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Reversal Chart Patterns - Identify Market Reversals

By Stelian Olar, Updated on: Dec 01 2023.

We've all been there as traders - poring over charts trying to spot the next big move. As prices zigzag up and down, we search for clues on whether this move is a trend continuation or a trend reversal. Those seemingly random bars and candles can actually provide insight, if you know the key reversal chart patterns.

In this article, we'll explore:

  • All reversal chart patterns like the hammer, hanging man, and morning/evening star formations.
  • I'll explain what each reversal pattern indicates, with visual chart examples.
  • Share the reversal chart patterns cheat sheet PDF for easy reference.
  • Common chart pattern traps to avoid

Whether you’re forex trading, trade stocks, or cryptocurrency, these bearish and bullish chart reversal patterns apply across any financial market, not just the forex market.

Reversal patterns can aid your trading strategy and risk management.

For example, a bullish engulfing pattern may prompt you to close out short trades or you might enter limit orders to capitalize on an impending bounce when you spot a piercing line. As with any indicator, reversal trading patterns should be combined with other analysis.

My goal today is to help these forex reversal chart patterns jump off the charts for you (instead of feeling like random candlestick mumbo jumbo!). Understanding the bullish bar reversal chart pattern meaning allows you to tell the market's story on a deeper level.

Let's decode these chart pattern cheat sheets messengers together!

What Are Reversal Chart Patterns

As the name suggests, trend reversal chart patterns indicate potential trend reversals or bounces after a sustained price move. Unlike continuation patterns, reversals mark a turning point in sentiment and momentum.

Candlestick chart reversal patterns emerge across various time frames when buyers or sellers enter at areas of value. For example, after a sharp downtrend, bullish traders may step in, creating demand that “reverses” the bearish bias.

Common trading reversal patterns include one or multiple candlestick pattern forms like hammers, engulfing bars, morning and evening star candlestick patterns. The collective story they tell reflects shifting bearish candles to bullish candles (or vice versa).

Mastering these candlestick formations allows traders to spot upcoming reactions earlier.

Let’s explore some most common reversals and the psychology behind them now.

How Many Reversal Patterns Are There

Traders can choose from a variety of reliable reversal chart patterns but by categorizing them by sentiment helps narrow the focus. Generally, formations fall into two buckets:

  • Bullish reversal chart patterns: These indicate potential bottoms and upside bounces (examples include the hammer, piercing pattern, bullish engulfing bar and morning/evening Doji stars.
  • Bearish reversal patterns: These signal possible trend tops and reversals lower. The shooting star, hanging man, bearish engulfing, and evening/morning star with long upper shadows are common bearish reversals.

While the exact number varies by source, most reference about 10-12 key reliable formations. Of course, combinations of candlesticks can form longer-term pattern configurations too.

Later, we’ll break down individual reversal chart patterns cheat sheet with visuals. For now, realize that not all reversals mark exact bottoms - rather, they flag increased odds of trends changing.

Classic Chart Reversal Patterns

Beyond single-candle formations, there are several classic chart patterns worth noting that include reliable multi-candle or geometric trends that mark potential inflection points.

Here are some of the best reversal patterns for day trading and swing trading:

Double Top and Bottom:

  • As the name suggests, price forms two swing highs or lows at similar levels, signaling decreasing momentum that often precipitates a trend reversal.
  • For example, the double top reversal chart pattern predicts a shift from an uptrend to a downtrend.

all reversal chart patterns

Head and Shoulders:

  • A peak forms between two smaller highs, creating a head and shoulders shape.
  • This popular toppy pattern shows distribution and warns of potential long liquidations.

bearish reversal chart patterns

Pennant Pattern:

  • This small symmetrical triangle indicates consolidation before a major breakout.
  • Play this by buying the upside break or shorting the breakdown.

reversal chart patterns cheat sheet

Trading geometric patterns requires identifying key entry, stop loss and take profit levels while more complex than single candlesticks, robust signals emerge once understood.

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s explore specific reversal candlestick charts...

Candlestick Reversal Patterns

While chart patterns capture multi-candle trends, single candlestick formations reveal much on their own.

Some key candle reversals include:

Island Reversal Chart Pattern

  • This aptly-named formation island reversal pattern involves a cluster of candlesticks separated by gaps up and down.
  • The disjointed candlesticks that form the island reversal chart indicates an exhaustion gap and impending price reversal.

candlestick chart reversal patterns

Harami Pattern:

  • A small real body nestles inside the previous candle’s body, signaling indecision and potential trend changes.
  • The first Japanese candlestick is often a large candlestick that is in the direction of the prevailing trend.

reversal pattern chart

Inverted Hammer:

reversal chart patterns pdf

Abandoned Baby:

  • In an uptrend, a Doji candle gapped below the low is sandwiched between two opposite candlesticks colored real bodies.
  • This warns of selling momentum ahead.

reversal chart patterns cheat sheet pdf

Three White Soldiers:

  • Three tall white (green) candles in an uptrend indicate strong bullish conviction after consolidation or selloffs.
  • Each successive candle close occurs near the top of the trading session.

reversal chart patterns

The best part about candlestick patterns?

Once you learn one reversal formation, it applies across all financial markets and time frames.

Next, let’s explore some key strategies around reversals.

How Do You Predict Reversals

Spotting potential trend changes is part art, part science. Here are tips for applying reversal patterns charts:

  • Combine with indicators: Volume, RSI and moving averages help confirm whether a long lower shadow or toppy wick reflects a temporary pullback or true reversal.
  • Consider the trend: A bearish candle after a sustained uptrend holds more weight than a blip in a strong downmove.
  • Watch for traps: Not all reversals play out. Whipsaws and fakes happen, hence the need for disciplined stop losses.
  • Factor in events: Earnings, economic data, and news that shift sentiment can precipitate lasting trend changes.

The key is contextualizing candlesticks based on the broader price action picture. For example, a morning Doji star means less in a range bound market vs after a 50% surge.

Get familiar with key bullish candle and bearish signals, then practice across different stocks, forex pairs and indices and soon you’ll be able to predict reversals like a pro!

Now let’s dive into sample formations with chart images...

How Are Reversal Patterns Different from Continuation Patterns

The distinction comes down to one key concept: reversals indicate a lasting change in trend, while continuations show consolidation before price pushes higher or lower again in the dominant direction.

For example, a bull flag or symmetrical triangle suggests a temporary pullback. Traders expect an upside breakout and continuation once the pattern completes.

Meanwhile, a head and shoulders or double tops are reversal chart pattern indicating distribution and marks major resistance levels. The probability that buyers regain control is low so likely, the trend changes from up to down.

Which Pattern Signals the Reversal to the Upside

When looking to play trend reversals as a trade, upside bounces offer the best risk-to-reward potential.

So which reversal chart pattern preempts bullish moves most reliably?

While any formation can have false signals, the inverted hammer and morning star candlesticks make that top traders’ watchlist.


Long lower wicks indicate buyers stepped in aggressively at support levels amid a selloff which demonstrates committed dip demand exists. Likewise, the morning star’s bottoming tail after a black candle body reflects changing market psychology from fear to optimism.

In addition, the piercing pattern when a green candle upends 50% or more of the previous red candle shows enormous pressure from the buy side. Active traders will reference this vivid sign of upside conviction.

Traders always want the inside scoop - what’s the one candlestick chart reversal pattern generating the biggest returns?

See the answer below:

What Is the Most Profitable Reversal Pattern

Reviewing historical charts shows the hanging man, shooting star and engulfing patterns emerge the most at market turns. In addition, classic signals like head and shoulders and double tops form reliably (albeit rarely) at major tops.

For example, an inverted hammer after a 50% retracement of a bull market often preempts the next leg higher, whereas a Doji star reversion without much backdrop context may fail.

The key to profitable reversals isn’t a single formation per se, rather, combining:

  1. High probability signals: Setups like double bottoms and hammer candles that recur frequently
  2. Favorable risk-to-reward: Entry near key support with wider upside targets
  3. Confirmation indicators: Volume, momentum oscillators to validate probability

Checklists like this help ensure reversals occur at opportune chart levels with factors backing the transition. So rather than anticipating one reversal pattern chart, cultivate flexibility using high probability signals as they emerge.

Trading Reversal Patterns - 5 Useful Tips for Traders

By now you should be well-versed in spotting and trading key reversal chart patterns pdf. Let's shake things up with some unconventional ideas:

  1. Draw the patterns - Grab a coloring pencil and manually draw the price breaks and candlesticks that form your favorite reversals. Connecting more deeply with the visuals can improve pattern recognition in live trading.
  2. Verbalize the signals - When you spot a reversal setting up, describe out loud what it means using trading terminology. Hearing yourself narrate the market's story boosts analysis skills.
  3. Learn pattern sounds - Come up with unique sounds or songs for memorable formations like double tops and inverted hammers. Associating musical cues can accelerate identification.
  4. Keep a reversal journal - Jot down your thoughts in real-time as reversals trigger and review what worked and what didn't for continuous improvement.
  5. Discuss with other traders - Share reversal trades and learnings with peers because varied perspectives around market psychology prevents information bubbles.

Hopefully these ideas spur your creativity in applying reversal magic!

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