How to use Bollinger Bands in technical analysis

Bollinger Bands are a type of technical indicator that measures volatility in the market. They are named after John Bollinger, who introduced them in the 1980s. Bollinger Bands consist of three lines – a moving average line (usually the 20-day simple moving average), an upper band (which is two standard deviations above the moving average line), and a lower band (which is two standard deviations below the moving average line).

The idea behind Bollinger Bands is that they provide a visual representation of how volatile a market is. When the market is more volatile, the bands will widen, and when the market is less volatile, the bands will narrow. Traders can use this information to identify potential buying and selling opportunities.

In this article, we’ll discuss how to use Bollinger Bands in technical analysis and how they can help you make better trading decisions.

Understanding Bollinger Bands

Before we dive into how to use Bollinger Bands, let’s take a closer look at what they are and how they work.

The moving average line in Bollinger Bands is typically set to a 20-day simple moving average. This line represents the average price of an asset over the past 20 days. The upper and lower bands are set at two standard deviations above and below the moving average line, respectively.

When the market is more volatile, the bands will widen, and when the market is less volatile, the bands will narrow. The idea behind this is that when the market is more volatile, prices are more likely to move outside of the upper and lower bands, indicating a potential trend reversal.

When prices move outside of the upper or lower bands, it’s known as a Bollinger Band squeeze. This can indicate that the market is about to make a significant move, either up or down.

Moving average line
The moving average line in Bollinger Bands is typically set to a 20 day simple moving average

Using Bollinger Bands to identify trends

One way to use Bollinger Bands in technical analysis is to identify trends in the market. When prices are trending up, the moving average line will be pointing up, and the upper band will be moving up as well. When prices are trending down, the moving average line will be pointing down, and the lower band will be moving down as well.

When the market is in a strong uptrend, prices will tend to stay above the moving average line and the upper band. When the market is in a strong downtrend, prices will tend to stay below the moving average line and the lower band.

Traders can use Bollinger Bands to identify when a trend is starting to reverse. If prices start to move outside of the upper or lower bands, it can indicate that the trend is losing momentum and is potentially about to reverse.

Using Bollinger Bands to identify overbought and oversold conditions

Another way to use Bollinger Bands in technical analysis is to identify overbought and oversold conditions. When prices move outside of the upper band, it can indicate that the asset is overbought, and when prices move outside of the lower band, it can indicate that the asset is oversold.

Overbought and oversold conditions don’t necessarily mean that the market is about to reverse. It’s common for assets to remain in overbought or oversold conditions for extended periods, especially in strongly trending markets.

Traders can use other technical indicators, such as the Relative Strength Index (RSI), to confirm overbought and oversold conditions before making a trading decision.

  1. Combining Bollinger Bands with other technical indicators

While Bollinger Bands can be a powerful tool on their own, they can also be combined with other technical indicators to provide even more insights into the market.

For example, traders may use Bollinger Bands in conjunction with the Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD) indicator to identify potential trend reversals. When the MACD crosses over the signal line, it can indicate that the trend is starting to reverse. If this happens while prices are outside of the upper or lower bands, it can provide even more confirmation that the trend is changing.

Traders may also use Bollinger Bands in conjunction with the Relative Strength Index (RSI) to identify potential overbought and oversold conditions. If prices are outside of the upper band and the RSI is above 70, it can indicate that the asset is overbought and a reversal may be imminent. If prices are outside of the lower band and the RSI is below 30, it can indicate that the asset is oversold and a reversal may be imminent.

Using Bollinger Bands for entry and exit points

Finally, traders can use Bollinger Bands to identify potential entry and exit points for trades. When prices are outside of the upper or lower bands, it can indicate that the market is overbought or oversold, respectively, and a reversal may be imminent.

Traders may use this information to enter or exit trades. For example, if prices are outside of the upper band and the RSI is above 70, a trader may choose to enter a short position, anticipating that the asset will soon reverse and move lower.

Similarly, if prices are outside of the lower band and the RSI is below 30, a trader may choose to enter a long position, anticipating that the asset will soon reverse and move higher.

Traders may also use Bollinger Bands to set stop-loss orders. For example, if a trader enters a long position when prices are outside of the lower band, they may choose to set a stop-loss order just below the lower band to limit potential losses if the market doesn’t reverse as expected.

Conclusion

Bollinger Bands can be a powerful tool for crypto day traders looking to identify potential buying and selling opportunities in the markets. By providing a visual representation of market volatility, Bollinger Bands can help traders identify trends, overbought and oversold conditions, and potential entry and exit points for trades.

While Bollinger Bands can be used on their own, they can also be combined with other technical indicators to provide even more insights into the market. Traders should be aware of the limitations of Bollinger Bands and use other technical analysis tools, such as volume indicators and candlestick charts, to confirm their trading decisions.

As with any trading strategy, it’s important to thoroughly test Bollinger Bands and develop a trading plan that incorporates risk management techniques, such as setting stop-loss orders and using proper position sizing. With the right approach, Bollinger Bands can be a valuable tool in a crypto day trader’s toolbox.

author avatar
Dean J. Driessen
Coin Push Crypto Signals is a useful mobile app for crypto traders, can be installed from both Google Play Store and Apple App Store.