Tips I Use to Solve Sub-20 | Rubik's Cube | Byron Erwin | Skillshare

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Tips I Use to Solve Sub-20 | Rubik's Cube

teacher avatar Byron Erwin, Efficiency Is Key

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

9 Lessons (15m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. F2L Knowledge

    • 3. OLL & PLL Fluency

    • 4. Reducing Cube Rotations

    • 5. Reducing Regrips

    • 6. Lookahead Tips

    • 7. Ambidextrous U2 Application

    • 8. Advanced F2L Examples

    • 9. Closing

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About This Class


Results May Vary

As per Skillshare policy, I must make it clear that regardless of what is written or said regarding this course, it is in no way a guarantee or a promise that you will be capable of attaining similar results to what is taught in this course. 

I will teach you some tricks and principals I use to solve under 20 seconds. These tricks helped me reduce my times significantly and I think they will help you out as well! The course is directed towards those that solve longer than 20 seconds and are interested in possibly learning how to lower their times past the 20 second barrier. You must be fairly fluent in F2L and have at least a basic knowledge of 2-Look Last Layer or better in order for you to get the most out of this course. Those that solve faster than 20 seconds may also find some helpful information here as well! I hope you enjoy this course and I look forward to hearing from you at the end! I'll see you in there!

Here are some resources regarding some of the topics I covered in this course but in greater detail:

F2L for Beginners:

2-Look for Beginners:


Example Solves:

Full PLL:

Advanced F2L:

Improve Lookahead:

Why don't you pick up some of the stuff I have in my video!

Speedcube Professional Timer:

My Main Cube (Used in Course):        <===== RECOMMENDED!!

Gan 356XS Cube:

Big 3x3 Cube:

Valk 3 Cube:

RS3M 2020 (Budget Friendly):

Thunderclap Cube (fair price):

Magnetic Square 1:

Magnetic Skewb:

4x4 Cube:

Mirror Cube:


Megaminx I recommend: 

Cube is lubed with:

Gan Lube:

In case you are interested in any production equipment I used to create this course, follow the links below:

My Lighting:
My amazing white desk:
The microphone I use:
Microphone extension cable:
My camera tripod/boom:
The microphone boom I use:
The camera/boom 90 degree adapter:
The camera that I use and I LOVE:
Zecti Camera Slider:

Quick Release Mount:

Motorized Slider Dolly:


Lofi Type Beat Biscuit
Biscuit (Prod. by Lukrembo)


Cube Together - Ikson




Download link:


Ehrling - You and Me
Song: Ehrling - You And Me (Vlog No Copyright Music)
Music provided by Vlog No Copyright Music.
Video Link:


kalaido - hanging lanterns

composed, performed, and produced by Kalaido








Lakey Inspired - Chill Day



Markvard - Obsessed

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Byron Erwin

Efficiency Is Key


Hey Everyone. My name is Byron. Getting the opportunity to teach people the joy of the Rubiks Cube all over the world is amazing. It's incredibly addicting and very fun. What I find really enjoyable is teaching people how to solve it then watching them grow into faster and faster cubers. This platform gives me the chance to do just that - but on a larger scale. I'm excited to meet and talk to you guys about this awesome past time. Lets get started. 

See full profile

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1. Introduction: Welcome to the course on how to be subbed 20. Hi, my name is Byron. I've been solving Rubik's Cubes competitively for over 12 years. And during that time, I've taught well over 600 students, both online and in-person how to solve various types of twisty puzzles. This course will be aimed at those solvers that are looking for advice on how to get solves under 20 seconds. The only prerequisite is that you can solve using F20 with at least a basic understanding of to look last layer or better, being able to solve under 20 seconds is quite the milestone and is definitely something to strive for. I will cover all kinds of tips and tricks to help you solve faster in this course may even teach something new to people that solve under 15 seconds as well. This is going to be more efficient and should shed some time off of yourselves. Now it's time to get to work and have some fun with that being said, let's get started. 2. F2L Knowledge: So when it comes to learning how to be sub 21 of the first things that I tell people. Assuming that you know, F20, which is a requirement for this course, is you want to be able to look at any F2 L case and be able to execute it without really thinking. For example, this F to L case with red and blue has its edge over here, which is red and blue. You should be able to see this case, close your eyes and then execute it perfectly every time. A good way to not only practice, but to also make sure that you do have this down is just give yourself a hand scramble and just look at an F2 L pair and try and close your eyes and execute it the best way. You know how. Don't worry about speed as long as you can knock it out every time without really looking at it. That's kinda what we're going for. For instance, this pair do the same thing. And then you're going to look at this pair. So this one and this one. Close your eyes and insert the pair. Perfect, just like that. And then you have this case, which everyone should know this case as well, which is RU R prime U prime. And this repeat it. And that'll solve that. So every single case that you're going to come across, you should be able to execute just looking at it in closing your eyes, perform the movements, and then it should be solved. Once you get to that stage, then you're pretty much good to move on to the next step. 3. OLL & PLL Fluency: Now this next one on the list is not necessarily a requirement, although it does help speed things up. And given that you know it, this is knowing full well and full PLO. If you're unaware, O allele is called orientation of the last layer. That's what those letters stand for. If you solve white first or opposite color should be yellow. So you're looking at the different shapes that the yellow will make. For instance, this bar here, these, that dot, and this over here. There's going to be 57 different cases of this. And there's going to be an algorithm for each one. For instance, this is only one of the 57. And there's a particular algorithm for this one that will turn all of them straight up, also known as orienting the last layer. You're orienting all the yellows to face up. And then that's going to introduce to you appeal case. Plo stands for permutation of the last layer. And PLL there's only 21 different cases that you'll run into. And that's speaking about the position of these side colors in the last layer. This one in particular is called a J perm. It's one of the two j perms. And there's another algorithm in order to solve the q from this point moving forward. So if you know all OL and ALL PLL, this should speed your time's up a good bit. If you already know full OL and full PLL, a good tip is to make sure that you drill these algorithms and enhance them to make sure that the finger tricks are good and that you understand the algorithm very well, including a UF's. And if you don't know what a UF is, an ALF is called adjustment of the upper face. So for instance, this is a T perm. I know that after I do this permutation, I'm going to have to do a u-prime. That is the AUM. If you adjust the upper face in order to solve it, make sure that you're able to perform in a UF regardless of the position of any of your ELLs. And that will speed your time up significantly and cut down on key rotations, which will move us into our next point. 4. Reducing Cube Rotations: Now we're going to focus on something called cube rotations. You may already know what these are. However, reducing them is not as easy as a lot of people may think. So we're going to try and cut out as many cure rotations as possible. Now keep in mind that a completely rotational a solution every single time will not yield the best results. There are times that you have to cube rotate, and there are times that you can get around it that's more efficient. I'm going to show you an example here. So this case right here, the white, orange, and green, its edges right over here. If we were to pair this from this position, we would hide this corner, raising this empty slot, moving this edge over on hiding that corner. And now we have our pair, however, it's in the back and will require a key rotation in order to insert. So in order to avoid that, we can still solve it from this position just using a little trick. Pair them up like normal. So I'll hide the corner here. Move the edge over here to pair it up. Now from here, I can grab both layers. And I can insert that slot downness position, fix this cross, and use my ring finger for an m prime. And that will insert it. And done a little bit quicker. Looks like this. So no key rotation required instill yields the same result. I use this trick all the time in my solves and it has really reduced my times by a good bit. However, you have to make sure that you're in the position for it, assuming, you know, look ahead and seeing what your next case will be. If you're going to have to rotate for the next case anyway, you might as well do it and that'll save you a little bit of time. So hopefully you enjoyed that trick. Now let's move on to the next tip. 5. Reducing Regrips: Now along with key rotations, one of the things that you want to eliminate is regroups. If you don't know what a re grip is, it's simply letting go of the cube and regrouping back on the cube. And in some extreme cases, you have to do it once, twice, three times, four times. So it can be incredibly inefficient depending on your scenario. And there's easy ways to eliminate it. And I'm going to show you a very simple solution here that will show you an example of an area that you can get rid of some regroups, definitely evaluate your own solves, everyone solves differently and uses different algorithms and different techniques. So make sure that you look at your own solutions and see where you can eliminate some regroups, just definitely solve it slow and take your time. But this is an example. In this example, I have this up to all case where this corner belongs here and its corresponding edge belongs here. But they're split pairs and we have to pair them up and insert them here. So like I'm sure a lot of you already know, we're going to move the corner here to hide it and bring this empty slot up. Move that edge over. So that way we have a pair. And a lot of people will do a U2 re grip and insert and then regroup again. So those two regrets or what we can't eliminate. And easy way to go about it. And you can, I'm going to try and hold onto this cube for you so that way you can see exactly how I would do it. You're gonna move the corner over, height it like normal. Move this edge over, unhide it, then move the whole pair over c. You can open the slot, do a U2 and insert. This is going to be more efficient and should shed some time off of yourselves. So like I said before, evaluate your own solves and see where you can cut some regroups out. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. 6. Lookahead Tips: Look ahead is one of the more controversial topics in the speed keeping community because no one really knows when to start using it or how it's exactly done, how to practice it. I'm going to try and dispel some of those myths right now. So if you don't know it, look ahead is basically, look ahead is where you're solving one F20 pair. And then you are actively tracking a different F20 pair as you solve that F20 pair. So an example would be this F20 pair and this one back here. That's a simple three move insert. And I'm already tracking this corner that belongs to this edge. And as I solve this one, I'm seeing what happens to these. And that way I can immediately get into a solution to solve that pair immediately afterwards without pausing. That is the best scenario for look ahead, and that's what everyone's trying to achieve. Utilizing look ahead. You can still solve F20 very slowly and still get a very good time with it. For example, watch this quick clip. Notice how I'm able to go through the solve without really pausing because I know what's coming next. So let's talk about when you should really start utilizing. Look at what I've noticed in my experience and all the people that I've taught going through my own experiences. I've noticed that usually when you're about sub 20, right around 20 seconds is when you should start looking and utilizing look ahead and practicing it any slower than that time. And it's really not beneficial to you because you have other things that you should be working on. Look ahead alone will definitely get you below that sub 20 barrier that you're trying to get through. It's extremely beneficial and it'll help you to not only get past sub 20, but the better your look-ahead, you can even get sub 15 and subtend with it. That's pretty much all look ahead at that point. As far as exactly how to drill. Look ahead and practice look ahead. Honestly, the best thing for you to do is solve slowly. Solve slowly, and try not to pause. So don't time yourself anymore. That's the biggest thing. Don't time yourself. Just solve slowly and only solve slow enough to where you don't have to stop, you don't have to pause. That's going to force you to look ahead. So when you're practicing look ahead, all you have to do is go as slow as you need to go to ensure that you don't pause anywhere. And you can easily move on to the next pair that you were working on. And if it's too easy for you, all you have to do is speed things up and it'll be a little bit harder for you. So just like that, I was able to get through that entire F20 solution. Just use a lot utilizing lookahead. So while I solve one pair, I'm actively looking at what I'm going to do next. It's a lot harder than it looks and it takes lots of practice. But trust me, it will come in time. Just make sure you stop timing yourself for awhile and do some slow solves. It will help you out a lot. 7. Ambidextrous U2 Application : Something that seems to stump a lot of people that they don't realize they're doing until I pointed out in their solves is a lot of people have a, I would say their best hand, their dominant hand. Where, when it comes to U2's and by YouTube's, I mean like this. They are only able to do it with one hand and the other hand does a UUU or u prime, u prime, either one, either one. So you want to be able to do a YouTube with both hands equally because they will both come in handy equally. For example, this case here, where I have this red and green edge and this reading green edge, I mean corner. I would hide it. Do a U2 with my right hand, unhide it, and then do another YouTube. But this time with my left hand, and that's just a little bit more efficient to do it that way. And then the insertion would be one of those little tricks that I know and where to insert it. But using U2 on both hands is extremely beneficial and it will cut down your time because believe it or not, doing, uh, you, uh, you, you, with either hand is not as efficient as the YouTube. It's much faster. It sounds like something very simple and it will take practice for you to incorporate it in yourselves. But just take the time to work on it. And I'm sure you'll see some improvement. 8. Advanced F2L Examples: Knowing intuitive F20 is completely fine and honestly it's very much encouraged for anyone to know is to be able to do well intuitively. However, there are some special cases like this one, for example. Or knowing an algorithm would just make things a little bit faster, intuitive as good at all. But sometimes you just need a little bit of help in order to find a more efficient solution to a more troublesome, troublesome case. This one, for example, has troubled many, many people. And I know how to do it intuitively, but I ended up doing it this way instead, which is a sledge hammer, which is a r prime, f r prime. Presenting this case. And I handle this case in one of two ways. One is by doing this, bringing up a solved slot, U2, R2 to pair, insert R2 to open the slot again and reinsert that pair back. It seems troublesome, but really it's not that bad. But there's tons of cases where you can find really efficient solutions for something that may take you a very long time. Here's some examples. For example, this one, which we called sexy earlier. This one is a very easy case. All you have to do is I, you are u prime, R prime. And you're going to perform those same movements two more times. And that solves that case. This case is definitely gotten under someone's skin, 1 or another. But knowing the algorithm for it isn't too bad. There's a couple of different solutions, but I'll show you the one that I use for this particular case. You do a rigorous, they're going to do eight R2 B prime, R prime, b r prime. And you have it made in the back. Just do a U2 and insert. Or depending on how many edges you have oriented, you could also do a sledge hammer and you can orient some edges. 9. Closing: All right, you guys, that is the end of the course. I hope you enjoyed it and found some useful information. Now keep in mind a lot of the topics that I covered in this course I cover in greater detail down in the description. And I'll show you some videos that I've already talked about these particular concepts in much greater detail. Rather than just making little touch points for you to follow. Keep in mind as well. All of these puzzles I have sitting in the background as well as the one that I currently use. They will all be linked down in the description so you guys can pick some of the stuff up for yourself. But yet again, it's been a pleasure making this course. Please take a second to review the course and let me know what I'm doing good, what I'm doing bad, and how I can improve. I'd really appreciate that feedback and I'll see you guys in the next course.