What is an Order Block in Forex: A Comprehensive Guide and Explanation

An order block in forex refers to a significant price level identified by traders where large orders are likely to be executed.

An order block in forex refers to a price zone where large orders are placed, causing significant market interest. These blocks, often identified on a chart, can act as key levels for traders to either enter or exit a trade.

They are critical in understanding market structure and predicting future price movements. This article will delve into the specifics of order blocks, how to identify them, and how to effectively utilize them in your forex trading strategy.

Whether you’re a novice trader or an experienced one looking to refine your tactics, this comprehensive guide will provide you with all the insights you need.

Key takeaways:

  • Order blocks are significant price levels where large orders are executed.
  • They act as key levels for traders to enter or exit trades.
  • Order blocks are visible on larger timeframes and can be used to identify support and resistance zones.
  • They provide insight into potential price reversals or continuation.
  • Trading strategies using order blocks include trading within the block, breakout trading, and retest trading.

What Is a Forex Order Block?

what is a forex order block

An order block refers to a price range highlighted by a cluster of orders accumulated by banks over time on their order flow books. Visualised on the trading chart, it’s crucial to know that these aren’t singular trades but significant areas where heavyweight forex participants have taken a particular interest.

Forex order blocks play a key role in market movement, often signifying potential shifts in momentum. When orders accumulate, it creates a dense “block” on the chart, which often precedes significant price movements.

Here are some critical points underpinning the concept of order blocks:

  • Connection to Forex Market Movement: An order block usually signifies large trading interest, moving prices after it is filled. It can cause dynamic swings in both directions: buy or sell.
  • Institutional Influence: Banks and institutional traders typically use order blocks to accumulate or distribute their orders without significantly moving the market.
  • Importance of Timeframes: Order blocks are often visible on larger time frames, including daily, weekly, or monthly charts, offering valuable insight into the broader market sentiment.
  • Support and Resistance: Order blocks often act as critical zones of support or resistance in the market. It helps traders identify key levels where the market may respond.
  • Price Action Clues: They provide insight into potential price reversals or continuation, especially when combined with other indicators or price action analysis.

Types of Order Blocks

In the realm of forex trading, two types of order blocks predominantly exist – bullish and bearish. The bullish block, also known as the demand block, typifies a situation where buying pressure exceeds selling pressure. It signifies a surge in demand for a particular currency, which consequently lifts the currency’s price. A key identifying feature of a bullish block is a period of consolidation before a strong upward move.

Conversely, bearish or supply blocks occur when selling pressure overwhelms buying pressure. This heightened supply results in the price of a currency taking a downward turn. A consolidation period, preceding a pronounced price drop, characterizes this bearish block type.

Each type manifests its unique characteristics on the price chart, provident traders with opportunities to make informed decisions. Remember, recognizing these patterns can equip you better to predict potential market movements and accordingly align your trading strategies.

Identifying an Order Block in Forex Trading

Spotting an order block within a Forex chart necessitates a keen eye and understanding of market psychology. Primarily, it’s about identifying price zones where a significant change in supply or demand unfolded in the past, influencing economic behavior.

1. Look for a Significant Move: Scan your chart for a dynamic move that stands out. This could be a forceful bullish or bearish move depending on the market state.

2. Identify the “Order Accumulation” Zone: Before this dynamic move happened, there was a region where traders accumulated orders, leading to the subsequent strong push. This area is your order block.

3. Monitor for Price Revisit: After the strong push, the price often revisits this zone. The return to the order block serves as an indication to traders that it might have became a significant level for future trading.

4. Gauge the Market’s Reaction: The key is not just identifying the order block but assessing how the market reacts to it after a revisit. A strong reversal or rapid acceleration signifies the order block’s influence.

Remember, order block identification isn’t a perfect science and might require practice to enhance precision. But learning to recognize these crucial areas can substantially boost your Forex trading strategy by providing insight into where major price actions might occur.

Characteristics of Profitable Order Blocks

Diving right into the specifics, a profitable order block exhibits a few key characteristics. Firstly, it possesses a high amount of liquidity. This helps to ensure that large orders can be filled without dramatically impacting the market price.

Secondly, it’s often found in critical zones, which can be near significant highs, lows, or other areas of interest on the chart. This gives further confirmation of a reversal or continuation in price action.

Profitable order blocks also show a clear consolidation period, indicating a battle between buyers and sellers, which is eventually resolved, leading to massive directional moves.

Finally, they often coincide with popular Fibonacci retracement levels (38.2%, 50%, and 61.8%), further confirming their validity. It’s worth noting that these retracement levels tend to act as a foundation for strong support or resistance.

In essence, spotting these characteristics can provide valuable insights to enhance trading decision-making and improve potential profitability.

Support and Resistance Zones Within Order Blocks

When looking at order blocks on your trading charts, you’ll notice that they contain distinct areas known as support and resistance zones. These are essentially the price levels within the order block where buying pressure (support) and selling pressure (resistance) are high.

1. Support Zones: These are the areas where prices dip but recover due to increased buying activity. They signify strong demand and often indicate an upward trend. As the price touches the support level and starts to bounce back, traders often see it as a strong point where the market has previously found ‘support’, creating opportunities to go long on the price.

2. Resistance Zones: Conversely, resistance zones indicate where selling pressure outstrips buyer demand. Prices hit a certain high (the resistance level), then tend to fall back. If the price is reaching this high and falling off, it suggests traders are selling off, creating potential shorting opportunities.

Mastering the identification of these zones is crucial in carving out an effective trading strategy. Forex traders will typically buy when the price reaches the support level and sell when it hits the resistance within the order block, assuming the trend will continue. However, a breakthrough these levels might indicate a trend reversal.

Role of Trading Volumes in Order Blocks

In relation to order blocks, trading volumes can serve as a profound indicator. High trading volumes often signal the presence of an order block, as the large number of orders needed to form the block inherently amplifies the volume.

One should note that an increased volume is observed more often during the formation of the block. This surge helps dealers and large institutions to accumulate or distribute their position without excessively touching the price.

Fluctuations in trading volumes can also signify the start and end of order blocks. Lower volumes typically indicate the price is moving toward an end of the block.

Moreover, a sudden jump or spike in trading volumes could represent an ‘explosion point’ – potentially marking the completion of an order block. Note that these explosion points typically occur during high impact news or at the commencement of major trading sessions.

Therefore, understanding the role of trading volumes grows highly beneficial for Forex traders identifying and leveraging order blocks successfully. It enables precise entries and exits around these crucial areas on the chart.

Timeframe Considerations for Spotting Order Blocks

Considering the timeframe is crucial in detecting order blocks. While they can occur on any chart, their effectiveness can significantly vary. Specific timeframes yield more reliable blocks, adding weight to your analysis.

Daily and weekly charts are often the most beneficial. Larger-scale blocks formed in these timeframes generally provide stronger levels and result in bigger price movements.

Conversely, scouting for order blocks on shorter timeframes, like the 1-hour or 4-hour charts can yield frequent trades. However, these may not necessarily be as profitable due to minor price bounce-offs.

Additionally, bear in mind the market’s volatility while choosing the timeframe. High volatility periods may present more opportunities but require careful risk management.

Always cross-verify an order block’s validity. Check if it aligns with order blocks in higher timeframes. Consistency across multiple timeframes adds confidence to enter or exit positions.

Remember, timeframe selection is relative to your trading strategy and risk appetite. Longer term traders might favor daily and weekly blocks, while short-term traders may find hourly blocks more fitting.

Reasons for Formation of Order Blocks

Order blocks mostly form due to supply and demand imbalances in the Forex market. These imbalances occur when a significant number of investors decide to buy or sell a particular currency.

1. Large Institutional Trades: Big financial institutions often create these imbalances by placing massive trades. Their investment decisions, influenced by economic forecasts and market research, can swiftly change the demand for a currency pair.

2. Economic News: Major financial news can alter traders’ perception of a currency’s value. For instance, when a country announces a policy change that could strengthen its economy, forex traders may want to buy more of that currency, leading to the formation of a bullish order block.

3. Market Sentiment: Market sentiment also plays an important role. In times of financial uncertainty, traders might flock to safe-haven currencies—creating order blocks. Simultaneously, they might sell riskier currencies, which can lead to the formation of bearish order blocks.

4. Technological Impact: With algorithmic trading becoming more commonplace, specific programmed conditions might trigger a significant number of the same trades simultaneously, leading to the creation of order blocks.

Understanding Bullish Order Blocks

Upon gaining initial insight into the phenomenon of order blocks, it is essential to delve deeper into its subcategories, i.e., bullish and bearish order blocks. Let’s underline the critical aspects of bullish order blocks.

Bullish order blocks, unlike their bearish counterparts, are believed to denote the buying interest in the market. They typically originate during a downtrend, representing a temporary pause or ‘block’ of orders caused by a surge in buying impulse.

1. Point of Origin: The bullish block is formed when the market retraces during a downturn. This period of retracement could be due to a lack of selling orders or an increased number of buyers entering the market.

2. Candlestick Patterns: Bullish blocks are often marked by specific candlestick patterns. An up-close candle, especially through a significant support level, often marks their initiation.

3. Price Behavior: Ideally, prices tend to rise after the formation of a bullish order block. However, experienced traders know that identification alone isn’t sufficient and waiting for a confirmation can improve trade accuracy.

4. Indicative Momentum Shift: Despite originating in downtrends, bullish blocks signal potential reversals, implying a momentum switch from sellers to buyers.

5. Wait for Confirmation: Traders typically await market confirmation that the bullish order block has been accepted. Confirmation might come in the form of bullish candlestick patterns or rejections off of resistance levels.

Remember, being able to identify a bullish order block is vital, but it’s just one piece of the puzzle. Always use conjunction with other elements of technical and fundamental analysis.

Understanding Bearish Order Blocks

The block comes to life when sellers overtake buyers, creating an impetus for downward price movement. When intersecting with vital support zones, a concentration of sell orders typically forms this bearish habitat. Forex traders keenly observe these meticulous points, as they often signal a potential price drop.

A few key characteristics can help identify these bearish blocks:

  • A sequence of higher highs and higher lows is broken. Observe that this break halts the price increase and shifts the dynamic towards a bearish impulse.
  • The zone holding the most recent bullish stage is where the bearish block often resides. This zone creates sell orders which outstrip the buy orders.
  • Price revisits this block, but instead of catapulting upwards, resistance emerges presumably due to the memory of the previous sell-off resonating in the traders’ minds.

Applying these cues together will assist you in pinpointing bearish order blocks. However, their effectiveness ultimately hinges on the context provided by the overall market structure.

Forex Indicators for Identifying Order Blocks

Drawing on several technical indicators can help delineate order blocks within the foreign exchange market. They typically show sudden price movement and a high trading volume zone.

1. Moving Averages: A useful trend-following tool, moving averages help confirm the direction of a trend. Look for sudden breakouts above or below the moving average, supported by volume spikes as a potential indication of an order block.

2. Volume Profile: This indicator reveals at what prices most trading activity occurred over a specific period. An area with high trading volume could indicate a prominent order block.

3. Fibonacci Retracement Levels: Utilising Fibonacci retracement levels can spot potential reversal points in the market that coincide with an order block. Sudden price retracement after reaching a certain Fibonacci level could indicate an order block.

4. Bollinger Bands: A price trend outside the usual Bollinger Band range may suggest an order block. These bands can highlight price volatility, and a sudden expansion could mean an order block coming into play.

5. Ichimoku Cloud: This Japanese charting technique is useful for defining support and resistance zones. The price breaking through the cloud might generate an order block.

6. RSI and Stochastic Oscillators: Overbought and oversold market conditions can be just as telling. A sharp rise or fall from these areas may reflect an order block, especially if it’s coinciding with other indicator signals.

Use these indicators in unison rather than isolation, since an order block is often a confluence of various trading parameters. It’s instrumental in trading plans because it pinpoints the zones where the big market players have shown interest.

Effective Order Blocks Trading Strategies

To harness the potential of order blocks as a trader, consider these key strategies:

1. Trading Within the Block: This involves buying at the bottom and selling at the top of the order block. Effective application requires an understanding of support and resistance levels within the block.

2. Breakout Trading: As the price breaks out above or below the order block, establishing a position in the direction of the breakout can lead to potential profits.

3. Retest Trading: After a breakout, price tends to retest the order block. Entering a position at this point can be lucrative.

4. Block to Block Trading: Order blocks often align with other technical levels. Trading from the ‘supply’ of one block to the ‘demand’ of another can create profitable opportunities.

5. Signal Consideration: Use of technical signals alongside order blocks, like divergence or momentum indicators, can elevate your trading decision.

Remember, careful risk management is always critical while applying any of these strategies. Market volatility can impact these strategies’ effectiveness, so always ensure to use stop losses and take profit levels while trading.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Order Blocks in Forex Trading


  • 1. Precision: Since order blocks provide specific prices where the market could potentially turn, they allow for precise entry which optimizes the risk-reward ratio.
  • 2. Framework: They make the chart more structured, allowing traders to understand the price movement in a structured narrative, which could make the analysis less ambiguous.
  • 3. Reliable: Once identified correctly, order blocks can be extremely reliable and could potentially lead to high probability trade setups.


  • 1. Identification Borders: Correctly identifying order blocks takes practice and some degree of subjectivity. Misidentifying an order block could lead to wrong trades.
  • 2. False Signals: Not every order block results in a price reversal. Hence, traders may end up dealing with false signals.
  • 3. Time Frame Dependency: The effectiveness of order blocks can vary depending on the timeframe. Thus, traders have to constantly adapt their strategies depending on their choice of trading timeframe.

Illustrative Examples of Order Blocks in Forex Trading

Let’s delve into the practical side of order blocks with two common examples: bullish and bearish scenarios.

1. Bullish Order Block: Here, sellers dominated the market causing a significant drop in prices. However, at a crucial point, buyers stepped in, absorbing the selling pressure and driving prices up, forming a bullish block. For instance, suppose the EUR/USD pair is trading at 1.10 before dropping to 1.08 within a week, where it stays relatively stable. This point, where the price ceased falling, may represent a bullish order block, indicating a potential price rebound.

2. Bearish Order Block: Conversely, at a point where prices are escalating due to buying pressure, sellers may take over, creating a bearish order block. If the USD/JPY pair jumps from 110 to 112 within a week but stabilizes at the high without further rises, this could indicate a bearish block, suggesting a possible reversal trend.

These examples serve as a basis to recognize similar patterns that may occur during your forex trading journey. However, remember that trading solely based on order blocks without consideration of other market factors and indicators may prove risky, hence, blend this approach with other techniques for a balanced trading strategy.


What is an example of an order block in forex?

An example of an order block in forex is a Bullish order block, characterized by the last bearish close candlestick that is followed by a bullish close candlestick exceeding the high of the prior bearish candle, also known as the Engulfing pattern.

Is order block profitable?

Yes, order blocks can be profitable as they allow traders to determine a defined risk-reward ratio, crucial to maintain long-term profitability in forex trading.

What is the difference between order block and breaker block?

The key difference between an order block and a breaker block in trading lies in their focus, with an order block strategy centering on identifying areas of notable buying or selling activity while a breaker block strategy concentrates on pinpointing significant support or resistance levels.

How can traders effectively identify an order block in forex trading charts?

Traders can effectively identify an order block in forex trading charts by locating the consolidation area just prior to a strong price movement, as it usually signifies an accumulation or distribution point for significant market orders.

How does order block influence the movement of currency prices in the forex market?

Order blocks in the forex market influence currency prices by acting as zones where large institutional traders either buy or sell, causing significant price movements due to their substantial trade volumes.

What strategies can traders adopt to utilize order blocks in maximizing their forex trading profits?

Traders can maximize their forex trading profits through strategies like identifying significant order blocks, watching for a price return to these levels, using them as triggers for entering trades at favorable risk-reward ratios, and employing strict discipline in risk management.

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