Double and Triple Running Flat – The Most Powerful Corrective Pattern
According to Elliott, corrective waves should be split into two categories: simple and complex ones. Simple corrections must be confirmed by future price action, and such corrections are either triangles, zigzags, or flats patterns. Out of these three categories of simple corrections, flats are the most complex ones. Not because they are difficult to be understood or something, but because there are so many types of flats that it is confusing to take them all into account. We covered the types of flats in previous articles here on our Forex Trading Academy project and we know by now that flats are structured based on the b-wave retracement in the territory of the previous a-wave. It is mandatory or the b-wave to retrace minimum 61.8% in the territory of the a-wave. Depending on how much the b-wave is retracing, we can identify the types of the flat patterns that might form. There are nine types of flats we’ve covered so far, three types for each of the following b-wave retracement levels: 61.8%-80%, 80%-100%, over 100%. However, on top of those nine type of flats that the market may form, there is one more, called a running flat. Such a pattern is having a really strong b-wave that not only is retracing 100% of the previous a-wave, but it is exceeding that level quite aggressively. Already having only one running flat, the implications are pretty bullish (if the overall trend is bullish) or bearish (if the previous trend is bearish). What if, instead of forming only one running flat, the market is actually developing two or even three flats?
Double and Triple Running Flats
If the market is forming more than one running flat as a corrective wave, it means we’re having a complex correction. We know by now that a complex correction is having at least one x-wave and this x-wave can be either a small or a large one. The name of these patterns, double and triple running flats, is telling us that the x-wave is a large one, as only large x-waves are possible to form in running corrections. In other words, by the time the first running flat is completed (which already is a powerful statement about the move to come!), a large x-wave should form. This large x-wave goes into the same direction as the b-wave of the running flat. Considering that the b-wave of the running flat is the longest and most aggressive one out of the overall a-b-c structure, it means the x-wave will be at least so powerful as the b-wave.
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Double Running Flat
A double running flat pattern has two running flats connected by a large x-wave. This is the definition and it is quite a straightforward one. All we have to do is to find out the first running flat, look for an x-wave that should exceed the end of the b-wave in the running flat, and then another running flat will follow. As the title of this article suggests, this is one of the most powerful corrective patterns of them all. The move the market forms will be almost vertical and traders will have the impression it is an impulsive wave. This is correct to some extent, but only as part of the overall impulsive wave. For places where running corrections appear, please refer to the article that deals with that subject. How to identify a running flat in the first place anyways? The key comes, as anything when it comes to flats, from the b-wave. The longer the b-wave is, the most likely waves a and c will be similar in both price and time. This means that one can virtually find out the end of the c-wave based on the information that we already know from the previous a-wave. A double running flat is characterized by little or no retracements and it means that if you’re on the wrong side of this pattern, the market will not give you any chance to get out. To add a new position in such a pattern means to look for mostly 38.2% and 23.6% retracement levels as the price is not able to retrace much more.
Triple Running Flat
If a double running flat is a powerful corrective wave then the triple one is even more powerful, if that is even possible. Such a pattern implies no less than three different running flats that are connected by two intervening x-waves. These x-waves are powerful corrections on their own, running ones, and are influencing the overall pattern in the sense that, like it was in the case of a double running flat, it will have little or no retracement levels. The two connective x-wave are large ones that are going well beyond the end of the previous b-wave in the running flat and are most of the times zigzags, double zigzags or even triple zigzags. If one is looking for a comparison between running corrections in order to find out which one is the most vicious one, then the triple running flat is by far the most powerful corrective pattern for at least the following reasons:
- Being a running correction, it will be followed by minimum 161.8% extension when compared with the move prior to the running correction.
- The three running flats that make the pattern move almost in a vertical line and there is no place for consolidation like in the case of a triple three running for example. A triple three running is almost always ending with a triangle, therefore there is plenty of time for the triangle to form and therefore traders can see it and position accordingly. In a triple running flat, there is little or no consolidation as the only pullbacks will be the c-waves of the three running flats.
- On top of the two things mentioned above, the 161.8% extension comes after such an aggressive move that it will give traders the impression that the market will never stop. This is just a wrong impression, as well prepared traders will know that actually a running pattern has just been completed.
All in all, double and triple running flat patterns are not forming that often, but they do tend to appear on the Forex market. When they do, it is important not to fade such a move as it will be an expensive move to be faded.
Other educational materials
- How to Trade 2nd and 4th Waves
- The All-Important B Wave Retracement
- What Are Corrective Waves?
- Trade Forex with Simple Corrections
- Complex Corrections in Elliott Waves Theory
- Types of Flat Patterns
- Types of Zigzag Patterns
- Contracting and Expanding Triangles
Recommended further readings
- Technical Analysis. In Exchange Rate Forecasting: Techniques and Applications Moosa, I.A., 2000. (pp. 173-230). Palgrave Macmillan UK.
- Neural networks for financial forecasting Loo, S.L., 1994. (Doctoral dissertation, University of London).