The Breakout Retest Guide

This is one of those subjects that is vital to learn for most traders. It can save you a lot of hassle by learning what a retest actually is & why you should employ this strategy at times. The term 'breakout retest' or sometimes called 'confirmation' can be ambiguous, so I will seek to clear it up here.


When playing in a market, it can be of great insurance not to be the first man to enter. This is because sometimes when a trend is moving in a particular direction, it has not 'proved' yet that this direction can be supported. Often it will clear a level only to reverse. Often it will fakeout. In-fact with the majority players being long bias by nature, the market dictates that a large proportion of breakouts will fail in my opinion.

So, whilst jumping the gun may seem tempting and entering a little early, waiting for something we call 'confirmation of a test level' or 'retest' is your insurance that you don't buy a top. It also helps you exhibit the idea of 'patience' or 'let the trade come to me'. A formidable and underestimated skill in the trading world. 1. Wait for an asset to break out past resistance 2. Wait for an asset to retest this now new support 3. Once support is confirmed, buy 4. One may place bids at support, or on a re-break on a lower time-frame after the bounce

The main question is usually 'How do we confirm support?'. Okay!

Let's look at a few examples:

Below Are 3 graphics As Examples:

The above chart is the 2HR chart displaying a retest play

Point 1: Shows that we break a resistance zone. Resistance is represented by the black line. The zone highlighted in blue shows the initial break.

At this point, you may be wondering 'Do I FOMO in a buy?!?! What to do??'

Well. If you are not clear (for example it is not 'major break' or it is not an asset which you are almost sure will not stop) then waiting for a retest is favorable.

Point 2: So...you wait for the price to retest the breakout point to see if buyers are 'true'

Point 3: Support seems to be there, which suggests an entry to be okay

But This Is Hindsight, No? How do we tell in the moment?

Well..If you are trying to assess whether a retest is successful, it is best to 'zoom in'. By zooming in, we can get a clearer picture of what is happening on the retest. This is important for assessing in real-time. Zooming in means going in on a lower time-frame to see a closer-up version of what the larger time-frame is showing.


So a great key when taking retest plays are synchronizing lower timeframes to higher timeframes.

And before we continue: Never ever think that a retest must be successful. Your job is just to get a good entry point on a higher probability trade. That is what it is used for. Letting the game come to you. It is not a guaranteed ticket to financial freedom. More on what high probability in these scenarios mean later.

In any-case...Below displays figure two. This is a zoomed-in scenario of figure 1


Here we can clearly see that we are forming a descending triangle into the previous resistance zone, now turned support. This highlighted in yellow at 'x'

-Should this structure x breakout, the retest has been successful. One may enter -Should buyers come in with large amounts of volume this retest has been successful One may enter.

Why? Well, the whole point is 'not to be the first'. We need to see there are buyers present so this thing doesn't just die and mess us up.

Note again: Just because a retest shows buy volume or is supported for a few minutes, it does not mean there is a 100% chance it will breakout. We play with probabilities here. But more about this after.

What This Triangle Shows You

3 things can be seen in the above retest scenario:

-There is a failed selloff with an increase in volume (seen by the lower side wick) -Break out of the 'retest zone' (yellow above would be classed as the retest zone) -A quick movement away on a local timeframe

So - to wrap this up, there are two places we can enter this play (if we are taking a retest)

Below (Figure 4) shows this


Trigger One Entry: Shows that bears tried to sell off this retest but failed. A failure from bears to sell into support often means a reversal is more likely to take place.

Trigger Two Entry: Shows that price has both failed a sell-off and blasted past a local level of resistance.

Now The Next Part - What If It Fails?

Well. The loss is to be accepted. Either then one tries again or leaves the play and re-assess. This is the game we play. You don't exactly know what the market is doing at any one time, however, there are a few things that can tip you off on whether the break + retest is more probable to follow through or not:


What We Find In Retests That Are More Likely To Go Up (And Vice Versa).

1. High liquidity assets (at-least in Crypto) as a rule of thumb produce the more reliable breakouts.

This is because it takes a lot of money to cause a pump. So you'd need a very large player to stop it. Also for something to follow through, there needs to be buyers. A shady low volume move over resistance is scenario for disaster.

2. Higher time-frame breakout retests are more likely than lower time-frame ones.

This is for the point above about liquidity. To get something to move on a higher time-frame it requires more capital.

The flip-side is also true. Lower time frame breakouts fail more often because it is easier to move the books

3. Breakouts that have a lot of compression before the break

The more windup before the breakout, the more likely it is to survive a retest once it breaks out. The skirmish that occurs between buyers and sellers builds up like a pressure cooker that not only leads to a strong break but usually causes walls of bids to move up. This is because the buyers get so eager that the retest may not come at all.

The flip-side is also true. If there is little windup before the breakout, one should be more cautious.



4. High volume smash through resistance but low volume sell-off into support. OR a high volume sell-off that caused little price movement. I.E a lot of volume traded, price supports, and moves higher

We are looking for huge buy pressure past resistance, but that there were not many interested sellers. When you have an imbalance in the buyer's favor, it hints at continuation. This is a strong sign the retest will be safe. You are simply looking for the presence of buyers. 


5. Price should not stall for too long.

Once it breaks out of its consolidation or support retest, it should not spend too long when it retests. If buyers are really eager; compared to the entire local movement...it should be a simple wick or a lower time-frame recompression

6. Big buy walls should be seen in the order book.

If something breaks out, you want to see buy support in the order book. If something breaks out and there are no bids...well that is a sign that it may be a fakeout.

7. A retest after a fresh breakout, when there is no resistance level close

If a trend is new and it breaks a key level & there is not much resistance over-head, the retest is more likely to be successful and move away quickly.

This is the same for the opposite. If you buy a retest into a trend, that has declining volume, has moved up a lot, resistance is close and it looks exhaustive in nature, the retest is more likely to fail.

So let's look at a few failed scenarios.

Below is an example of both scenarios. Two poor breakouts (low vol exhausted movements into resistance & two breakouts with a lot of space to go).

The first image shows a simplified chart, where a secondary breakout in blue occurs just below a resistance level. The second chart displays a more detailed look at the conditions in yet another example. The last two show unfortunate situations where a breakout failed both on big volume and with space to move. They are shared to show nothing is certain. With the last example on TRXUSDT, it is useful to note that volatility breeds volatility. In some scenarios, very quick moves up can also be subject to quick profit-taking, which can cause a failed breakout for many reasons. Some being over-leveraged players, others being eager shorts taking the opportunity in predicting false breakouts, or panicked market participants running with quick and decent profits.



Other Things You Need To Know:

To be able to discern a retest, you will need two things. Speed and monitoring. The majority of the time, you will need to be some-what active in-front of the computer to speedily enter into a coin after a retest is confirmed.

The speed which you will need is circumstantial. Sometimes a retest can take a long time, sometimes it can move off quickly. If you are playing on the daily chart, the retest may take a longer period of time and can be explored on the 1HR chart for example; but even then, it is highly dependent on the wind up before the breakout.

Every situation is different.

To wrap this up:

It is actually quite hard if you are new to asses whether this may be a high probability breakout or not. Even then - You simply never know for 100%.

The market is full of participants that can do whatever they want. However. Each breakout retest is different.

You MUST factor in the environment in which the breakout is occurring: What is it's recent history? Is it in a downtrend? An uptrend? Is the market healthy? Is there sufficient liquidity? In regards to the last point - liquidity and general market demand are important.

Without buyers to rush in and buy - you will have no one to sell to and of course, no one to protect your entry. Remember that when you enter and exit, you are expecting to outperform another human being (or robot).

So...Upon a break out of a particular asset, it will have a narrative that has been following it around for a while. The narrative here means 'The previous history, how it's been acting, sentiment' This must be fused with the current scenario to determine to provide a more accurate picture.

In any case, the whole point of getting in on a retest is just this: If the trade fails, we have a clear invalidation level. The invalidation level being our support line. If it breaks down past support, it has failed a breakout.

But because our entry was around or close to support, minimal losses are taken and the trade can be left with ease. We are also not rushing at the expense of getting a poor entry.


I hope that was of use to you. If you have any questions, please let me know

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