M2M Day 88: How to fairly scramble a Rubik’s Cube

This post is part of Month to Master, a 12-month accelerated learning project. For January, my goal is to solve a Rubik’s Cube in under 20 seconds.

In the video where I solve the Rubik’s Cube in 17 seconds, before I start solving, I scramble the cube according to a series of 20 moves.

After sharing the video, many people asked where this scramble came from, if it’s random, if I’ve practice it before, etc. So, I thought I’d address that today…

I use an app called ChaoTimer to automatically generate new, random scrambles on every solve.

Each scramble is expressed using Basic Notation, which is depicted below.

Under the Basic Notation scheme, R means “turn the right face of the cube clockwise”. R’ (R prime), means “turn the right face of the cube counterclockwise”. R2 means “turn the right face of the cube 180 degrees”. And so on, with F = front; B = back; L = Left; R = Right; U = Up; D = Down.


You can see in the screen shot above that I’ve only solved the Rubik’s Cube 853 times this month while using the app. There are 43,252,003,274,489,856,000 possible Rubik’s Cube scrambles, all of which can be generated in 20 moves.

Thus, I’m nearly certain that I’ve never had the same scramble twice.


Anyway, if you’re interested in speed cubing, I’d highly recommend downloading the ChaoTimer app. Not only does it generate scrambles, but it also keeps time and crunches a bunch of statistics about your solves.

Read the next post. Read the previous post.

Max Deutsch is an obsessive learner, product builder, guinea pig for Month to Master, and founder at Openmind.

If you want to follow along with Max’s year-long accelerated learning project, make sure to follow this Medium account.