20 Best Breakout Trading Strategies

20 Best Breakout Trading Strategies 2024

Diving into the dynamic realm of breakout trading strategies opens doors to profit from possible changes in market trends. Breakouts are key indicators of trend shifts, providing traders with chances for financial gain. Our detailed guide will navigate you through multiple approaches enabling you to spot and act upon substantial market movements beyond critical price points. You’ll learn how to discern when a stock breaks past resistance or falls under support, furnishing you with the tactical knowledge necessary for taking advantage of these pivotal instances assuredly.

Table of contents:

Key Takeaways

  • Breakout trading strategies aim to capitalize on price movements that cross established support or resistance levels, signaling the start of a new trend or strong market shift.
  • Volume and volatility are critical components in breakout trading, as increased volume can validate the strength of the breakout and volatility indicates significant market moves from established levels.
  • Risk management in breakout trading is essential, with traders needing to establish clear plans, adhere to risk-reward ratios, and remain disciplined to avoid common pitfalls such as false breakouts.
Best Breakout Trading Strategies

Breakout Trading Strategies

1. Opening Range Breakout

The Opening Range Breakout (ORB) tactic capitalizes on the market’s early momentum. Originated by Arthur Merrill during the 1960s, its effectiveness has been validated over time within both stock and forex markets.

Utilizing the price range formed at the start of a trading session, ORB exploits initial volatility to anticipate how trade might progress throughout that day. When a currency pair surpasses or dips below prior day’s peaks or troughs, those who employ ORB position themselves to ride the burgeoning wave of momentum right as it starts to intensify.

2. Momentum Breakout

The breakout trader relies heavily on momentum, utilizing the Momentum Breakout strategy to capitalize on this vital element. The essence of the approach is to act quickly—both entering and exiting trades—to take advantage of moments when swift price movements unveil themselves, frequently as a result of significant news or events.

This trading methodology demands an agile yet methodical response to capture fleeting chances during expected peaks in stock price activity. It’s about being poised for quick action when opportunities arise from rapid market shifts.

A chart showing the opening range breakout

3. Support and Resistance Breakout

Utilizing a breakout strategy similar to skilled archers waiting for the optimal moment to release their arrows, traders focus on critical moments when there’s a clear close past support and resistance levels. Such breakouts typically signal a significant change in market equilibrium, whether in stocks, forex or the dynamic world of cryptocurrencies. The crux of this approach hinges on crossing these pivotal support and resistance thresholds as harbingers of possible trend shifts.

4. Trendline Breakout

Breakout traders in the financial markets act like mapmakers, drawing trendlines that trace historical market movements and often predict future trends. A significant event occurs when the price crosses a critical trendline, whether it’s supporting an uptrend or restraining a downtrend—this indicates that there could be either a reversal of the current trend or its continuation.

The battle lines for possible changes in market sentiment are these same trendlines plotted on a price chart by linking several peaks or troughs.

5. Volatility Breakout

Traders employing the Volatility Breakout strategy are on the hunt for signs of a surge in market volatility, which suggests an unusual shift away from typical market patterns. The essence of this method lies in short-duration trading, aimed at seizing the imminent move that follows such activity.

The goal of this tactic is less about predicting long-term market trajectories and more centered around rapidly responding to sharp increases in market volatility, usually triggered by major events or substantial changes within the marketplace.

6. Price Channel Breakout

The breakout strategy utilizes natural market patterns displayed as price movements oscillate within established channels. These temporary boundaries of price action serve as indicators to traders looking for entry and exit points, including potential areas where a price may break through.

When there is a movement past these defined channels, it could indicate an upcoming surge or decline in prices based on which direction the breakout occurs.

7. Breakout Pullback

Exercising patience is essential, especially when employing the Breakout Pullback strategy. Traders patiently wait for the market to retract back to the breakout point, then they grab their chance. This method affords traders a secondary opportunity to participate in a trade by leveraging on the market’s inherent pattern of rise and retreat.

Adopting this strategy is considered top-notch as it potentially provides an early entry into what could be the onset of a substantial trend.

8. False Breakout

Many traders face a significant obstacle with the False Breakout, a misleading market tactic that mimics an actual breakout before reversing direction, often leaving chaos in its wake. Spotting these insincere actions demands careful observation and strict discipline since they are usually ephemeral and do not exhibit the substantial trading volume characteristic of authentic breakouts.

9. Breakout Retest

The Breakout Retest strategy documents a journey seeking validation, where traders are on the lookout for evidence confirming that the breakout signifies not just a temporary anomaly but marks the onset of a new trend. In this approach, when the price revisits the breakout level, it isn’t interpreted as an indicator of faltering strength. Instead, it is viewed as an opportunity to reinforce and validate their entry position.

10. Breakout with Volume Confirmation

In breakout trading, the amount of volume is a critical indicator, and the Breakout with Volume Confirmation strategy pays close attention to what this market chatter implies. When there’s an increase in trade volume coinciding with the breakout moment, it acts as an emphatic endorsement from the crowd, solidifying confidence in the market’s move towards a fresh trajectory.

11. Breakout Gap

In the Breakout Gap strategy, traders target the spaces created by sudden price surges often associated with strong market dynamics. These gaps act as indicators of market momentum, and the approach centers on pinpointing these jumps to capitalize on possible significant increases in price.

12. Fibonacci Breakout

In the Fibonacci Breakout strategy, traders engage in a numeric ballet utilizing golden ratios to predict possible breakout points. These proportions, mapped onto trading charts, act as unseen thresholds that indicate a likely continuation or reversal when crossed.

13. Breakout from Consolidation

The Consolidation Breakout strategy is a tale of buildup and breakthrough, where the market harnesses its pent-up energy during periods of stagnancy to unleash in a dynamic surge. This approach capitalizes on the market’s accumulation phase by seizing the flurry of transactions that emerge following a pattern of consolidation.

14. Moving Average Breakout Strategy

The strategy of a Moving Average Breakout centers on executing trades when the price surpasses a moving average, signaling a possible trend change. This method employs one moving average to demarcate the trend and seeks particular patterns in price movements as verification of a breakout.

15. Bollinger Bands Breakout Strategy

Utilizing the expansion and contraction of Bollinger Bands as a measure of volatility, the Breakout Strategy alerts traders to significant market shifts. When price movements extend beyond these flexible boundaries, it suggests that the market may be primed for a breakout, which is what investors monitor through these bands.

16. Breakout Volume Strategy

The Breakout Volume Strategy emphasizes the importance of substantial changes in trading volume to identify breakout signals. It relies heavily on interpreting the market’s sentiment as conveyed by the increased number of shares or contracts traded at the time of a breakout, underscoring volume as a pivotal factor in this strategy.

17. Channel Breakout Strategy

Breakout traders act as pilots within the market’s channels, utilizing these established routes to dictate their entry and exit points. These channels act like protective barriers of the marketplace, and when a breakout surpasses these borders, it signals traders watching for shifts in trends to make their move.

18. Keltner Channel Breakout

Utilizing Chester Keltner’s namesake channels, which encompass the average true range to reflect market volatility and scope, the Keltner Channel Breakout strategy serves as a detector of trends. It identifies possible breakout signals by providing an adaptable perspective on market movements.

19. Pennant Breakout Strategy

Traders employing the Pennant Breakout Strategy are vigilant for continuation patterns resembling pennants on trading charts, similar to a flag waving in the breeze. This approach leverages these brief periods of consolidation and anticipates the breakout that signals a powerful extension of the prevailing trend.

20. Gap Breakout Strategy

The Breakout Strategy focused on price gaps capitalizes on trading during moments when a breakout aligns with such a gap, indicating strong market momentum. These Gap breakout strategies method seek to understand and take advantage of these occurrences by predicting the tendency of the market to bridge these gaps, thus aiming for potential gains.

What is Breakout Trading?

Trading breakouts involve skillful anticipation and entry into trades as prices surpass known levels of support or resistance, signaling the start of a potential trend or significant market movement. This strategy capitalizes on departures from typical price patterns by leveraging moments of strong momentum. Breakout trading is favored among traders seeking to profit from these pronounced shifts in the marketplace.

What are Breakout Trading Strategies?

A breakout trading strategy involves a series of tactics aimed at taking advantage of strong market shifts that occur when prices surpass key thresholds, often accompanied by robust momentum. These strategies are universally adaptable across different markets and can be employed with a multitude of financial instruments, highlighting their adaptability for traders. A prime example is the breakout trade itself, which leverages these pronounced market transitions. By executing an effective devised trading strategy—such as those found within breakout strategies—a trader’s success rate has the potential to improve markedly.

Breakout Trading - Capture Early Trends

How do Breakout Trading Strategies work?

Trading strategies that focus on breakout trading aim to pinpoint critical price thresholds at which the market is expected to exhibit a robust response, such as when former support levels become resistance or the other way around. By leveraging an integration of technical analysis and price action, traders strive to seize these crucial points in time by verifying both the vigor and persistence of the breakout.

Can you explain Breakout Trading in simple terms?

In essence, breakout trading involves identifying moments when an asset’s price forcefully moves beyond a previously established limit that it had difficulty surpassing, which could be either above resistance levels or below support lines. The core concept of this strategy rests on the likelihood that once these thresholds are surpassed, the momentum is expected to carry the price. In the same direction, thus presenting potential profit-making scenarios.

When should one use Breakout Trading Strategies?

When market conditions indicate a potential for robust movements, particularly after periods of consolidation that create sufficient pressure to drive prices past significant thresholds, it’s an ideal moment for breakout traders to apply their trading strategies. To increase the chances of executing a successful trade, these traders should closely monitor technical indicators like heightened trading volume as this can reinforce the probability of a breakout being sustained.

An image showing support and resistance levels breakout

How does Breakout Trading differ from other strategies?

Distinguished from various trading strategies, breakout trading zeroes in on capturing the nascent momentum of market trends by concentrating on their inception rather than postponing action for additional confirmation that a trend has taken hold. This strategy is characterized by its forward-looking nature and necessitates having precise entry and exit points outlined. It frequently uses heightened trading volume as an indicator to corroborate movements, which might not be given as much importance in alternative approaches to trading.

What role does volume play in Breakout Trading?

For the breakout trader, volume acts as an essential backup singer to their lead vocals, adding a vital element of affirmation regarding the strength and reliability of the market’s move into new price territory. When increased trading activity accompanies a breakout, it signals agreement among traders about the shift in direction, bolstering confidence in both the validity of the breakout and its capacity to forge a durable trend.

How do traders manage risk in Breakout Trading?

To navigate the treacherous waters of breakout trading, savvy traders implement stringent risk management strategies. They:

  • Establish clear-cut plans that include predetermined entry and exit points
  • Embrace the one-percent rule to shield their capital from ruinous trades
  • Employ a disciplined approach to the risk-reward ratio
  • Aim for a potential reward that justifies the risk undertaken

By following these strategies, traders ensure each foray into the market is calculated and minimize the risk of losses.

What are the common pitfalls in Breakout Trading?

Trading based on breakouts can be highly profitable, yet it is replete with challenges that may trap an unsuspecting investor. The most infamous of these hazards are false breakouts which can cause hasty and doomed trades due to fear of missing out (FOMO). Experienced traders must continuously stay alert, employing strategies such as:

  • implementing stringent stop-loss orders
  • meticulously examining both volume and price action
  • seeking validation through additional technical indicators
  • maintaining a disciplined approach with patience

Adopting these practices enables traders to navigate around the dangers presented by misleading market maneuvers effectively.

Trendline breakout illustrated on a price chart

What role does volatility play in Breakout Trading?

Breakout traders move in step with the volatility, which dictates the pace and magnitude of fluctuations in the market. They rely on a Volatility Breakout system that thrives when there are major movements away from set benchmarks, based on the notion that these trends will continue.

Consequently, it is essential for such traders to be acutely aware of market sentiment by monitoring periods of heightened volatility. These times typically signal significant breakout events.

Can Breakout Trading be automated with algorithms?

Amidst the fast-paced evolution of trading and technological advancements, breakout trading has embraced algorithms as a powerful partner. Platforms like AlgorithmicTrading.net have equipped traders to interact with market dynamics with exceptional precision while eliminating the necessity for uninterrupted monitoring. These sophisticated automated systems are capable of initiating and concluding trades within a single day, delivering an organized approach to trading that reduces risk and is in harmony with the core tenets of breakout trading strategies.

What are support and resistance?

Support and resistance are levels in technical analysis where the price tends to bounce or reverse due to supply and demand. Traders use these levels to plan trades, identify trends, and manage risk. Technical analysis is more an art than a science. However, let’s look at some simple ideas about breakout trading where we ignore anecdotal evidence and use quantified analysis: For example, let’s look at what happens in gold when it closes above the 20-day high (assuming this is a breakout above resistance):

Breakout trading strategy

How does psychology intersect with Breakout Trading strategies?

In the arena of breakout trading, the fight extends beyond just what is visible on monitors to encompass the mental resilience of traders. It’s crucial to have a strong psychological makeup as fear and greed stand as formidable opponents that must be vanquished for strategy implementation to be successful.

To guard against the emotional turbulence brought about by market volatility, traders equip themselves with discipline and patience. This defensive gear enables them to remain unwaveringly committed to their predetermined trading strategies while they traverse through the turbulent waters of breakout trading.

20-Day High Gold Breakout Strategy

Here is statistics and a backtest for the 20-Day High Gold Breakout Strategy. What is the performance the next twenty days after a breakout through the 20-day high? In the gold price ETF (ticker code GLD) the average gain over the next 20 days is 1.1% and has a win ratio of 54%. The win ratio is close to a random coin toss. However, the average gain of 4.5% is substantially higher than the average loss of 2.8%. We consider the win rate as one of the most important trading metrics.)This is the equity curve:

20-Day High Gold Breakout Strategy backtest

If we flip the strategy and buy on a breakout to a new 20-day low, the average gain is 1.13% over the next 20 days, even better than a breakout to the upside. Remember that gold, just like stocks, has a tailwind in the form of monetary inflation that makes it rise over time. Most of the gains have come from the close until the next open – please read a previous article about the overnight effect:

Gold works best in a trend breakout (if we add a filter, for example, a moving average). In general, a breakout trading strategy works best with an additional trend filter.Recommended Reading: Imbalance Trading Strategy

Is volume important in a breakout strategy?

Yes, volume is important for a breakout strategy. But, to make things more complicated, it also depends. Most argue an increase in the volume is needed, but our research has shown that it’s hard to say for sure. We have found profitable strategies using both high and low volume, but we are reluctant to use volume because our experience indicates it is not among the best indicators.What happens to the 20-day breakout strategy above in GLD if we include the volume criteria?If we put in a requirement that the volume needs to be at least 10% higher than the 50-day average, the average gain on a 20-day breakout to the upside increases to 1.5%. However, in our opinion, the difference is small and might be completely due to randomness and noise.

Let’s backtest breakout and volume in the S&P 500

Here is a backtest for breakout and volume in S&P500. In the S&P 500, we get a better result than in GLD. The criteria are like these:

Trading Rules

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The equity curve in the ETF with the ticker code SPY looks like this:

Breakout trading strategies
Breakout trading strategy

There are only 91 trades, but the average gain is 1.26% per trade.

What happens if we flip it and buy on a new 20-day low?

The average gain per trade increases to 1.45, however, the max drawdown increases as well.

What role do seasonal trends play in Breakout Trading?

Breakout trading benefits from the predictability of seasonal trends, presenting a schedule of expected opportunities. Whether it’s year-end rallies or shifts in commodities due to weather changes, these patterns emerge as potential triggers for breakout events. Savvy traders incorporate such cyclical market behaviors into their approach, using them to refine and improve their trading strategies’ effectiveness.

Volatility breakout depicted on a financial market chart

How does breakout trading apply to forex?

Breakout trading can be applied to the forex market by identifying key levels of support or resistance on currency pairs. Traders can then enter trades when the price breaks through these levels, expecting a strong price move in the breakout direction.

What are the different types of breakout?

There are several types of breakout patterns that traders look for, including ascending triangles, descending triangles, rectangles, and head and shoulders patterns. These patterns can provide traders with potential trading opportunities when the price breaks out of the pattern.

How does a breakout trader determine their exit strategy?

A breakout trader can determine their exit strategy by setting a stop loss order at a predetermined level. This helps to limit potential losses if the breakout fails. Additionally, traders can use technical indicators or chart patterns to identify potential reversal or consolidation patterns that may signal an exit point.

What is swing trading in relation to breakout trading?

Swing trading is a trading strategy that aims to take advantage of short to medium-term price swings in the market. Breakout traders can use swing trading techniques to enter trades when a breakout occurs, and then exit the trade when the price reaches a predetermined target or shows signs of a reversal.

What is a head and shoulders pattern?

A head and shoulders pattern is a reversal chart pattern used in technical analysis. It consists of a peak (the head) surrounded by two smaller peaks (the shoulders), with a neckline connecting the lows of the pattern. A breakout below the neckline is considered a bearish signal.

What is the difference between a breakout and a breakout fail?

A breakout occurs when the price moves through an identified level of support or resistance. A breakout fail, on the other hand, refers to a situation where the price initially breaks out but quickly reverses and moves back within the previous trading range.

What is the best way to trade breakouts?

The best way to trade breakouts is to have a well-defined trading plan. This plan should include identifying key support and resistance levels, setting entry and exit points, and managing risk through the use of stop-loss orders. It is also important to be patient and wait for confirmation before entering the market.

How does a continuation pattern differ from a reversal pattern in breakout trading?

A continuation pattern is a chart pattern that suggests the price will continue in the same direction as the prior trend after a period of consolidation. A reversal pattern, on the other hand, suggests that the price will reverse its current trend. Breakout traders can use both types of patterns to identify trading


Navigating through the myriad of breakout trading strategies can be daunting, yet this guide serves as a beacon, illuminating the path to mastering these powerful techniques. From the fast-paced action of Momentum Breakouts to the calculated precision of the Fibonacci Breakout, each strategy offers a unique lens through which to view the markets. Embrace the discipline of risk management, the clarity of a well-defined trading plan, and the insightfulness to harness seasonal trends. Let the knowledge distilled here inspire you to wield breakout strategies with confidence and finesse, transforming volatility into a gateway to trading success.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best breakout strategy?

A superior breakout strategy necessitates the creation of a precise trading blueprint, which encompasses pinpointing support and resistance levels for determining entry and exit points while incorporating risk management through the utilization of stop-loss orders.

The importance of exercising patience and seeking confirmation prior to market entry cannot be overstated.

Which indicator is best for breakout trading?

Breakout traders regard On Balance Volume (OBV) as the premier tool for predicting significant shifts in the market due to its focus on examining changes in volume. OBV is an essential indicator for those specializing in breakout trading.

Is breakout trading profitable?

Yes, breakout trading can be profitable as it allows for quick movements in an asset’s price once a breakout occurs, making it a lucrative strategy for traders.

What is the 5 minute breakout strategy?

Identifying a price range in the initial minutes of market opening and executing trades as prices move beyond that established boundary characterizes the 5-minute breakout strategy. This approach is potentially effective for leveraging early fluctuations in the market.

Can breakout trading be applied to any financial market?

Certainly, strategies for breakout trading are versatile and can be applied across different markets, including stocks, forex, commodities, and cryptocurrencies.

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