Master Trading Chart Patterns: An All-in-One Guide

Master Trading Chart Patterns: An All-in-One Guide

Transitions between rising and falling trends are frequently indicated by patterns on stock charts. A collection of trendlines and/or curves that together identify a recognized arrangement of price movement are called price patterns.

A price pattern that indicates a shift in the direction of the trend is called a reversal pattern; a continuation pattern is when the trend resumes its previous course after a short break. Here are some of the most often used patterns and how they are formed.

What to Keep in Mind

  • Technical analysis is based on patterns, which are the recognizable structures made by the fluctuations of asset prices on a chart.
  • A line joining similar price points, like closing prices, highs, or lows, throughout a given time frame indicates the presence of a pattern.
  • Chartists and technical analysts look for patterns to predict how a security’s price will move in the future.
  • These patterns range in complexity from multiple head-and-shoulders formations to trendlines.

Trendlines in Technical Analysis

Understanding and being able to draw trendlines is useful since pricing patterns are recognized by a set of lines or curves. Technical analysts can identify regions of support and resistance on a price chart by using trendlines. On a chart, trendlines are made by joining a sequence of falling peaks (highs) or rising troughs (lows).

A rising trendline, also known as an angular trendline, is seen in markets when prices are rising to higher highs and falling to rising lows. The rising lows are connected to create the upward trendline. On the other hand, a downward-angled trendline, also known as a down trendline, appears when prices are hitting lower highs and lower lows.

The body of the candle bar, not the thin wicks above and below it, typically represents where the majority of price action has occurred and, therefore, may provide a more accurate point on which to draw the trendline, especially on intraday charts where “outliers” (data points that fall well outside the “normal” range) may exist. This is just one school of thought regarding which part of the price bar should be used.

Rather than using highs or lows to build trendlines, chartists frequently utilize closing prices on daily charts since they reflect the traders and investors who are willing to hold a position throughout the course of a day, weekend, or market holiday. In general, trendlines with three or more points are more reliable than those with just two.

  • When prices are reaching greater highs and lower lows, an uptrend is underway. Two of the lows are connected by upward trendlines, which also indicate support levels below the price.
  • When prices are reaching lower highs and lower lows, a downtrend is underway. At least two of the highs are connected by downward trendlines, which show resistance levels above the price.
  • A sideways market, or consolidation, is characterized by price oscillation between two parallel, frequently horizontal trendlines.

Types of Stock Chart Patterns

Continuing Trends
A continuation pattern is a price pattern that indicates a brief pause in an ongoing trend. One could think of a continuation pattern as a break in a dominant trend. This is the moment during an uptrend when the bulls regain their breath, or during a decline when the bears temporarily ease up. It is impossible to predict if a trend will continue or turn around when a pricing pattern is developing. Therefore, it is crucial to pay close attention to the trendlines that were used to create the price pattern as well as if the price breaks above or below the zone of continuation. Unless a trend is clearly reversing, technical analysts usually advise thinking it will continue.

A price pattern is referred to as a continuation pattern if the price stays on its trend. Typical patterns of continuation are as follows:

  • Pennants made with two trend lines that converge.
  • Flags are drawn with two parallel trendlines.
  • Wedges made with two trendlines that, if they were long enough, would converge and are both inclined either upward or downward.
  • When compared to other chart patterns, triangles are one of the most often used patterns in technical analysis. Symmetrical triangles, ascending triangles, and descending triangles are the three most prevalent forms of triangles. These patterns in the charts can persist for a few weeks or for several months.

Reversal Patterns
A reversal pattern is a pricing pattern that indicates a shift from the current trend. These patterns indicate times when the bears or bulls have peaked. The current trend will halt and then shift as fresh momentum from the opposing side (bull or bear) emerges.

For instance, an upswing fueled by bullish exuberance may stall, indicating equal pressure from the bulls and bears, before finally ceding ground to the bears. As a result, the trend shifts to the negative.

Distribution patterns are reversals that happen at market peaks, when trading instruments are more eagerly sold than acquired. Reversals that take place during market bottoms, on the other hand, are referred to as accumulation patterns since they cause the trading instrument to become more actively bought than sold. The projected move once the price breaks out is larger the longer the pattern takes to form and the larger the price movement within the pattern.

A price pattern is referred to as a reversal pattern when it reverses after a halt. Typical reversal patterns include, for example:

  • Head and Shoulders, which indicates two minor price swings encircling a major move
  • Double Tops are a short-term swing high and an unsuccessful attempt to break above the same resistance level that followed.
  • Double bottoms indicate a transient swing low and a subsequent, fruitless effort to breach below the same level of support

Pennants are two trend lines formed in continuation patterns that finally converge. One important thing to note about pennants is that their trendlines move in two different directions: one trendline will move downward, and the other will move upward. Typically, when the pennant is forming, the volume will drop; when the price eventually breaks out, the volume will rise.

The flagpole on the left of a bullish pennant is a pattern that denotes an upward moving price. One pattern that denotes a downward trend in prices is the bearish pennant. Volume is decreasing in a bearish pattern, and a flagpole appears on the pennant’s right side.

Flags are continuation patterns that can be horizontally (sloping up, down, or sideways) shaped by utilizing two parallel trendlines. Generally speaking, a bullish flag with an upward slope indicates a pause in a market that is going downward; a bearish flag, on the other hand, indicates a break during an uptrending market. Declining volume usually precedes the creation of the flag and then rises when price breaks out of the formation.

Wedges are continuation patterns that are created using two converging trendlines, much like pennants. The difference between a wedge and a pennant is that a wedge’s trendlines go in the same direction, either up or down.

A wedge with an angle of down indicates a break in an upward trend, while an angle of up indicates a brief stoppage in a down market. Volume usually drops off during pattern formation, similar to pennants and flags, and then picks up again after the price breaks above or below the wedge pattern.

Wedges have an angled appearance because they exclusively show upward and downward price fluctuations, in contrast to triangles and pennants.

Ascending Triangles
A continuation pattern with an entry point, profit objective, and stop loss level is an ascending triangle. The entrance point is indicated by the intersection of the resistance line and the breakout line. One bullish trading pattern is the rising triangle.

Descending Triangles
A dropping upper trend line indicates a collapse is probably imminent, and the descending triangle, which is the opposite of the ascending triangle and shows that demand is declining.

Symmetrical Triangles
There is neither an upward or downward trend when two trend lines converge toward one another to form symmetrical triangles, which simply indicate that a breakout is likely to happen. The height of the left vertical side of the triangle corresponds to the magnitude of the breakouts or breakdowns.

Cup and Handles
When the pattern is confirmed, the upward trend that has been interrupted will resume, making the cup and handle pattern a bullish continuation pattern. Instead of a “V” form with equal highs on both sides of the cup, the “cup” section of the design should be a “U” shape that resembles the rounding of a bowl.

The “handle” of the cup takes the shape of a brief pullback on the right side, akin to a flag or pennant chart pattern. The stock may break out to new highs and resume its upward momentum once the handle is finished.

Head and Shoulders
The head and shoulders pattern is a reversal pattern that can show up as a sequence of three pushes at market peaks or troughs: a first peak or trough, a second, bigger push, and a third push that replicates the first.

A head and shoulders top pattern can cause an uptrend to stall and then turn into a downturn. On the other hand, a downtrend that culminates in a head and shoulders bottom (or an inverse head and shoulders) is probably going to witness an upside trend reversal.

Trendlines that are horizontal or slightly slanted can be used to connect the peaks and troughs between the head and shoulders. When the price breaks above (in the case of a head and shoulders bottom) or below (in the case of a head and shoulders top) the trendline, volume may decrease while the pattern develops and then rebound.

Double Top and Bottom
Reversal patterns, such as a double top or bottom, indicate places where the market has attempted twice but failed to break through a level of support or resistance.

A double top is characterized by an initial push up to a resistance level, followed by a second unsuccessful attempt that ends in a trend reversal. It frequently resembles the letter M.

Conversely, a double bottom, which resembles the letter W, happens when the price tries to break through a support level, is rejected, and then tries again but fails to do so. As the picture below illustrates, this frequently leads to a trend reversal.

Reversal patterns like head and shoulders, double tops, or double bottoms are more common than triple tops and bottoms. However, they behave similarly and can serve as a potent trading indication for a reversal of the trend. When a price tests a support or resistance level three times without breaking through, patterns are established.

When there are two troughs at the same height, it is known as a double bottom and implies that sellers are not as strong as they once were.

Reversal patterns occur in gaps. They happen when there is a pause in trade between two periods of time brought on by a notable change in price. A stock might, for instance, close at $5.00 and open at $7.00 following good earnings or other news.

Runaway, fatigue, and breakaway gaps are the three primary categories of gaps. Exhaustion gaps appear close to the end of a trend, runaway gaps throughout its midst, and breakout gaps at its beginning.

How Many Different Kinds of Chart Patterns Exist?

The number of patterns utilized by traders varies from person to person and might reach above 75. While some traders may employ far more patterns than others, others may simply use a limited amount.

Which is the strongest pattern on the chart?

Trader psychology and strategy determine which chart pattern is the strongest. Your strongest one will be the one you find to be most effective for your trading plan.

What Types of Patterns Exist in Graphs?

Patterns can be divided into three categories: bilateral, reversal, and continuation. Certain traders include only symmetrical triangles in the bilateral group, while others combine ascending, descending, and symmetrical triangles into a distinct category known as bilateral patterns.

What Do Chart Patterns Signify?

While searching for trading opportunities, traders employ chart patterns to recognize trends in stock prices. Certain patterns indicate when traders should purchase, while others indicate when they should sell or hold.


When the market “takes a break,” it typically indicates areas of consolidation that may lead to a continuation or reversal of the current trend. These areas of consolidation are known as price patterns. When attempting to discern these price trends, trendlines are crucial. A few that might show up are pennants, flags, and double tops.

These patterns involve volume, which frequently decreases as the pattern forms and rises when price breaks out of it. To predict future price behavior, including trend continuations and reversals, technical analysts search for price patterns.

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