What Is Doji: Meaning, How to Read, and Common Types

May 6, 2024 Trading 6 min read

What Is Doji? 

Sometimes traders find a candlestick pattern that resembles a cross, with little to no body. This is a Doji candlestick. These candlesticks signify when a stock’s opening and closing prices are either the same or have negligible differences. This means that buyers and sellers have reached a standoff where neither of them triumph over the other. 

This is important because a Doji can be used to signify a potential trend reversal. This is where the prices of stocks change direction, breaking out of previously upward or downward movements. This helps investors make important decisions based on where they think the stock will go in the future.

Why ‘Doji’?

Did you know that the term ‘doji’ in Japanese means ‘error’? This signifies how rare this occurrence is in candlestick charts.

An essential part of technical analysis for traders is understanding and spotting patterns on trading charts for stocks, bonds, currencies, and futures. Traders not only analyse and recognise trends but also understand the chart patterns and what they mean. Before we look further into the specifics of Doji, let us understand the significance of candlestick charts/patterns. 

Introduction to Candlestick Charts

Candlestick charts were first introduced to form a connection between the market sentiments of buyers and sellers. This was based on the assumption that their beliefs strongly affect stock prices and their direction. The charts showcase price movements graphically and consider 4 main factors: high, low, open, and close. 

Traders use candlestick charts to identify patterns in stock prices and use them to predict where the stock could move in the future. The body of the candlestick represents the difference between the opening and closing price for that period. If the body is red (or filled in), it means the stock price closed lower than it opened. If the body is green (or not filled in), it means the stock price opened lower than it closed.

The ‘wicks’ of the candlestick show the highest and lowest prices of that period.

Common Types of Doji Patterns

Long-legged Doji

These candlesticks have long wicks both above and below the body. Their long wicks mean that they depict patterns more visibly. This type of doji signifies increased market volatility during that period, meaning that prices have fluctuated more than usual. The long-legged doji tends to be present more often after a long up or down trend and can indicate a potential reversal of the previous trend. This also means that market sentiment could be changing. 

Dragonfly Doji

This candlestick occurs when the open, high, and close prices remain very close to each other, while the low price is far below these three. The distinguishing feature of this type of doji is the ‘T’ shape that the candlestick forms. This means that the lower wick is significantly longer than the upper wick. 

A Dragonfly Doji can be an indication of a potential decline in the price of a stock, especially if it occurs right after a price gain. It occurs right after a price drop, and it can indicate a potential price increase. Traders use this doji to identify good entry points into the stock.

Gravestone Doji

This is almost the opposite of a Dragonfly Doji in terms of how it looks. It occurs when the low, high, and close prices of the stock are all close together, and the open prices are far above these three. 

This could indicate that there were buyers present in the market who put upward pressure on the price of the stock. This means that the price tried to go higher but could not break through an upper level of resistance. Ultimately, with this type of trend, sellers prevailed and pushed the stock price back down.

Star Doji

The Star Doji has 2 types, the bullish star doji and the bearish star doji.

  1. Bearish Doji Star: This type of Star Doji indicates a change in market sentiment from bullish to bearish, which means a shift from investors who want to buy the stock to investors who prefer to sell the stock. The reason it’s called a “star” is because its body is taller than the body of the candle before it.
  2. Bullish Doji Star: This suggests a potential change from a bearish to a bullish market, which means that traders will start to think about buying rather than selling. It’s called a star because it has to be smaller than the previous candle.

Hammer Doji

A Hammer Doji is a bullish pattern (indicating a positive change in market sentiments) that generally occurs during a downtrend. It looks like a hammer on the chart and indicates that the price could start going up. a small body (near the opening price) and a long lower shadow.

Using Doji in Trading

It’s important to note that Doji candlesticks may frequently appear in shorter trading periods, so it’s better to only analyse them occasionally during these times. Instead, focus on examining Dojis in longer trading periods as it eliminates noise, leading to less confusion and more accurate conclusions.

A Doji by itself cannot be taken as an indicator of future stock prices, it must be considered alongside the other candles that appear before it. The reason for this is that even if a Doji indicates a potential price reversal, it doesn’t tell you how large the reversal might be or how long it might last. Using additional indicators and factors alongside Doji patterns can help you make better decisions.

  1. Identifying the Doji: To start trading using doji candlestick patterns, you first need to spot a Doji on a stock price chart.  Doji candles look like they have almost no body, with just a horizontal line connecting the opening and closing prices.
  2. Using Supporting Indicators: After identifying the Doji, use other signals and indicators to support your predictions. This will help improve the quality of your predictions and you can avoid making decisions based on false signals from the Doji pattern.

Make sure you analyse the risks associated with a trade before entering it to help you trade more effectively.

What Is the Difference Between Doji and Spinning Top?

Both Doji and Spinning Top candlesticks represent indecision and potential trend reversals in the market. The main difference between them is the size of their body. A Doji has wicks but a very small body, indicating a slim difference between the opening and closing prices of the stock. A spinning top has a larger body, indicating a larger difference in opening and closing prices. 

A good rule of thumb is if the body exceeds 5 percent of the candlestick’s size then it is a spinning top, otherwise it is a doji.

Both of these can be indicators of uncertainty and trend reversal in the market, and therefore, should be used along with other signals to confirm a prediction. 

Advantages and Disadvantages of a Doji Pattern

Advantages Disadvantages 
It can indicate when a trend will reverse. The indicators can prove to be unreliable, leading to bullish and bearish traps.
It can help identify highs and lows in trends which can be useful in determining entry and exit points. Doji candlesticks on their own are neutral and need to be used with other signals to make a prediction.
Doji patterns are easy to recognize on charts due to their unique appearance with small bodies and long wicks. Not all doji patterns lead to significant price reversals. Some Doji candles can result in false signals, especially in very unstable markets.
A Doji can be used to provide valuable insights into market sentiment, given that it indicates uncertainty in the market direction. Interpretation of Doji patterns can be subjective. Different traders may have different views on their significance which leads to potential inconsistencies in trading decisions.


Doji patterns are an important indicator on candlestick charts, as they signal indecision between buyers and sellers. This pattern suggests a potential trend reversal, particularly when it appears at the peak of a trend, signaling a potential shift in market direction. 

The Neutral Doji, Gravestone Doji, Dragonfly Doji, and Long-legged Doji are some of the common types of doji candlestick patterns. As these patterns can sometimes generate false signals, they should always be used alongside other patterns, technical analysis tools, and risk management strategies. 

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What is a Doji candlestick?

A Doji candlestick is a type of candlestick pattern that has a small body with upper and lower wicks that can vary in length. The open and close prices of a doji are very close to each other, resulting in a candlestick that looks like a cross or plus sign.

What does Doji indicate?

A Doji indicates market indecision and a stand-off between buyers and sellers. It suggests that neither side was able to take over during the trading period which led to the stock price closing at virtually the same price as it opened. It could potentially signal a reversal or continuation of a trend. This depends on the context within the chart and overall market conditions.

Is Doji a reliable trend-reversal signal?

While Doji candlestick analysis can offer valuable insights into market sentiment and potential trend reversals, it’s essential to use them along with other signals and consider the market context to make informed trading decisions.

A Doji candlestick becomes more significant when it forms at the peak of a trend and can signal that a particular high or low has been achieved.

Should I use other indicators alongside Doji patterns?

It is advised to use other indicators along with Doji patterns as these will help you make more informed trading decisions. Doji candlesticks can be combined with indicators such as the Relative Strength Index (RSI) and Bollinger Bands. 

What are some common mistakes when interpreting Doji?

A few mistakes people make while interpreting doji are:

  • Ignoring the overall market trend: Doji candlesticks on their own might not be the most reliable indicator of market sentiment or future price movements. Therefore, they need to be taken in context with the overall market. 
  • Ignoring other signals: Relying solely on doji while ignoring what the other signals tell you can lead to poor decision-making.
  • Neglecting the wick size: The length of the candlewick can be a good indicator of whether the market is bullish (buyers are prevalent) or bearish (sellers are prevalent). This will help you make entry and exit decisions.
  • Focusing on short-term trends: Using Doji to make short-term decisions can include a lot of noise and the signals may not be as accurate as using them for a longer period.


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