Butterfly and Bat Patterns [with Video]

Chart patterns are among the most important tools we can use to guess the next market direction, take a position and make some money. So far, I have talked about triangles, wedges, flags, pennants, rectangles, head and shoulders, and cup and handle patterns. In this article, I am talking about some other kinds of patterns that are very important in predicting the market’s direction, specially when there is a possibility that the market changes its direction.

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What Are Butterfly and Bat Patterns?

Butterfly and Bat patterns are also known as Harmonic patterns. Butterfly pattern which is also known as W pattern, is an important reversal pattern that usually forms at the top of an uptrend. Of course, you have to notice that this pattern doesn’t always cause the market to reverse, and sometimes the trend will be continued after that. I will tell you what to do to stay away from taking wrong positions.

Bat pattern is so similar to butterfly pattern. It is a reversal pattern too. In fact, Butterfly and Bat patterns are almost the same, but just their shape is a little different. Sometimes it becomes hard to say if the pattern is a bat or butterfly pattern, but this doesn’t matter at all. The only thing we have to learn very well is that we understand that the market is going to an indecision status for a while and it is possible that it reverses, so that we take a position and make some money.

Experience shows that Bat pattern usually forms at the bottom of downtrends, but Butterfly pattern forms at the top of uptrends. Bat pattern looks like a capital M, whereas butterfly pattern looks like a capital W.

Please let me show you some examples and then I will tell you how you can trade using these patterns.

This is a beautiful Butterfly pattern formed at the top of a strong uptrend on GBP/USD daily chart:

Butterfly Pattern

And this is another butterfly pattern on the same chart:

Butterfly Pattern

And this is another butterfly pattern formed on EUR/USD four hours chart:

Butterfly Pattern Formed on EUR/USD

This is a bat pattern formed at the bottom of a downtrend on EUR/USD four hours chart. As you see, it really looks like a Bat and also capital M. Also you can see that the downtrend reverses and goes up very strongly after this bat pattern:

Bat Pattern

How to Trade the Butterfly or Bat Patterns?

Like all the other patterns, these patterns also have a support and resistance line. My strategy for trading these patterns is the same as my trading strategy with the other patterns. I consider the rules, but I always wait for a breakout. This is what I have always emphasized on.

For example, although it is said that Butterfly and Bat patterns are reversal patterns, I do not go against the trend when I see that these patterns are formed at the top of an uptrend. I wait for the market to break below the support line and then I go short.

Here below I am showing you an example. As you see a strong Butterfly pattern is formed on EUR/USD four hours chart, and finally it worked strongly as a reversal pattern and the price went down. However, in order to go short, we had to wait for the market to go down and break below the Butterfly support. The breakout occurs when a candlestick closes below the support line or above the resistance. The stop loss has to be placed above the candlestick which has broken below the support:

Butterfly Pattern Support Breakout

This is another example:

Support Breakout

In case of a Bat pattern that forms at the bottom of a downtrend, we have to wait for a resistance breakout to go long:

Bat Pattern Resistance Breakout

The same Bat pattern resistance breakout in more details:

Bat Pattern Resistance Breakout in More Details

Like all the other patterns, there will be cases that Butterfly and Bat patterns cannot make the market reverse. So you have to be always careful and have a reasonable stop loss to get out if the trade setup doesn’t work as you expect it to. Also don’t forget to move your stop loss to breakeven if the market moves toward the target at least x1 or x2 of your stop loss size.

How Far Does the Price Move After a Butterfly or Bat Pattern Breakouts?

I’ve already showed you some analysis about the size and direction of the market movement, in my triangles, head and shoulders and specially in my cup and handle articles. There are some methods that you can predict the size of the market movement after the Butterfly and Bat pattern breakouts too. However, I prefer not to talk about them here, because experience shows that these techniques are not reliable in case of Butterfly and Bat patterns. I do not want to make your trading too complicated with these techniques.

The truth that you should never forget is that, markets pay no attention to our analysis. They move on their own way. All we can do is that we locate the trade setups, take the positions, set the stop loss and target orders, and then wait to see what will happen.

Therefore, like all the other patterns, in case of butterfly and bat patterns breakouts I recommend you to set a reasonable stop loss as it was instructed above, and set a target order which is at least x3 of your stop loss size. An optimum and proper entry helps you have a reasonable stop loss which is not too wide. So your target will not be too wide too, and can be hit by the price easily. Also don’t forget to move your stop loss to breakeven when it is the time to.

Watch the video:


Published by

LuckScout Team

"Whether you think you can, or you think you cannot, you are right." - Henry Ford


  1. Hi
    Arent we supposed to enter short when there is a reversal strong trade set up? eg. dark cloud or engulfing. Why do we have to wait for the price to break down the support line? Or this is a totally different method to candlestick one?

    1. More conservative entry? Or, if you missed the entry as you described, a second chance?

      These are all different patterns and setups; just like tools in your toolbox, the more you have, the more trades you can find.

  2. Hi, thanks for the article, nice one! Please what if the butterfly is a wide one, which means the ‘W’ is not big but wide, is this still ok? Thanks.

    1. Hi,

      Please see below the link,

      (1) One wing is wider than the other, does it matter?

      (2) Apart from a resistance line breakout, support line breakout, and 100% trade set ups at the ‘M’ and ‘W’ that form at the tops (high) and bottoms (lows) after the high and bottom have been joined by a trendline, we are not suppose to take a trade otherwise it would be termed as ‘trading tops and bottoms’ blindly. Please is this right?



  3. Hi, I tried to follow the two steps on how to save a picture but still it saved my account number on the platform, please are you able to block the details before posting? I am grateful. Thanks.

    1. Shalewa,

      MT4 doesn’t do it itself. Probably you have an indicator or EA on the chart that prints your account info on the chart, so that it has the account info when you save it.

    1. Sorry, text should be the AUDUSD has broken the resistance line today after forming a Bat Pattern. Thanks

  4. Is it necessary to use butterfly, head and shoulders, triangles, wedges etc to be profitable? I hope strong CS patterns + bollinger are enough. Just to make things more simple.

  5. Thank you

    Very informative article about these patterns.

    I have to practice finding them on chart to make my eyes get used to observing them easily.

  6. Hi, thank you for the nice insight on M and W patternes. Please do you have any good indicator that can help us detect these two patterns easily and draw then just like in the xamples you showed us here.



  7. Great article man! Love it…never realized how similar the butterfly and bat pattern can look…would take a keen eye to distinguish and that you have my friend! I see like the head and shoulders you need to wait for the neckline to break and retest. Fascinating! I take it these patterns are rare on the higher time frames? Anyway thanks for the article.

  8. Thanks for article,
    using stochastic for this setup could be a helpful confirmation as well? I mean do you initially recommend Stochastic as confirmation for this pattern?

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