Want to predict stock price changes?

Spotting reversal patterns such as three outside up/down can change the game. These powerful tools indicate possible changes in the market trend. Learning to identify the three outside up/down patterns gives you insights into potential price trends and create plans for making profit from shifts in the market.

This article explores the ways to find these patterns and apply the awareness of them to make better trading choices. Ready to explore the secrets of these traditional reversal patterns? Let’s get started!

Exploring the Three Outside Up/Down Patterns

The three outside up and three outside down are important candlestick formations that indicate possible reversals in market trends. These patterns are especially useful in technical analysis because they have a high probability of forecasting changes in market direction, making them very important for traders who want to take advantage of initial indications of trend alterations.

Three Outside Up Pattern: This shows a bullish change in trends during a downtrend. It begins with one big bearish candle, then there comes one bullish candle that completely engulfs the body of the first candle and closes above it. The third candle keeps moving upwards and finishes higher than second, validating the change from pessimistic to optimistic mood.

This is the basic structure of the two patterns: 

Diagram of three outside up and three outside down candlestick patterns.

Spotting Bullish and Bearish Reversals with Three Outside Patterns.

Three Outside Down Pattern: On the other hand, this bearish reversal pattern can be seen in an upward trend. The setup starts with a big bullish candle, followed by a bearish candle that totally covers the body of the first one and it closes underneath. Confirmation comes when the third light keeps going down and ends lower than the second light, showing change from up to down momentum.

These shapes are very meaningful. They could be showing a possible alteration in the market’s basic dynamics, and they may also be pointing to robust buyer or seller force–a crucial element for confirming trend reversal. The main importance of the second candle being bigger and covering the first one is that it shows a strong change in market feelings within a short time, often leading to long-lasting direction moves. This feature makes three outside patterns very useful tools for traders as they give practical knowledge which can guide them towards choosing when to enter or leave markets strategically.

Grasping and acknowledging these patterns can help traders to time their trades better, letting them come in at the start of a fresh trend for higher profit. Still, as with all trading methods, it is suggested that you get confirmation from other indicators or trading volume to double-check the pattern and reduce chances of wrong signals.

Mechanics of the Three Outside Up/Down Formation

The three outside up and three outside down candlestick patterns happen when three special candlesticks appear in a particular order, showing a possible shift in the current trend. These patterns are identified based on their exact shape and where they occur within market conditions – these aspects make them key elements for technical analysis.

Three Outside Up Formation: It is a bearish to bullish reversal pattern that often appears during a downtrend. The formation starts with one big bearish candlestick, showing the existing downward force. Next comes one larger-sized bullish candle which fully swallows up the body of the first candlestick. This symbolizes sudden and strong interest in buying that surpasses previous selling pressure, indicating potential change from decrease to increase. The third candlestick, being higher than the second one, adds to this bullish sign and confirms the change in direction along with possibility of uptrend.

Three Outside Down Formation: On the other hand, this pattern comes about during a rise in value, and it suggests a bearish reversal. The first candlestick is bullish and quite big, displaying ongoing buying force. The second one is bearish and larger than the first one; it engulfs the whole body of initial candlestick, signaling a change towards selling being in control. The last candlestick supports this bearish view because it ends lower than the second one, confirming the possibility of a drop in price.

Market Conditions and Criteria:

  • Preceding Trend: Before the three outside up pattern, there should be a clear downtrend. The three outside down needs to have a prior uptrend.
  • Engulfment: The second candle must “swallow” the first candle’s body fully. This shows a powerful switch in market feelings.
  • Continuation Candle: The third candle must move along with the second candle’s direction, providing more confirmation for the reversal.

Traders must view these patterns within the broader market context, as external factors like news and economic shifts can influence their reliability. Ideally, volume should steadily increase during the pattern’s formation, particularly in the second and third candles. This rising volume confirms the growing strength behind the potential trend reversal. Recognizing these patterns effectively involves both identifying the candlestick formations and understanding the larger market landscape for informed trading decisions. 

Decoding the Three Outside Patterns

The three outside up and down patterns are key to technical analysis, as they help traders see possible changes in market momentum. To understand them correctly, you need to focus on the candle shapes and also consider their place in the larger market situation.


  • Three Outside Up: This pattern starts with a candle showing bearish activity, followed by another candle that is bullish and covers the first one entirely. The confirmation comes from a third candle going upwards. Usually, you find this pattern when there’s been an ongoing decrease in trend and it suggests possibly changing into more optimistic momentum.
  • Three Outside Down: This one begins with a green candle, then a red one that covers it up and lastly another red candle which confirms the bearish pattern. It is frequently seen in upward trends, indicating possible turning to bearish movement.


  • Market Sentiment: The most crucial point about sentiment is the engulfing candle. In three outside up, it displays a powerful buying force that overcomes previous selling pressure. Similarly with three outside down, it signifies sellers taking over the market and pushing prices lower.
  • Confirmation: The third candle is extremely important for confirming the trend change that is suggested by the engulfing pattern. In three outside up, a higher close on this candle confirms upward momentum; a lower close in three outside down confirms downward move.
  • Volume Analysis: Rise in volume is expected during the formation of these patterns, mainly on the second and third candles. When volume increases in these phases, it boosts the reversal signal by indicating more involvement from the market. Importantly, you can learn a lot from volume – the greater the volume surge, the stronger the potential reversal might be.
  • Trading Context: You must think about these patterns in relation to the overall market situation. Elements such as support/resistance levels, other technical indications and general market direction are crucial for evaluating the dependability of patterns. For example, a three outside up pattern near important resistance might require more bullish signs to validate a real breakout.

Knowing these factors can help traders use the three outside up and down patterns better, improve their decision-making ability and make the most of predicting future price changes.

Psychological Dynamics Behind the Patterns

The three outside up and down patterns are not only visual signs in candlestick charting, but also show the mindset of people involved in the market. This understanding is crucial for comprehending their strength as turning point indicators.

Market Sentiment Shifts:

  • Three Outside Up: This happens when the gloomy mood from bears reaches its highest point and they are in control. The first candle finishes lower, indicating a continuation of downtrend. Yet, a bigger second bullish candle shows an important change in sentiment as purchasers become more sure of themselves and ready to purchase at increased costs – this might imply possible reversal of downtrend.
  • Three Outside Down: It starts with a positive feeling as the first candle ends higher. The following bearish candle, which is bigger, covers the earlier one. This shows that there has been a fast change to negative sentiment. It means strong sellers are coming back in – this can catch many buyers by surprise and swiftly alter who has control over the market.

Psychology of Engulfment:

The second candle’s “engulfing” characteristic is very important. When there’s a bullish reversal, it shows increasing hope and readiness to push up prices against previous selling force. Conversely, in bearish reversals, it symbolizes growing fear or profit collection that can reverse previous gains. Observing these engulfing patterns alongside formations like triple tops and bottoms can further reinforce the potential for trend reversals. 

Confirmation and Commitment:

The third candle is very important to confirm what the engulfment indicates about changing trends. The direction and size of it show if traders are really committed to this fresh trend or still unsure. If there’s a strong third candle, then it will make the new trend more valid – this may cause more traders to adjust their positions.

Traders who study these psychological aspects of the market and this pattern can understand more about the emotional changes involved in the three outside up/down patterns, going beyond just knowing how they are formed mechanically. This comprehension helps them make smarter trading choices by matching technical signals with market feelings.

Strategic Approaches to Trading the Three Outside Patterns

Three outside up and three outside down are very important in candlestick trading. They give a good signal for market entry and exit. Let’s look at an organized way to use these patterns:

Entry Points:

  • Three Outside Up: In the context of a bullish reversal, if the third candle finishes higher than the second one, traders may begin to take up a long position at its closing, essentially adopting a buy the dip strategy. They expect ongoing upward strength because this pattern shows movement from sellers into buyers and signifies this change in market sentiment.
  • Three Outside Down: This pattern shows a bearish reversal and is good for starting a short position. You can enter when the third candle closes, which we anticipate to close lower and confirm the trend’s bearish continuation.

Stop Loss Settings:

Stop-loss orders are crucial for managing risk. In three outside up, a stop loss placed just below the lowest point of these three candles helps to guard against incorrect reversals. But for three outside down, putting your stop loss above the highest point of pattern can help you manage risk if there is an unexpected bullish shift.

Target Profits:

Profit objectives are often established by taking into account the pattern’s height and extending that same distance from where you entered in the opposite direction of reversal. Traders could also look at past resistance (for bullish situations) or support levels (for bearish situations), adjusting these goals as per how market conditions and momentum change over time.

Strategic Considerations:

To trade well using the three outside up/down patterns, one must comprehend how these fit into wider market movements. The addition of volume can make a significant difference in pattern trustworthiness, as it is an element that enhances confirmation. For instance, if there’s a rise in volume on the reversal candle and this aligns with important moving averages or momentum indicators – such actions may give extra confirmation to the pattern’s forecast precision.

By using these methods, traders can make better use of the three outside up/down patterns. They can enter and exit at more advantageous points while carefully controlling risk.

Illustrative Insight: Three Outside Up/Down in Action

The pattern called three outside up/down, important for understanding candlestick charts, usually shows big changes in the market direction. Let’s examine how this pattern affects trading choices, with a special attention to Apple Inc. (AAPL).

Example of Three Outside Down:

In the middle of April 2024, Apple’s shares sank, a greater decrease than the overall market, mostly due to tech stocks not doing well in general. So on the 16th of April, a three outside down was created, which showed that this downward trend would keep going. The pattern started with a big candle going down, then came another candle that was bigger and went up, covering the first one. But the next candle closed lower than the second one. It showed Apple’s price was still going to fall because of problems happening in technology companies.

Here’s what AAPL’s stock was doing when the three outside down pattern was formed:

 Hourly chart of Apple Inc. with a three outside down pattern circled, indicating a bearish trend.

Apple Inc.’s stock chart featuring a three outside down pattern during mid-April 2024

Transition to Three Outside Up:

When things got better, a three outside up pattern appeared and helped the stock price of AAPL to go up. This positive sign had one small candle that went down at first, then a bigger candle going up that closed over the opening of day one, and another one closing even higher than the top of the second candle. The pattern seemed to indicate a powerful change towards rising prices, which matched with the increase in Apple’s price before the announcement of its earnings at the end of April.

Check out its smooth ride up through the end of April 2024: 

Hourly chart of Apple Inc. showing a three outside up pattern circled, suggesting an upward trend.

Apple Inc.’s stock chart with a three outside up pattern indicating a bullish reversal.

Current Situation and Forward Outlook:

Apple is getting ready to share their Q2 financial results while facing difficulties such as a decrease in iPhone sales and problems in China, leaving people unsure about where its stock will go next. But if traders learn the three outside up/down pattern, it can help them deal with this uncertainty more effectively.


Traders could use their skill to recognize and understand the three outside up/down formations, which gave useful clues about Apple’s latest price changes. This situation highlights how crucial these patterns are for forecasting changes in the market, allowing traders to arrange their positions carefully for what might happen next. 

Three Outside vs. Three Inside Patterns

The three outside and the three inside patterns both give signs that there could be a change in direction, but they are formed differently and their signals have different levels of strength which affects how traders decide to apply them.

Three Outside Patterns:

  • The pattern features a powerful engulfing candle that completely covers the first, followed by a confirming third candle extending the reversal. For the bullish type, you have a small red candle, followed by a large engulfing green candle, and then another green for confirmation; the bearish version starts with a small green, then a big engulfing red candle, and a final confirming red candle. 
  • Reliability is seen as very trustworthy because the market feelings clearly changed, shown by the big candle pattern and additional proof.

Three Inside Patterns:

  • This pattern features a smaller second candle contained within the first, similar to a harami pattern, followed by a third candle breaking out of the initial candle’s range to signal a potential reversal. For bullish and bearish interpretations: if prices rally after this pattern, it’s bullish; if they drop, it’s considered bearish. 
  • Reliability is somewhat good but not as much as three outside patterns because there is no engulfment, which indicates a weaker change in feeling.


The main difference is in the second candle, which shows engulfment for Three Outside patterns and containment for Three Inside patterns. Usually, Three Outside patterns mean a stronger change of direction because they more clearly refuse the previous trend. Traders may think of acting on Three Outside patterns sooner but should always consider the overall market context, trading volume, and other signals, such as a bull or bear flag, for confirmation.

Evaluating the Three Outside Patterns

The patterns of three outside up and down, they show possible changes in the market direction. Let us look at their good points and bad points:


  • Clear Signal: Their distinct formation offers a straightforward indication of changing market sentiment.
  • The movement of the third candle strengthens the signal, making traders more sure about the possible change in trend direction. 
  • Versatile: Applicable across various timeframes and market conditions.


  • Because of their particular structure, they might be rarer and could reduce chances in quickly changing markets.
  • It is important to check with additional indicators because sometimes the patterns can give wrong signals if we don’t look at them within the wider market situation.


People who trade with the help of three outside patterns need to consider the bigger market situation and look for extra signals from other indicators, such as technical indicators and other tools like trade signals. This comprehensive approach helps make their trading more precise and less risky. It’s necessary to keep in mind that these patterns are only part of a complete trading plan.


Patterns such as three outside up and three outside down are strong technical analysis instruments that assist in predicting potential market changes, sentiment, and volatility. When traders can accurately recognize and understand these patterns, it helps them make better decisions especially when correct timing is crucial.

Don’t forget, the three outside patterns provide useful signs but how well they work is also about how you bring them together with a full trading plan. Combine these signals with other technical indicators like momentum indicators to help confirm, maintaining balance in your method. Incorporate the knowledge from these patterns into a strong risk management system and understanding of the market for finding trend changes and adjusting your trading technique accordingly. This complete approach gives you more chances to succeed in different market situations.

Three Outside Up/Down Patterns: FAQs

What Primary Indicators Complement the Three Outside Up/Down Patterns for Stronger Trade Confirmations?

To add to the three outside up/down formations, we look at volume measures for a sign of how strong these price changes are. Also, using technical equipment such as RSI or Moving Average Convergence Divergence, or MACD, can give more evidence about if trends are changing direction and the force with which they move.

How Reliable are the Three Outside Up/Down Patterns in Fast-Moving or Volatile Markets?

In markets where prices change quickly or are unpredictable, the three outside up/down patterns can be trusted but might need stronger confirmation from additional indicators. Because of the swift changes in price in these types of markets, there can often be a lot of pattern formations that do not always mean lasting reversals.

Is It Possible to Use the Three Outside Up/Down Patterns in Various Time Periods, and What Effect Does the Chosen Period Have on How Well They Work?

Certainly, the three outside up/down patterns are usable over various chart durations, ranging from within a single day to across entire weeks. Typically, these patterns become more dependable as the timeframe extends; with longer periods possibly lessening disturbances and offering signals of greater trustworthiness than shorter intervals.

What are Some Common Mistakes Traders Make When Interpreting the Three Outside Up/Down Patterns?

Many people make errors like starting trades on these shapes before getting more signs, mixing up other shapes with the three outside up/down because they are not looking closely at what came before or how each candle looks, and using these patterns too much without thinking about the bigger market situation.

How Can Traders Differentiate between a True Three Outside Pattern and a False Signal?

Traders can tell the difference between a real three outside pattern and one that is not by observing if there is lots of trading happening on the days when this pattern appears. This shows more people are taking part in the market, making the pattern more trustworthy. Also, if you use more tools for technical analysis to confirm the pattern like drawing lines that show trends, or using RSI and MACD indicators, it might give better assurance before deciding on trades.