slightly difficult.
Step 1: Build the first block
Build the 1x2x3 block on the left side of the cube. According to the example that Gilles Roux used, the red cubes should face down while the yellow ones should be on the left. This results in a block with a yellow center. The edges will be yellow/green, yellow/red, and yellow/blue, while the corners will be yellow/red/green and yellow/red/blue. Plan this step during the inspection phase, and complete this move without looking at the cube.
Step 2: Build the second block
Build a 1x2x3 block on the opposite side of the cube without tampering with the first one. This block should consist of a white center, and white/blue, white/red, and white/green edges. The corners should be white/red/green and white/red/blue. This step must be completed without meddling with the first block by using only R, M, and U moves.
Step 3: The CMLL step
In this step, one can meddle with the M side of the cube. It consists of eight adjustments from A to H, as well as a further six arrangements within each adjustment. Each arrangement involves the swapping of a set of corners, except for one. The six arrangements are:
- No swap
- Swap back
- Swap right
- Swap front
- Swap left
- Swap diagonal
Step 4: The Last 6 Edges
After completing the first three previous steps, only the front and the back edges in the D layer, and the four U edges will be left. An edge piece will be correctly aligned if the D or U face color is in the center. If there is an orange center on the U face and a red on the D face, an edge in the U layer will be correctly aligned if it is either orange or red up. An edge will also be aligned correctly in the D layer if it is orange or red down.
Note: An odd number of the six remaining edges cannot be incorrectly aligned. Only an even number can.
To complete the puzzle, if the pieces for UR and UL are not in the same layer, adjust the U slice until they are diagonally opposite one another. Then, put M’ U2 M’ to place them in the same layer. After this, use M2 to place the edges into the D layer. Next, adjust U so that an M2 move places the edges between their matching corners. Adjusting U again should complete this sub-step, in turn completing the L and R layers.
Finally, using a combination of E2, U2, and M2 moves will solve the Rubik’s cube.
Advantages and disadvantages of the Roux method
The Roux method has a number of advantages. It uses fewer moves and algorithms and is more intuitive. However, block building may prove to be difficult for some players, and may have a steep learning curve. As the method is flexible, it is easier to learn and apply. With practice, the Roux method helps speed solvers improve their game.
Roux method for larger cubes
Although the original Roux method helps solve the 3x3x3 cube, it has inspired many other cube solving methods for other kinds of cubes such as the ones with 4x4x4, 5x5x5, 6x6x6, and even 7x7x7 configurations. In addition, there are a number of improvements made to the Roux method by prominent players, which have their own advantages. Each of these improvements are easy to learn and makes it easy for players to solve cubes swiftly and with ease.