5 Things To Know When Swing Trading Inside Bars In The Forex Market

Swing trading inside bars is a simple trading pattern where one or many bars are contained between the high and low of another known as the “mother bar”. Often times, depending on the length of the inside bar pattern, it will appear as a triangle on your chart.

Swing Trading Inside Bars

Swing Trading Inside Bars

This is a breakout trading strategy that you can use when price has found itself near levels of support and resistance.


Using Inside Bar Candlestick Pattern At Good Areas

Since the inside bar indicates a lower level of volatility, it can appear just about any place on a chart and that is why you must have some trading rules about using the pattern.

A few rules you may want to use for a higher probability trade and to avoid over trading are:

  1. How many inside bars do you need to see inside the mother bar?
  2. Does the mother bar include the low and highs or will you use the real body of the candlestick?
  3. Will inside bar trading only take place at obvious levels on the chart?
  4. What technique will you use to pull the trigger on the trade?
  5. What system will you use in placing your protective stop loss?

Every proper trading system has rules and this strategy is no different. Without trading rules, you will fall victim to emotional trading and that is one of the fastest ways to dwindle your trading account to zero.


Developing Your Own Inside Candle Trading Strategy

Let’s take the 5 points above and expand on them as you develop your trading strategy. I want to focus on swing trading inside bars in Forex because even though FX is a 24 hour market, not all of those hours are worth sitting at your desk for.


1. How many inside bars do you need to see?

Since the formation of this pattern indicates lower volatility (volatility compression) and indecision, the longer it plays out the more pent up energy is contained within the pattern.  You could have multiple occurrences of them which will form a triangle or you may only have one.  For trading patterns, the more the merrier for me and some traders need to see weeks of consolidation before taking a trade.

multiple inside candlesticks pattern

multiple inside candlesticks pattern


2. Mother bar body or shadows?

For simplicity, you could simply use the entire candlestick but there are arguments for both.  Remember that each close on a candle is an acceptance and willingness of market participants to hold their position at that price.  Where the close occurs with the mother candle may have you decide which part to use.


3. Obvious levels on the chart?

You may elect to only consider swing trading inside bars when they present themselves at obvious turning points on the chart.  What about seeing a large momentum move and then a series of inside bars forming at the highs?  Depending on where these occur, this strategy may be showing a trend reversal or continuation.  You have to know how to read price action to have your order leaning one way or the other.

swing trading off support and resistance with inside bars

Two examples of location

4. How will you enter the swing trade?

Some traders will wait for the break of the mother bar and others will look for a price pattern on a lower time frame to indicate an entry.  Just keep in mind that at every breakout point, there can be a lot of volatility which could also include slippage.  One technique is to look on a lower time frame to see if there is an indication like a pin bar showing up in a range inside of the inside bar pattern.  You may find an entry in that zone.


5. Stop loss when trading inside bars

You could elect to use the low of the mother candle but keep in mind that you may be the victim of a bull or bear trap if you use a tight stop.  You may study using the ATR as a stop measure or, depending on the strength of the break, you may use a point inside of the pattern.


Swing Trading Inside Bars Conclusion

Swing trading inside bars is a great non-day trading strategy since, once the mother candle has formed and the amount of inside bars have formed that your trading plan requires has formed, you can set a stop order to be taken into the market.  If using that method, you may want to use the ATR value x 2 at the mother candle.  This way you will have a better representation of the range prior to the inside bars.



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