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Sanku (Three Gaps Pattern): Definition, Interpretation, and Real-life Examples

Last updated 03/26/2024 by

Silas Bamigbola

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The Sanku (Three Gaps Pattern) is a candlestick pattern observed in technical analysis, characterized by three distinct gaps between consecutive candlesticks within a trend. These gaps, whether upward or downward, signal significant shifts in market sentiment and potential exhaustion of prevailing trends. Traders utilize Sanku patterns to anticipate trend reversals and make informed trading decisions based on price action.

Sanku (three gaps pattern): understanding a powerful candlestick formation

Sanku, also known as the Three Gaps Pattern, is a candlestick formation originating from Japanese candlestick charting techniques. This pattern consists of three distinctive gaps within a trend, indicating potential shifts in market sentiment and the possibility of trend reversal. Understanding the nuances of the Sanku pattern can provide valuable insights for traders and investors.

Definition of Sanku (three gaps pattern)

The Sanku (Three Gaps Pattern) is a technical analysis candlestick pattern characterized by three distinct gaps between consecutive candlesticks within an established trend. These gaps, which can be either upward or downward, signify abrupt shifts in market sentiment and momentum. Traders often interpret the Sanku pattern as a potential signal of trend exhaustion and anticipate subsequent reversals or continuations based on the pattern’s formation and context within the broader market.

Types of Sanku patterns

There are two primary variations of the Sanku pattern:

Rising three gaps pattern:

This pattern occurs within an uptrend and consists of three upward gaps separated by rising candlesticks. It suggests a strong bullish sentiment but also indicates potential exhaustion of buying pressure.

Falling three gaps pattern:

In contrast, the falling three gaps pattern emerges within a downtrend, featuring three downward gaps separated by declining candlesticks. This formation reflects heightened selling pressure and may precede a reversal in the downtrend.

Key characteristics of Sanku patterns

Several key features distinguish the Sanku pattern:
  • The pattern comprises three distinct gaps within the trend.
  • Gaps may be followed by multiple candles, contributing to the pattern’s flexibility.
  • Sanku patterns signal potential trend exhaustion and reversal, prompting traders to monitor price action closely.

Interpreting Sanku patterns

Understanding the implications of Sanku patterns is crucial for effective trading decisions:

Rising three gaps pattern:

For this pattern occurring in an uptrend, a surge in buying activity leads to three consecutive upward gaps. Traders should remain vigilant for signs of waning momentum and potential reversal.

Falling three gaps pattern:

Within a downtrend, the appearance of three downward gaps reflects intensified selling pressure. Traders may anticipate a shift in sentiment as the pattern unfolds, potentially signaling an impending uptrend.

Examples and application

Illustrative examples demonstrate how traders can utilize Sanku patterns:

Long position management:

For traders holding long positions, the emergence of a Sanku pattern may prompt adjustments in risk management strategies. Tightening stop-loss orders or trailing stops behind recent candle lows can help protect profits and mitigate downside risks.

Short position opportunities:

Conversely, traders may consider initiating short positions as Sanku patterns develop, especially when price action indicates a reversal. Placing stop-loss orders above recent candle highs can manage risk exposure in short trades.

Distinguishing Sanku patterns from similar formations

Traders should differentiate Sanku patterns from similar candlestick formations:

Sanku vs. three white soldiers:

While both patterns consist of three consecutive candles, three white soldiers signal a reversal in a downtrend, whereas Sanku patterns can occur in both uptrends and downtrends.

Limitations and considerations

Despite its predictive power, the Sanku pattern has limitations:
  • Not all Sanku patterns result in trend reversals, necessitating cautious interpretation.
  • Traders must consider overall market context and corroborating indicators for confirmation.

Additional examples of Sanku (three gaps pattern) in action

Examining real-world instances of the Sanku pattern can provide further clarity on its application:

Example 1: Bitcoin (BTC) daily chart

In a notable uptrend, Bitcoin displayed a textbook rising three gaps pattern on its daily chart. Following a series of bullish candlesticks, three distinct upward gaps occurred, signaling a potential exhaustion of buying pressure. Traders observing this pattern might have anticipated a reversal or temporary pullback in Bitcoin’s price.

Example 2: Gold (XAU/USD) weekly chart

On a weekly timeframe, Gold exhibited a falling three gaps pattern amid a prolonged downtrend. As sellers exerted continued pressure, three consecutive downward gaps formed, indicating heightened selling momentum. Traders monitoring this pattern could have prepared for a potential reversal or consolidation phase in Gold prices.


The Sanku (Three Gaps Pattern) offers traders valuable insights into market sentiment and potential trend reversals. By understanding its characteristics, interpreting price action, and employing appropriate risk management strategies, traders can harness the predictive power of this versatile candlestick formation.

Frequently asked questions

What is the significance of gaps in the Sanku (three gaps pattern)?

Gaps in the Sanku pattern represent periods where no trading activity occurs between consecutive candlesticks, indicating significant shifts in market sentiment and momentum. These gaps highlight abrupt changes in supply and demand dynamics, often signaling potential trend reversals or continuations.

How do traders identify Sanku patterns on price charts?

Traders can identify Sanku patterns by observing consecutive candlesticks with distinct gaps between them within an established trend. Rising Three Gaps Patterns feature upward gaps in uptrends, while Falling Three Gaps Patterns exhibit downward gaps in downtrends. Analyzing price charts with attention to gap formations helps traders recognize Sanku patterns.

What factors should traders consider when interpreting Sanku patterns?

When interpreting Sanku patterns, traders should consider various factors, including overall market context, volume trends, and corroborating technical indicators. Additionally, assessing the size and frequency of gaps, as well as the pattern’s alignment with the prevailing trend, can provide valuable insights into potential price movements.

Are Sanku patterns suitable for all types of trading strategies?

Sanku patterns can complement a variety of trading strategies, including trend-following, reversal, and momentum-based approaches. However, traders should adapt their strategies based on the specific characteristics of Sanku patterns and integrate risk management techniques to mitigate potential losses.

How reliable are Sanku patterns as predictive indicators?

While Sanku patterns can serve as valuable predictive indicators, their reliability depends on various factors, such as market conditions, pattern formation quality, and confirmation from other technical signals. Traders should exercise caution and validate Sanku patterns with additional analysis before making trading decisions.

What are the potential drawbacks of trading solely based on Sanku patterns?

Trading solely based on Sanku patterns may entail certain limitations, including false signals, incomplete pattern formations, and the potential for misinterpretation. Additionally, relying solely on Sanku patterns without considering broader market factors may increase the risk of trading errors.

How can traders effectively incorporate Sanku patterns into their trading strategies?

To effectively incorporate Sanku patterns into their trading strategies, traders should combine pattern recognition with robust risk management practices. This includes setting appropriate stop-loss levels, defining entry and exit points, and continuously evaluating pattern validity against broader market conditions.

Key takeaways

  • Sanku (Three Gaps Pattern) comprises three distinct gaps within a trend, signaling potential trend exhaustion and reversal.
  • Rising Three Gaps Pattern occurs in uptrends, while Falling Three Gaps Pattern occurs in downtrends.
  • Interpretation of Sanku patterns involves assessing market context, price action, and corroborating indicators.
  • Traders should employ risk management strategies, such as trailing stops and setting stop-loss orders, when trading based on Sanku patterns.

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