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The three black crows: Harbingers of market downturns?

In stock trading, candlestick patterns play an essential role in enabling traders to make informed decisions. One such pattern is the three black crows candlestick pattern, which indicates that a market reversal is likely to happen. 

This article will help you understand what the three black crows pattern is and why it is crucial for traders to be competent in recognizing patterns as they engage in their trading activities.

What are the three black crows?

Three Black Crows is a bearish candlestick pattern usually experienced at the end of an uptrend, implying a reversal to a downtrend. The pattern consists of three long-bodied bearish candlesticks, each having a lower close than the previous one.

Key features of Three Black Crows include the following:

  • Three consecutive bearish candlesticks: Each candlestick in the pattern should have a long body, suggesting the presence of strong sales throughout the trading period.
  • Lower closes: Each candlestick should close lower than the preceding one. Ideally, they should be close to the low, indicating a further price decline.
  • Open within the previous candle’s body: The opening price of each candlestick should ideally occur within the real body of the previous candlestick, emphasizing the continuation of the downtrend.

When the Three Black Crows pattern forms following a prolonged uptrend, it indicates that sellers have taken over and the market is overbought. This might create some prospects for traders to either open short positions or adopt other bearish trading techniques.

Example of using three black crows

Let us take an example of three black crows stock. Suppose you are analyzing the stock chart of Company XYZ, and you see the Three Black Crows pattern develop over three days. Each day, the stock opens inside the previous day’s price range, followed by intense selling pressure for the rest of the session, closing below the prior session’s close. 

As a trader, you consider this a bearish signal showing a possible end to Company XYZ’s stock’s upward movement. This implies that the sellers are in charge and may lead to additional downward movement.

Based on this analysis, you might consider implementing a trading strategy. For instance, you could decide to sell short or refrain from buying additional shares until there are signs of a reversal or a new bullish pattern emerges.

Alternatively, if you already hold a long position in Company XYZ, you might choose to set a stop-loss order to protect your profits in case the downtrend continues.

In this example, the Three Black Crows pattern serves as a valuable tool for informing your trading decisions and managing risk effectively in the stock market.

Three black crows vs. Three white soldiers

The Three Black Crows pattern is the opposite of the Three White Soldiers pattern. Here are the key differences:

AspectThree black crowsThree white soldiers
Pattern typeBearish ReversalBullish Reversal
AppearanceThree consecutive bearish candlesticksThree consecutive bullish candlesticks
Candlestick structureEach candlestick opens within the previous day’s body and closes lowerEach candle opens within the previous day’s body and closes higher
Market sentimentSignals a potential downtrend reversalSignals a potential uptrend reversal
ConfirmationStronger when accompanied by high trading volumesStronger when accompanied by high trading volumes
SignificanceOften observed after an uptrend, indicating a potential trend reversal to the downsideTypically seen after a downtrend, suggesting a potential trend reversal to the upside

Limitations of using three black crow pattern

Limitations of Using the Three Black Crows Pattern:

1. False signals

Like any technical analysis tool, the Three Black Crows pattern is not infallible and can sometimes produce false signals. You may encounter instances where the pattern appears but fails to accurately predict a reversal in the market trend. 

It’s important to exercise caution and confirm the pattern with other indicators or analysis techniques to reduce the risk of acting on false signals.

2. Market conditions

The reliability of the Three Black Crows pattern can vary depending on the prevailing market conditions. In choppy or sideways markets, where there is no clear trend direction, the pattern may not be as effective in predicting reversals. 

You should consider the overall market context and use the pattern in conjunction with other tools for better accuracy.

3. Confirmation bias

You may fall victim to confirmation bias when relying solely on the Three Black Crows pattern for decision-making. Confirmation bias happens when people interpret information to match their existing beliefs or biases.

In the case of this pattern, you may overlook contradictory signals or fail to consider alternative scenarios, leading to suboptimal trading decisions.

How to trade with the three black crows chart pattern?

Trading with the Three Black Crows chart pattern involves identifying opportunities to capitalize on potential bearish reversals in the market. Here’s how to trade effectively using this pattern:

1. Confirmation of the pattern

Before starting any trades based on the Three Black Crows pattern, ensure that the pattern meets the criteria. This includes three consecutive bearish candlesticks, each with lower closes and openings within the previous day’s body.

2. Entry point

Look for confirmation signals to enter a trade. This could include additional technical indicators aligning with the bearish sentiment signalled by the Three Black Crows pattern. 

For example, you might wait for the price to break below a significant support level or observe a bearish divergence on an oscillator indicator.

3. Risk management

Use effective risk management techniques to protect your capital. Set stop-loss orders to limit potential losses if the trade doesn’t go as expected. Consider the recent price volatility and adjust your position size accordingly to manage risk.

4. Exit strategy

Have a clear exit strategy in place for when to close the trade. This could be based on reaching your profit target, the emergence of bullish reversal signals, or the violation of key support levels. Stick to your trading plan, and don’t let emotions control your choices.


As you keep learning about stock trading, don’t forget the significance of spotting candlestick patterns like the Three Black Crows. They give insights into market feelings and guide your trades. Remember, mastering these patterns takes practice and continuous learning. For extra help in mastering various trading patterns, check out StockGro.


How do I identify the Three Black Crows Pattern?

Look for three consecutive long black candles on a price chart, each closing lower than the previous one, signalling a potential reversal of an uptrend.

What does the Three Black Crows Pattern indicate?

This pattern suggests a strong shift in market sentiment from bullish to bearish, often marking the beginning of a downtrend or a significant price reversal.

Where does the Three Black Crows Pattern occur?

The Three Black Crows Pattern can appear in any market and timeframe, from stocks and forex to cryptocurrencies, indicating a potential downtrend across various assets.

How reliable is the Three Black Crows Pattern?

While it’s considered a potent bearish signal, traders often use additional technical analysis tools and confirmation signals to validate the pattern’s reliability before making trading decisions.

Can the Three Black Crows Pattern be traded?

Yes, traders often use the Three Black Crows Pattern as a signal to enter short positions or to sell existing long positions, with proper risk management and consideration of other market factors.

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