What is a Doji candle pattern and how to trade with it?

The Doji candlestick, also called a Doji star, shows indecision between buyers and sellers in the crypto market. This type of candlestick is confirmed on a technical analysis chart when the opening and closing prices are almost identical.

What is a Doji pattern on the candlestick chart?

In simple terms, a Doji shows that an asset’s buyers and sellers offset each other. In doing so, any attempts to push up the price by the buyers get thwarted by the sellers. Similarly, efforts to crash the prices from the sellers’ end get foiled by the buyers.

Ultimately, both parties bring the price to a pivot level. So, for example, when Bitcoin (BTC) opens and closes at $20,000 on a particular day even if its price seesawed between $25,000 and $15,000 throughout the given24-hour period.

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Doji candlestick illustration

So the $25,000 price level — or the intraday high — represents the Doji’s upper wick, and the $15,000 price level — the intraday low — represents the candlestick’s lower wick.

How does a Doji candle work?

Doji candlesticks have historically helped traders predict market bottoms and tops as a calm before the storm of sorts.

For example, a Doji candlestick that forms during an uptrend could signify bullish exhaustion, i.e., more buyers moving to the sellers’ side, typically leading to a trend reversal.

It is valid to note that the Doji pattern does not necessarily mean that there will always be a trend reversal. Instead, it shows indecision among traders about future trends.

Hence, it’s better to confirm the Doji candlestick signal with the help of additional technical indicators. For instance, a technical indicator like the relative strength index (RSI) and/or Bollinger bands can give more weight to what the Doji pattern suggests.

Related: 5 More Bullish Candlestick Patterns Every Bitcoin Trader Must Know

Types of Doji patterns and how to trade them

Doji patterns can vary depending on the position and length of the shadow. These are the most popular variations:

Neutral Doji

The neutral Doji consists of a candlestick with an almost invisible body located in the middle of the candlestick, with the upper and lower wicks of similar lengths. This pattern appears when bullish and bearish sentiments are balanced.

Traders can combine the neutral Doji with momentum indicators like the RSI or Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD) to help identify potential market tops and bottoms.

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BTC/USD daily price featuring Neutral Doji candlestick pattern. Source: TradingView

For instance, a neutral Doji occurrence in an uptrend coinciding with an overbought RSI (>70) could point to an imminent market correction. Similarly, the candlestick’s occurrence in a downtrend when the RSI has turned oversold (<30) could precede a market rebound.

Long-legged Doji

The long-legged doji has longer wicks, suggesting that buyers and sellers have tried to take control of the price action aggressively at some point during the candle’s timeframe. 

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Normal Doji vs. Long-legged Doji. Source: Commodity.com

Traders should carefully monitor the candlestick’s closing price when identifying a potential long-legged Doji. 

Notably, the Doji is a bearish signal if the closing price is below the middle of the candle, especially if it is close to resistance levels. Conversely, if the closing price is above the middle of the candle, it is bullish, as the formation resembles a bullish pin bar pattern.

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Bearish Long-legged Doji illustration

If the closing price is right in the middle, it could be considered a trend continuation pattern. In this case, one can always refer to previous candles to predict future trends.

Dragonfly Doji

The Dragonfly Doji appears like a T-shaped candle with a long lower wick and almost no upper wick. It means that the open, the close, and the high price are almost at the same level.

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Dragonfly Doji illustration

If the Dragon Doji pattern forms at the end of a downtrend, it can be considered a buy signal, as shown below.

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ETH/USD daily price chart featuring Dragonfly Doji. Source: TradingView

Conversely, the candlestick’s occurence during an uptrend hints at a potential reversal.

Gravestone Doji

A Gravestone Doji represents an inverted T-shaped candlestick, with the open and close coinciding with the low. The candlestick indicates that the buyers attempted to increase the price but could not sustain the bullish momentum.

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Gravestone Doji illustration

When the Gravestone Doji appears in an uptrend. it can be considered a reversal pattern. On the other hand, its occurrence in a downtrend hints at a potential upside retracement.

Four Price Doji

The Four Price Doji is a pattern that rarely appears on a candlestick chart except in low-volume conditions or very short periods. Notably, it looks like a minus sign, suggesting that all four price indicators (open, close, high and low) are at the same level over a given period.

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Four Price Doji illustration

In other words, the market did not move during the period covered by the candlestick. This type of Doji is not a reliable pattern and can be ignored. It just shows a moment of indecision in the market.

How reliable is the Doji candle pattern?

The Doji candlestick pattern may not provide the strongest buy or sell signals in technical analysis, and should likely be used alongside other metrics. Nevertheless, it is a useful market signal to consider when gauging the degree of indecisiveness between buyers and sellers.

Building a trading strategy based on Doji candle patterns is best suited for experienced intermediate or professional traders who can easily identify and accurately interprthe given signals.

This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move involves risk, and readers should conduct their own research when making a decision.

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