Master the Three Black Crows Candlestick Pattern

Jeremy BiberdorfBy: Jeremy Biberdorf

May 26, 2024May 26, 2024

The Three Black Crows pattern is a bearish reversal signal composed of three consecutive long-bodied bearish candlesticks. This pattern appears at the top of an uptrend or a consolidation phase, indicating a shift in market sentiment from bullish to bearish.

In technical analysis, it’s crucial because it helps traders recognize the emergence of a potential downtrend and the start of a bearish reversal.

The pattern’s importance lies in its ability to identify significant downward market trends. When correctly identified, it can help you anticipate bearish sentiment and take appropriate actions, such as shorting a stock or closing long positions to mitigate losses.

Market Psychology Behind the Pattern

The Three Black Crows pattern reveals crucial insights into market sentiment:

  • Shift from Bullish to Bearish Sentiment: It reflects a clear shift in sentiment, where optimism begins to wane and pessimism dominates, driving prices down for three consecutive sessions.
  • Sustained Selling Pressure: The consistent downward pressure shown by the three bearish candles indicates that sellers have taken control, overpowering buyers and suggesting that further price declines are likely.
  • Loss of Confidence: The inability of buyers to sustain higher prices leads to a cascading effect, where each successive session reinforces the bearish outlook.

Identifying the Three Black Crows Pattern

To identify the pattern, look for the following characteristics:

  • First Crow: The first long bearish candle typically follows a strong uptrend or consolidation phase, signaling the start of selling pressure.
  • Second Crow: The second bearish candle opens within or above the body of the first and closes lower. This candle confirms that sellers are in control and that the trend has shifted.
  • Third Crow: The third bearish candle opens within or above the second and closes even lower, solidifying the pattern and confirming a bearish reversal.

Each candle should have a long body and small wicks, reflecting strong selling pressure throughout the session. Learn about many more key chart patterns here.

Three Black Crows Candlestick Pattern

Market Context for the Pattern

To use the Three Black Crows pattern effectively, understand the ideal market conditions:

  • Established Uptrends: The pattern is most effective when it appears after an extended uptrend, as it indicates a strong reversal.
  • Volume Confirmation: Increased volume during the formation of each candle strengthens the pattern’s reliability, as it signifies a significant shift in sentiment.
  • Market Sentiment: Ensure that market sentiment aligns with the pattern. If the overall market is bullish, the Three Black Crows pattern may not yield reliable results.

Strategic Trading Approaches

Entry Points

  • Immediate Entry: Enter a short position immediately after the third candle confirms the Three Black Crows pattern with high trading volume. This confirms that sellers are dominating the market, and you can take advantage of the downward momentum.
  • Pullback Entry: Enter on a pullback to the open of the second or third candle for a more favorable entry. This allows you to capitalize on the pattern while improving your risk-to-reward ratio.

Stop-Loss Settings

Place stop-loss orders above the high of the first crow to manage risk against sudden reversals. This ensures that if the trend reverses unexpectedly, your losses are minimized.

Profit Targets

  • Support Levels: Set profit targets based on previous support levels to lock in profits at key price levels.
  • Fibonacci Retracement: Use Fibonacci retracement levels to gauge potential exit points and set realistic profit targets.

Complementary Technical Indicators

Moving Averages

The 50-day and 200-day moving averages help confirm the overall trend. If the 50-day moving average crosses below the 200-day moving average while the Three Black Crows pattern forms, it strengthens the bearish signal.

RSI (Relative Strength Index)

An RSI above 70 before the pattern formation indicates overbought conditions, adding to the bearish signal. As the pattern forms, the RSI should drop to confirm the downward momentum.

Learn More About RSI Divergence

Volume Analysis

Rising volume across the three bearish candles confirms increased selling pressure, enhancing the pattern’s reliability. This indicates a shift in market sentiment and adds weight to the bearish outlook.

Essential Tools for Mastering the Pattern


TradingView offers advanced charting tools that allow you to identify and analyze the Three Black Crows pattern effectively. Customize your charts and overlay technical indicators to monitor market trends and identify reversal signals.

Learn More About TradingView


TrendSpider provides automated technical analysis, making it easier to screen for the Three Black Crows pattern across multiple timeframes and markets. Its automated pattern recognition helps traders efficiently find trading opportunities.
Learn More About TrendSpider

How to Avoid Common Errors

Jumping to Conclusions: Avoid trading before the pattern is fully confirmed by the third crow’s close. Premature trading based on incomplete patterns can lead to significant losses if the trend reverses.

Ignoring Market Context: Always analyze the broader trend to interpret the pattern’s significance accurately. If the overall market is bullish, the pattern might not yield reliable results.

Overlooking Volume: Ensure volume confirms the pattern by showing rising selling pressure across the candles. Without strong volume, the pattern might not have sufficient confirmation for a successful trade.

Theoretical Examples

Stock Market Downturn

In a major stock index, the Three Black Crows pattern formed after an extended uptrend. Following the formation of the pattern, the index experienced a significant downturn as the bearish reversal indicated by the pattern took hold.

Global Financial Crisis Indicator

The Three Black Crows pattern appeared across several markets during the global financial crisis, predicting strong bearish reversals. In these cases, the pattern’s reliability was highlighted as it preceded further market declines.

Final Thoughts

The Three Black Crows candlestick pattern is a powerful tool for technical analysts, signaling potential bearish reversals. Recognizing this pattern enables traders to anticipate downward market trends and adjust their trading strategies accordingly.

However, like any technical tool, it’s crucial to confirm the pattern with other indicators and consider the broader market context for optimal reliability. Mastering this pattern requires practice, but with the right analysis and strategic approach, it can be a valuable addition to your trading arsenal.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Three Black Crows pattern is distinctive because of its three consecutive long-bodied bearish candles, each one opening within the body of the previous candle and closing progressively lower. This structure indicates sustained selling pressure and a clear bearish reversal.

The pattern is generally reliable, especially when confirmed with high volume and seen after an established uptrend. However, it’s essential to combine it with other technical indicators to enhance accuracy and avoid false signals.

In volatile markets, the pattern can sometimes yield false signals due to erratic price movements. It’s best to confirm the pattern with additional indicators and consider the broader market context before making trading decisions.

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Jeremy Biberdorf
Jeremy Biberdorf

About the Author:

Jeremy Biberdorf is the founder of Modest Money. He's a father of 2 beautiful girls, a dog owner, a long-time online entrepreneur and an investing enthusiast.

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