EditorEditor: Chris CammackUpdated: November 13, 2023

Last Updated On November 13, 2023

Alison Heyerdahl

Double-tops are powerful chart patterns that help traders identify buy and sell signals, and where to place stop-losses and take-profits. In this video, Alison describes what double-tops are, how to identify them, how they create buy and sell signals, and how to trade them.


Welcome to our tutorial on trading patterns. I’m Alison from FxScouts. Today, we’re going to delve into a common pattern you’ll often see on trading charts: the double top. Understanding this pattern is crucial for timing your entries and exits in trading with greater precision.

Understanding Double Tops
A Bearish Reversal Trading Pattern

A double top is a bearish reversal pattern that appears on charts. It consists of two peaks above a support level, also known as the neckline. The pattern starts with a strong bullish trend leading to the first peak, followed by a retraction to the neckline. After this, there’s a bullish momentum swing, forming the second peak. The price then reverses to a bearish trend, moving below the neckline.

Identifying a Double Top Reversal
Key Features of the Pattern

  1. Previous Trend: The price should be in an uptrend with higher highs and lows.
  2. First Peak: This peak is part of the uptrend. Its reversal often indicates profit-taking after a price increase.
  3. Trough: A decline of 10% to 20% on low volume, lasting for some time.
  4. Second Peak: This peak approaches the level of the first but doesn’t necessarily reach the same resistance.
  5. Decline: A rapid decline from the second peak on higher volumes, indicating strong selling pressure.
  6. Support Break: A sharp break through the support level, continuing the downtrend.

How to Trade a Double-Top
Strategies for Trading the Pattern

  1. Neckline Break Trade: Enter a short trade when the price crosses below the neckline, signalling a trend reversal. Use a stop-loss order above the recent swing high and determine your profit target from the vertical distance between the neckline and the highest peak.
  2. Retest Technique: After the neckline break, wait for a price retest from below. Look for a bearish confirmation signal to enter a short trade. Set a profit target and stop-loss as per your strategy.
  3. Using Technical Indicators: Enhance reliability by checking for bearish divergence in indicators like MACD or RSI. Enter a short trade after a neckline break confirmed by these indicators, following your stop-loss and profit target rules.

Common Mistakes with Double Top Reversals
Avoiding Premature Trading Decisions

A frequent mistake is entering trades before the break through the trough resistance level. The double top reversal isn’t confirmed until this level is breached. Since multiple top patterns are common in long-term price action, it’s crucial to wait for a decisive trough resistance break.

Final Thoughts
Applying Double Top Patterns in Day Trading

While day traders might not usually use long-term patterns like the double top reversal, these patterns are invaluable for identifying long-term trends. This helps in selecting appropriate short-term indicators and patterns for trading decisions. It’s essential to confirm the specifics of any chart pattern before considering it for trading, especially in the case of patterns with multiple tops.

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