Last update: 13 May 2020
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The Difference between Double and Triple Threes in Trading with Elliott

One of the last types of complex correction presented here on our Forex Trading Academy project is the double and triple three patterns. These patterns are considered to be rare ones, but they do form on the Forex market. Of the places where they may appear, they have a predilection to form as second waves in impulsive moves, and not that often, as b-waves in zigzags. Regardless of whether it is a second or a b-wave, the move to follow should be a powerful one. As a rule of thumb, the longer the double- or triple-three pattern takes to form, the more aggressive move to follow next will be. What makes a double- and a triple-three pattern, and how are they different from the other patterns discovered by Elliott?

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Defining a Double and Triple Three Pattern

Both these patterns fall into the category of complex corrections with a large x-wave. So far we’ve only treated the running corrections as corrections in this category, and this article serves to complement those dedicated to running corrections. A large x-wave means that the intervening wave will retrace more than 61.8% into the territory of the previous correction. This retracement level should be considered as the minimum one, in the sense that the x-wave can go and easily reverse the whole previous correction, without the overall pattern falling into the running correction category.

Spotting a Double Three Pattern

double three and triple three1A double-three pattern is characterised by all the segments in the pattern being almost equal. To have this effect, the x-wave should be included in this category as well. Moreover, it means that we can only look for flat patterns for corrections that form both before and after the x-wave. In a way, such a pattern resembles a double-flat pattern, the only difference being that the x-wave retraces more than 61.8% into the territory of the first correction. However, when compared with the double flat pattern, a double three has no channelling component. Even in the case of a double flat, the channelling component is different from what channeling in general means. An important factor in trading a double three is knowing the timeframe the pattern is forming on. If it is forming on a longer timeframe, such as daily, weekly or monthly, then the market is basically taking a lot of time to consolidate, and it is not wise to take a trade based on the move that should follow such a consolidation. The reason for this is that swaps are going to be paid throughout all this time, and swaps are mostly negative. As a quick reminder of what a swap is, it is the difference between the interest rates of the currencies that make up a currency pair; and at the end of a trading day, providing the trades are not closed, a small amount is deducted or added to the trade. Paying a negative swap when trading a double three on the longer timeframes can prove to be an extremely expensive thing to do, and should therefore be avoided.

This represents just a small trick for trading the Forex market in general. To complicate things even further, there is the possibility that, instead of the second flat pattern in the double three, the market is forming a triangle. This would make the overall pattern even more time-consuming, as the triangle has five segments, and all of them are corrective ones as well.

What Makes a Triple-Three Pattern?

double three and triple three1As the name suggests, a triple-three pattern has no less than three corrective waves, connected by two large x-waves. The same principle should apply here as well: All segments of the triple-three pattern are almost equal in size. If the double three was supposed to be time-consuming, you can imagine the time taken for a triple-three pattern to form! A lot of patience is required, but the goal is to trade the move that follows such a pattern.

As mentioned earlier, the more the pattern consolidates, the more powerful the move that follows is going to be. Therefore, both double and triple threes form as the second wave in an impulsive move, as the third wave, in this case, will be the one that is extended. A triple-three pattern can end with a triangle as well, and this is the most complex pattern that can form on the horizontal. It implies that the first two corrective waves are flat patterns, the two x-waves retrace more than 61.8% of the previous flat, and the last segment is a triangle.

To complicate things even further, imagine that the triangle has another triangle, of a lower degree, for the e-wave. This will result in the overall pattern having no less than 17(!) segments: six segments corresponding to the first two flat patterns, two segments for the two x-waves, four segments for the first four waves in the triangle, and five segments as the e-wave of the triangle. A proper labelling of a triple three that ends with a triangle should look like this: abc–x–abc–x–abcde. The last e-wave should be a triangle in its own right, of a lower degree, which should be labelled a–b–c–d–e. The third wave that follows such a pattern should be even bigger than the one that follows a double three pattern, and should travel far beyond the 161.8% extension needed in an impulsive structure.The same thing is valid for the fifth wave, in the event that the double and triple three is the b-wave of a zigzag. In this instance, the most likely case is that the zigzag would be an elongated pattern, due to the size of the c-wave.

With these two patterns, complex corrections with Elliott Waves theory are covered completely, and the only thing we still need to do is to take a closer look at the types of impulsive waves Elliott discovered. It is only normal to come back to where the whole theory started: a five-wave structure, corrected with a three-wave one.

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