Spinning Top Candlestick Patterns for Effective Trading


The spinning top candlestick pattern, characterized by a short real body positioned between long upper and lower shadows, signifies indecision in the market. This article explores the definition, interpretation, and practical use of spinning top candlesticks. Discover how to recognize their significance in various trading scenarios, their limitations, and how to incorporate them into your trading strategy effectively.

Understanding spinning top candlesticks

A spinning top candlestick is a widely recognized pattern in technical analysis, known for its ability to convey crucial information about market sentiment. To grasp its significance fully, let’s delve into the details:

Definition of a spinning top candlestick

A spinning top is a candlestick pattern characterized by:

  • A short real body: This body represents the difference between the open and close prices during a specific time period.
  • Long upper and lower shadows: These shadows extend above and below the real body, indicating the range between the high and low prices.
  • Vertical alignment: The real body is positioned approximately in the middle of the overall candlestick.

The presence of a spinning top suggests indecision in the market, as neither buyers nor sellers could establish dominance.

Interpreting a spinning top

When analyzing a spinning top, it’s essential to consider the following:

  • The size of the real body: A small real body indicates minimal difference between the open and close prices, emphasizing indecision.
  • Market context: Spinning tops can occur in various market conditions, but their interpretation depends on the context.
  • Next candlestick: Confirmation is vital. The candlestick following a spinning top provides insight into potential price movements.

Spinning tops and market indecision

Spinning tops signal indecision in the market, suggesting that neither buyers nor sellers have a clear advantage. Here’s what this pattern tells you:

  • Continuation of sideways movement: In established ranges, spinning tops often indicate that market indecision persists, and prices are likely to continue moving sideways.
  • Possible price reversal: After a significant price advance or decline, a spinning top can signal a potential reversal if the following candle confirms the pattern.

Using spinning tops in trading

Traders can integrate spinning tops into their strategies, but it’s important to consider a few key factors:

Confirmation and context

Confirmation is critical when trading based on spinning tops. The candlestick that follows should align with the expected price movement. For example:

  • If a spinning top appears after an uptrend and suggests a potential reversal to the downside, the subsequent candle should see prices decrease for confirmation.
  • If a spinning top occurs within a range, it indicates ongoing indecision, and the following candle should confirm this by staying within the established range.

Combining spinning tops with technical analysis

Spinning tops work best when combined with other technical analysis tools and indicators. Traders often use:

  • Moving Average Convergence-Divergence (MACD): To identify potential reversals.
  • Relative Strength Index (RSI): For additional confirmation of price direction.
  • Support and resistance levels: To make well-informed trading decisions.

Example of a spinning top candlestick

Let’s examine a chart example to illustrate the practical application of spinning tops:

spinning top candle

In the chart above, you can see several spinning tops:

  • The first spinning top follows a minor price decline and is followed by a downward candle, indicating a further decline in price.
  • The second spinning top occurs within a range, confirming ongoing market indecision.
  • The third spinning top, significantly larger than the surrounding candles, appears after an advance and is followed by a substantial downward candle, signaling a reversal.

These examples emphasize the importance of confirmation and context when trading based on spinning tops.

Limitations of using spinning top candlesticks

While spinning tops offer valuable insights, they have limitations that traders should be aware of:

Common occurrence

Spinning tops are relatively common, often appearing during periods of market indecision, which makes it essential to confirm their significance.

Uncertain reversals

Not all spinning tops result in reversals, and even with confirmation, there’s no guarantee that prices will continue in the anticipated direction.

Managing risk

Trading around spinning tops can pose challenges due to their sometimes large price ranges. Traders must manage risk effectively, considering potential reward ratios.

Spinning top vs. doji: Key differences

Spinning tops and dojis share similarities as both represent indecision in the market, but they differ in key aspects:

  • Size and shape: Dojis have smaller real bodies and shorter upper and lower shadows, while spinning tops have longer shadows and a more significant real body.
  • Confirmation: Both patterns rely on confirmation, with subsequent price movements providing more insight into potential reversals.

The role of candlesticks in technical analysis

Candlesticks, including spinning tops, play a vital role in technical analysis. They provide a visual representation of price movements, helping traders make informed decisions.

Using spinning tops in different time frames

Traders often use spinning tops in various time frames to gain insights into market dynamics. Here’s how spinning tops can be applied in different scenarios:

Short-term trading

In short-term trading, such as day trading, spinning tops can help identify intraday reversals or short-lived trends. Traders closely monitor spinning tops on minute or hourly charts to make quick decisions based on price volatility and market sentiment.

Long-term investing

For long-term investors, weekly or monthly charts featuring spinning tops can offer valuable information about potential shifts in a stock’s overall trend. Recognizing a spinning top on a monthly chart may indicate the need for a more extended investment horizon or even a portfolio adjustment.

Real-world application: Trading strategy with spinning tops

Let’s explore a practical trading strategy that incorporates spinning tops:

Strategy: Spinning top reversal

In this strategy, traders look for spinning tops that appear at the end of a prolonged uptrend or downtrend. The goal is to capture potential trend reversals. Here’s how it works:

  1. Identify the trend: Determine the prevailing trend by analyzing price charts and technical indicators.
  2. Spot the spinning top: Look for a spinning top that appears after a significant price movement.
  3. Confirm with next candle: Wait for the next candlestick to confirm the reversal. If the following candle aligns with the expected reversal direction, consider entering a trade.
  4. Set stop-loss and take-profit: Place stop-loss and take-profit orders to manage risk and secure potential profits.
  5. Monitor and adjust: Continuously monitor the trade and adjust your strategy based on market developments.

Remember that no trading strategy is foolproof, and risk management remains essential. Spinning tops are just one tool in a trader’s arsenal, and they should be used in conjunction with other forms of analysis and risk mitigation techniques.


The spinning top candlestick pattern serves as a valuable tool for traders, signaling indecision and potential price reversals. To use spinning tops effectively, traders should consider confirmation, market context, and the integration of other technical analysis tools. While they are common, spinning tops can provide valuable insights when incorporated into a comprehensive trading strategy.

Frequently asked questions

What is a spinning top candlestick pattern?

A spinning top candlestick is a pattern characterized by a short real body that is positioned between long upper and lower shadows. It represents market indecision, where neither buyers nor sellers have a clear advantage.

How is a spinning top candlestick defined?

A spinning top is defined by its key features:

  • A short real body, indicating a small difference between the open and close prices.
  • Long upper and lower shadows that extend above and below the real body.
  • A vertically centered real body within the overall candlestick.

What does a spinning top candlestick tell traders?

A spinning top suggests that the market is uncertain about the future direction of an asset. It can indicate a potential continuation of sideways movement or a possible price reversal, depending on the market context and confirmation from the following candlestick.

How should traders interpret a spinning top?

Traders should consider the size of the real body, the market context, and the candlestick that follows. A small real body emphasizes indecision. In established ranges, spinning tops suggest ongoing indecision, while after significant price moves, they may signal potential reversals if confirmed.

What role does confirmation play when trading based on spinning tops?

Confirmation is crucial. Traders should wait for the candlestick following a spinning top to align with the expected price movement. If it confirms the pattern, it provides more confidence in the trade signal.

How can spinning tops be used in conjunction with technical analysis?

Traders often combine spinning tops with technical indicators like Moving Average Convergence-Divergence (MACD) and Relative Strength Index (RSI) to enhance their effectiveness. Additionally, identifying support and resistance levels can aid in making well-informed trading decisions.

What are the limitations of trading based on spinning top candlesticks?

Spinning tops are common and may not always result in reversals. Even with confirmation, there is no guarantee of price continuation in the expected direction. Additionally, managing risk can be challenging due to the sometimes large price ranges of spinning tops.

How do spinning tops differ from dojis?

Spinning tops and dojis both represent indecision in the market, but they differ in size and shape. Spinning tops have longer shadows and a more significant real body, while dojis have smaller real bodies and shorter shadows. Both patterns rely on confirmation for accurate interpretation.

Key takeaways

  • Spinning tops signify market indecision with a short real body and long upper and lower shadows.
  • Confirmation and market context are crucial when trading based on spinning tops.
  • Combining spinning tops with technical analysis tools enhances their effectiveness.
  • Spinning tops have limitations, including their common occurrence and uncertain reversals.
  • Understanding the differences between spinning tops and dojis is essential for accurate interpretation.
View article sources
  1. Green Spinning Top Candlestick – lupon.gov.ph
  2. How to Trade the Spinning Top Candlestick Pattern – HowToTrade
  3. Spinning Top Candlestick Pattern – WallStreetMojo