The ability to properly draw support and resistance levels is one of the most basic skills every price action trader must have. It’s also the building block for everything that comes after it, including price action trading strategies like pin bars and inside bars as well as a proper risk to reward ratio.
Get it right and trading starts to become effortless. Get it wrong and your trading experience will most likely be a frustrating one.
In this lesson we’re going to define what a support and resistance level is, as well as why they form. We’ll also dive into how to properly identify these levels, and then we’ll finish things off with a few basic rules to trade by.
In short this lesson will help you keep your charts from looking like this…
And more like this…
A quick note before we get started. This lesson will only focus on horizontal support and resistance as I believe it to be the cornerstone on the topic of key levels.
I’ll save trend lines for a later lesson as they have many different facets that deserve more attention.
What Are Support and Resistance Levels?
A support and resistance level is simply a level in a market at which traders find a price to be overvalued or undervalued depending on current market dynamics. This creates a level in the market that can act as support or resistance depending on various factors surrounding each currency.
So that’s the “fancy” definition of a support and resistance level. Now for the price action trader’s definition…
A level at which we can look for price action buy or sell signals such as the pin bar. That’s really all we need to know. We aren’t concerned about why a level has formed. Instead, we’re focused on how important that level is relative to the surrounding price action. If it’s deemed to be an important (key) level that we want on our chart, we simply wait and watch for a price action buy or sell signal to develop.
Here is a great example of a support and resistance level in action.
Why Do Support and Resistance Form?
To understand why these levels form we have to go back to the supply and demand curve. I won’t spend too much time on this as the real benefit to support and resistance comes once you learn how to properly identify the levels.
Notice how in the supply curve below, the number of units for sale increases as price increases. To put this in trading terms – the higher the price, the more willing traders are to sell their positions.
The demand curve, on the other hand, is the exact opposite. As price increases the number of units desired decreases. This is because traders are less willing to buy in a more expensive market.
We can, therefore, label a support and resistance level as a point in the market where traders are more willing to buy or sell, depending on market conditions. This creates an area of tension between buyers and sellers, which often causes the market to change direction.
Here’s how that looks when it’s applied to a market such as GBPNZD.
Now that we have a good understanding of how and why these areas form, let’s take a look at how to properly identify them.
How to Draw Key Levels
The first thing I want to mention about support and resistance levels is that they aren’t always exact levels. In fact, most often these “levels” are better thought of as areas on your chart.
It’s a common misconception that a key level has to line up perfectly with highs and lows. This couldn’t be further from the truth as most support and resistance levels have areas where the market failed to respect it as either support or resistance. This is the reason we use price action strategies like the pin bar as confirmation that a level is likely to hold.
I don’t know about you, but I learn best when I can see something in action. Which is why I created a video to show you how I go about drawing support and resistance on my own charts.
If you’ll notice, the support and resistance levels I drew in the video didn’t always line up exactly with highs and lows, nor did the market always respect them. But that’s okay.
It’s important to understand that although properly drawn support and resistance levels can be a powerful asset, they aren’t without flaw. But as I mentioned earlier, that’s where price action signals come in to help us determine the strength of a level prior to placing a trade.
One last point about drawing your support and resistance levels. You should always aim to achieve the most touches possible on either side of the level. This usually requires you to move the level up and down a few times until you can find the place where the market touches that level the most from both sides (as support and also as resistance).
Remember that these levels represent areas in the market where traders are more willing to buy or sell, which can mean a change of direction in the market. So by moving a level to a place that achieves the most touches on either side, you stand the greatest chance of catching the move if and when it happens.
Rules For Drawing Support and Resistance
Here are a few simple rules to follow that will vastly improve your ability to identify key areas of support or resistance.
Use swing highs and swing lows in the market to your advantage
By using the highs and lows as a guideline to start drawing your support and resistance levels, you’re more likely to capture the “key” levels. These are the levels that you should be interested in as they are the most likely to produce a valid price action buy or sell signal.
Don’t worry if the highs and lows don’t line up perfectly
Remember that most levels are not going to line up perfectly with highs and lows. Instead of worrying about a level lining up perfectly with highs and lows, you should spend some time making sure the level is at a place in the market that achieves the most touches on either side of the level.
Focus on the major (key) levels in the market
These are the most obvious support and resistance levels and should be immediately visible. If you have to search long and hard for a level, it probably isn’t worth placing on your chart. By only focusing on key levels you’ll be in a much better place to actually trade a price action signal when one shows up.
Stay within a six-month window
You don’t need to go back five years to find support and resistance levels. Most of the levels that you will need are going to come from highs and lows that have occurred within the last six months. Feel free to travel back in time once you have the level drawn, but don’t think it necessary to look back more than six months to find great levels to trade.
That wraps up this lesson on how to draw support and resistance levels. I hope you now have a better understanding of how to approach these levels and also which levels are most important.
Just remember to not over-complicate things. Drawing support and resistance levels should be one of the easier and stress-free things you do as a price action trader. In fact, I’ll go so far as to say that if you find yourself expending a lot of energy to find these levels, you’re probably drawing more levels than you actually need.
Keep it simple and most importantly, have confidence in your abilities! One of the bigger mistakes you can make is to second guess whether or not you’ve drawn a level correctly. It’s okay to double check your work, but just remember that your first instinct is usually the right one.
How do you go about identifying support and resistance levels? Share your thoughts or methods in the comments section below.
I always make it a point to respond to comments, so leave your mark below and I’ll talk to you soon.
HI JUSTIN ENJOYED READING YOUR SUPPORT/RESISTANCE MATERIAL WHEN I DRAW S/R I SWITCH TO A LINE CHART IS THIS A SOUND WAY OF DOING IT REGARDS MAL.PS I WOULD LIKE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR TEACHINGS.
Malcolm, it isn’t how I trade, but that doesn’t make it wrong.
Thank you for this! I have learnt support and resistance from 6 different people/sources and found yours to be most useful and learnt alot. Much appreciated!
Thanks for this educative and very enlightening post. However I wish to ask that if we are trading with the daily timeframe are we going to use the swing lows and swing highs of the higher timeframe to draw the support and resistance lines? Or is it the daily timeframe that we will use?
You’re welcome, Sam. That depends on what you feel more comfortable with. It will also vary depending on how far back the level goes. For example, if it spans several years, you’ll probably want to use the weekly chart.
Hy bennet i just want to know more about dynamic resistance and how to use it in the market
Really enjoyed the video and description! Hopefully one day I can be profitable trading!
Pleased to hear that, Codey. Let me know if you have any questions.
Hi Justin, i have always had it the other way around to draw my key levels: supoort and resistance. i would go to my weekly time frame and use the beautiful pin bars i find there to draw my levels. the high and low of the pin bar would then become my key level. these levels i use on daily time frame to trade with price action. how valid is this method, in your opinion?
If it works for you, then I’d say it’s valid. There’s no single right way to go about drawing support and resistance.
Enjoyed watching your video, just wondering what charting software do you use?
Pleased to hear that, Dan. The charts I show on this site come from MetaTrader.
how do you draw it then?need to learn how to draw
Sir, I had just read your “How to properly draw S & R Level”. It is really enlightening.
However, Sir, does the S&R levels that we drawn in a Daily Chart applicable to a 4-hour’s too ? Or, different set of S&R levels should be used ?
Pleased to hear that, Albert. You have to study the chart to determine whether the market is respecting a given level on the 4-hour AND daily or perhaps just the daily. Not all levels are created equal in that regard.
Enjoyed reading your blog sir…Iam a student from India.Iam planning to subscribe with you..I want to become consistently profitable trader..Pls give me all support..Thank you…
Enjoyed your article! Thanks for sharing it.
One question though, Do you agree that one of the trates of a good Trader is “Consistency” or “Discipline”? Which makes me think, Are there any Indicators, or Softwares (That you know of), which can draw these Lines, with consistency, and reasonable accuracy?
I be glad to hearing from you.
Many thanks again for the article, Loved it!
is it better to trade a monthly chart to capture more then 200 pips
is it better to trade a monthly chart to capture more then 2000 pips
Just a quick question, Which time frame do you use to draw your support and resistance level ? Daily or Weekly.
Since I have started following you l am learning a lot.thank you
you are best justin.
Nice work Justin. I never knew support and resistance are not much difficult to identify and marked on chart. I am so happy for this wealth of knowledge. Please keep up the good. God bless you more.
Very much clearance about drawing level
That was a great article.
Plain and simple. So glad I became a member. My trading insight and though process have improved.
I am now calm and relaxed when looking at a set up and placing a trade.
Thanks so much, you make learning forex so simple.
Just want to know how to get that charting software
I have read the article and understand fully the concept. I am eager to add this to my practice . I really want to be a full time trader and appreciate all the help I can get. Thank you Justin
Antony here, Do you recommend that Support and Res works well on the daily timeframes? Here is my number I need to ask you something +27 782 8550.
Enter your comment…what a fantastic lesson indeed thanks alot for up lifting my passion on forex
HI, It’s the first time to your site. Love the information. I’m trying to take it in and keep in mind that I need to keep it simple and not over complicate it. I’m a newby and hope to absorb the information so I can feel confident to start some buys and sells. Thank you for sharing your knowledge. I’ll be coming back.
Learn how to drawn supports and resistances
Thank you for putting this up……. U simplified this mystery to me……. Am new in forex I hope follow up on u.
Thank you bro, u clear my mind with good explanation, i always have doubt to draw S&R on High/low or on Open/Close candle… i’m really clear myself on this S&R lesson..
once again….Thank you so much bro 🙂
I like your write up, it is so interesting, but my question is if one observes a pin bar at the support or resistance level in the morning, is it encouraging to place trade order even when the current day trade has not stope
Great stuff..u are a good teacher
this video is useful and as lots of insight
Thank you so much
do banks and big market makers use S&R as well? and if yes, in the same way? Thanks.
Sir, I read you S/R Horizontal Key Level It is really nice and very helpful for my but I am often confuse about trend line. Can you share me how to draw trend line. Thanks
I love using the weekly and monthly chart using a line chart format to get my key levels
I have to thank you for your service to mankind I didn’t know you can trace back for just six months, I use to go three years back,thanks for this great lecture on support and resistance
Ya ur right, i feel comfortable in reading & understanding the concepts, will apply in trade from now on wards & let u know my feeds back asap. Thanks & greetings.
I read that Weekly TF chart major support and resistance levels have more weight as well when trading on the daily TF charts. How do you differentiate between Daily TF support and resistance levels and Weekly TF support and resistance levels? What if Daily TF swing high and lows are nearby to Weekly TF swing high and lows? Would you not mark them even if they were close?
Thanks for all the details an explanations, I have now understand. I think am in the right place with the right people. Although am a trader but l have not got to this extent. I started trading about three months ago an I have not been making profit due to little experience.
I have went through the swing trading cheat sheat, it’s interesting an I will put what I lean there into practice . Thanks
Thank you justin
Hi thank you for your time and lessons so far on support and resistance.am already working on my chart. If I have any questions I will get back to you.
Liked your lesson hope to learn more from u since I dnt hv much experience in trading but little by little tbe info u guys give us is great
Thanks Justin, you have answered a question that’s been nagging at me, how far back do I look to draw “support and resistance “ levels. And the answer is 6 months. 👍
to draw S/R lines i change to line graphs and swing highs and lows become more visible
Great lesson, I purchased your lifetime member program 4 days ago. I am Looking forward to receiving my account login credentials so I can view membership lessons and materials. Thanks
This commentary sections in your lessons are awesome. Just by looking at the answers to some of these questions I am expanding my knowledge and learning a lot more, thanks
I normally look for areas where price seem to have clustered for a while before moving. There, I draw my resistance and support. Now with your lesson, I have learnt that I have to look out for those areas where there is pin bars to draw my resistance and support. Thanks.
You’re welcome. It won’t always be a pin bar. It’s a little less precise than that.
Is there any tools to draw S&R automatically
Thank you Justin u the best, my question is if i draw S/R on the weekly and daily time frame than i decide to trade on the 4hour should i draw S/R on the 4hour too? pls help thats all i want
Well, it would probably help if the level is visible on the time frame you’re using. Not quite sure if that’s what you’re asking here.
Hello Justin! Thank you for your very informative and useful content, sure appreciated by every comprehended trader. My question is how often/after what time interval do you make revision of your determined levels on your chart? I’m interested about your approach, how you do that. Thank you.
You’re welcome. There is no set time interval. I only make changes to a level if the market gives me a reason to do so.
yery well done
This is a good article for a beginner like me.
Thank you sir. Your teaching and instructions have so much blessed my forex training. You talked about price action buying or selling signal forming on these levels, and you mentioned pin bar. My question is that, is it only pin bar that I should expect to see on these levels? Are there other price action signals that should be expected on these levels? Thanks.
Top notch,as always. Love your stuff Justin. Kudos to ya’Pal!
Hi sir i cant open ur SR video
Sir, you mention “stay within a six-month window” is for D1 chart or H4 chart?
I draw support and resistance by spotting highs and lows. i usually don’t look back as much as six months. that i have just learnt from you. thanks
you can draw a support and resistance by spotting the highs and lows of a market
Hi Justin… Drawing horizontal support and resistnace is it really the recent swing lows and the recent swing highs? For instance in a down trend when drawing horizontal support and resistnace levels should we look out for the the recent swing lows from the previous trend, or we should only look out for the first swing low that formed the previous trend?. This is where I get confused
Wow!!! Sir I can now identify support and resistance with the horizontal line. Thank you so much sir, I truly appreciate you sir. Thank you again. I don’t know how to use the trend line yet sir.
First I was going exactly as you said ,then i saw avideo of some guy drawing support & resistance by BOLINGER BANDS , guess what it is actually working .
In marking S&R levels on a chart, can I make use of Bill Willaims fractals as S&R levles and connecting those fractals?
Hello Justin, Thanks for your useful text about S&R levels. I have some problem in playing video attached in this page. Please fix it or send for my email. Thanks a lot.
I like your teaching sir
The video doesn’t work. Could you please fix it? Thanks a lot
Thanks for this educative and very enlightening post.Thanks so much, you make learning forex so simple.
Your Article help me alot i’m grateful.. Please Sir I need any of Your social media Handle.
I will like to learn more about your techniques.