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Best Indicators and Simple Strategies for Beginners

Start Scalping Forex: Best Indicators and Simple Strategies

Mark Fodor
Written by
Mark Fodor
Jul 2023

Forex scalping, a method of trading, employs a multitude of brief, swift forex pair trades daily to exploit minor profit opportunities. This forex strategy, known for its focus on micro-trends, demands acute concentration, discipline, and nimble decision-making. As a forex trader ready to start trading, delve into this guide to grasp the basics of the scalping method, the effectiveness of forex scalping indicators, the ins and outs of scalp trading, and the best technical indicators to use.

Understanding Why Forex Scalping Strategies Work

Scalping forex is an attractive trading strategy for several reasons. While it requires a significant amount of time, discipline, and patience, it offers unique advantages that make it appealing to many traders. Here are some key reasons why traders choose to scalp forex:

  1. Volatility: Forex markets are known for their high volatility, which creates numerous trading opportunities throughout the day. Scalpers can take advantage of these small price movements to make quick profits.

  2. Liquidity: The forex market is the largest and most liquid market in the world. This high level of liquidity allows traders to quickly enter and exit positions with minimal slippage, which is crucial for scalping.

  3. Round-the-clock trading: Forex markets are open 24 hours a day, 5 days a week, allowing traders to create a trading schedule that suits their lifestyle. This flexibility is particularly beneficial for scalpers, who need to be able to act on trading opportunities whenever they arise.

  4. Lower transaction costs: Since the forex market is so liquid, spreads tend to be tighter than in other markets. This means lower transaction costs for traders, which is particularly important for scalpers who make numerous trades each day.

  5. Diversification: The forex market offers a wide range of currency pairs, allowing traders to diversify their scalping strategies across multiple markets. This can help to reduce risk and improve overall performance.

  6. Leverage: Forex brokers typically offer higher leverage than brokers in other markets, enabling traders to control larger positions with a smaller amount of capital. This allows scalpers to maximize their profits from small price movements.

  7. Rapid results: Scalping provides traders with the opportunity to see the results of their trades quickly, which can be satisfying and motivating. It also allows traders to continuously refine and adjust their strategies based on the immediate feedback they receive from the market.

Assessing the Profitability of Forex Scalping

Forex scalping can be profitable for those who are willing to dedicate the necessary time and effort to develop a solid trading plan and execute it with discipline. While the potential for profits is attractive, there are several factors that need to be considered to determine whether scalping is the right trading style for an individual.

Time commitment is a crucial aspect of scalping, as traders need to constantly monitor the markets and make multiple trades throughout the day. This can be demanding and may not be suitable for those who cannot allocate the necessary time to trading.

Emotional control is another important factor in the success of a forex scalper. The high-frequency nature of scalping can lead to emotional decisions and overtrading, which can negatively impact profitability. Traders must be able to stay calm under pressure and stick to their trading plan.

Risk management plays a vital role in determining the profitability of scalping. Since profit margins are typically tight, a single losing trade can wipe out the gains from multiple winning trades. Successful scalpers must be disciplined in managing their risk and maintaining a favorable risk-reward ratio.

Trading costs should also be considered when assessing the profitability of scalping. The frequent trading inherent in scalping can lead to higher transaction costs, including spreads and commissions. To maximize profitability, scalpers need to select brokers that offer tight spreads and competitive commission structures.

Identifying the Best Time to Scalp Forex

The forex market is open 24 hours a day, which means that traders can potentially scalp at any time. However, there are specific periods during which forex scalping is most effective due to higher liquidity, tighter spreads, and increased volatility. In this section, we will explain why these times are considered the best for forex scalping.

Overlapping Market Sessions

Liquidity tends to peak when two major trading sessions overlap, as more market participants are active during these times. This increased liquidity allows scalpers to enter and exit positions quickly and at a lower cost, which is crucial for their strategies. The three main overlapping sessions are:

New York and London from 1pm to 4pm (UTC): This overlap is the most active, as both the US and European markets are open. Major currency pairs involving the US dollar and the euro exhibit the highest liquidity and volatility during this period.

Tokyo and Sydney from 12am to 7am (UTC): The overlap between the Asian and Australian markets is less active than the New York and London overlap but still provides ample opportunities for scalping, especially for currency pairs involving the Japanese yen and the Australian dollar.

Tokyo and London from 8am to 9am (UTC): This brief overlap between the Asian and European markets can offer increased trading opportunities for scalpers, particularly for currency pairs involving the euro and the Japanese yen.

Economic News Releases

Major economic news releases can have a significant impact on the forex market, leading to increased volatility and potential trading opportunities. Scalpers can take advantage of these events to capitalize on rapid price movements. However, it's essential to be aware of the risks associated with trading during news releases, as price spikes and widened spreads can quickly lead to losses.

Market Opening Hours

When a major financial center's trading session begins, there's typically an increase in market activity, providing scalpers with more trading opportunities. The opening hours of the London, New York, and Tokyo sessions are particularly important, as these financial centers are among the largest in the world. Scalpers can benefit from the increased liquidity and volatility that occurs during the first few hours of each session.

Top Indicators for Successful Forex Scalping

Scalping forex requires a solid technical analysis foundation, which often includes the use of various indicators. In this section, we will provide a more in-depth analysis of the top indicators used by forex scalpers and explain how each can be applied to enhance your trading strategy.

Relative Strength Index (RSI)

The RSI is a momentum oscillator that measures the speed and change of price movements on a scale from 0 to 100. It helps traders identify overbought and oversold conditions in the market. When the RSI falls below 30, it signals that the market is oversold and a potential reversal might occur. Conversely, when the RSI rises above 70, it indicates that the market is overbought, and a reversal may be imminent.

For scalpers, the RSI can be used to time entries and exits in conjunction with other technical analysis tools. For example, a scalper might enter a long position when the RSI crosses above 30 and exit when it reaches 70, or vice versa for short positions.

RSI example

Bollinger Bands

Bollinger Bands consist of a moving average (usually a 20-period simple moving average) with two standard deviation bands above and below it. These bands adapt to the market's volatility, expanding when prices fluctuate and contracting when prices stabilize.

Scalpers can use Bollinger Bands to identify potential breakout and reversal points. When prices touch the upper or lower bands, it might signal a potential price reversal, while a contraction of the bands can indicate a potential breakout. Scalpers can also use the Bollinger Band width as a measure of market volatility to determine the most suitable trading opportunities.

Stochastic Oscillator

The Stochastic Oscillator is a momentum indicator that compares a currency pair's closing price to its price range over a specific period. The oscillator generates readings between 0 and 100, with values below 20 indicating oversold conditions and values above 80 signaling overbought conditions.

Scalpers can use the Stochastic Oscillator to identify potential reversal points, entering long positions when the oscillator crosses above 20 and short positions when it crosses below 80. Combining the Stochastic Oscillator with other indicators and price action analysis can help scalpers fine-tune their entries and exits.

Moving Averages (MA)

Moving averages are widely used by traders to identify trends and potential reversal points. Simple moving averages (SMA) and exponential moving averages (EMA) are two common types used by scalpers.

Scalpers often use MA crossovers as entry and exit signals. For instance, a scalper might enter a long position when a short-term moving average (e.g., 5-period) crosses above a longer-term moving average (e.g., 20-period) and exit when the short-term moving average crosses back below the longer-term moving average.

Scalpers can use moving average convergence divergence (MACD) to identify trend changes and generate trading signals. The MACD is calculated by subtracting the 26-period EMA from the 12-period EMA, with a 9-period EMA of the MACD (known as the signal line) overlaid on the MACD line. When the MACD crosses above the signal line, it generates a bullish signal, and when it crosses below the signal line, it generates a bearish signal.


In conclusion, scalping in forex is a method of trading that presents potential profitability through a high-frequency, fast-paced style of trading. The success of this approach heavily relies on the application of the best forex scalping strategies, and the effective use of a robust trading system. As scalping requires quick decisions and substantial trade volume, it's imperative to use strategies that help to capitalize on small price movements in the forex market. Techniques such as simple forex scalping, price action scalping strategy, and automated forex scalping can serve as invaluable tools to many forex traders. Notably, the use of scalping indicators and appropriate scalping software aids in enhancing the efficiency of trades.

While the choice of the best currency pair for scalping can depend on factors like the highest trading volume and the trader's familiarity with the pair, understanding the best time to trade can significantly influence the success of a forex scalping strategy. For those new to forex, it is essential to remember that forex trading involves risks, and some accounts may lose money when trading. Therefore, seeking forex scalping tips, discussing forex scalping with experienced traders, and choosing the best forex scalping broker can provide much-needed guidance. Whether you are aiming to become a successful forex scalper or exploring the range of forex trading strategies, remember that the most successful forex scalping strategy involves identifying the best scalping trading strategies and adhering to them with discipline and precision.


What is forex scalping trading?
Forex scalping trading is a unique strategy in the forex trading sphere that involves opening and closing numerous short-term positions within a day. This method aims to secure small, frequent profits.

How does scalp trading in forex work?
Scalp trading in forex involves making numerous small trades to gain minor profits repeatedly. It focuses on the small changes in currency prices, typically within minutes or hours. This strategy requires quick decision-making and a good understanding of the forex market.

Is forex scalping trading profitable?
Yes, forex scalping can be highly profitable when executed correctly. However, it's worth noting that like any trading strategy, it involves risks and requires knowledge, discipline, and experience to succeed.

What does a good forex scalping system look like?
A good forex scalping system includes a clear set of rules for entry and exit points, use of appropriate scalping indicators, and a robust risk management strategy. It often employs technical analysis tools and might use automation to execute trades swiftly.

Is scalping suitable for beginners in forex trading?
While scalping can be profitable, it requires quick reactions, a deep understanding of the forex market, and robust strategies, which might be challenging for beginners. However, with proper learning, practice, and use of a good forex scalping system, beginners can gradually master this strategy.

Can scalping be used for day trading?
Yes, scalping is a popular strategy for day trading. Day traders often use scalping methods to take advantage of small price changes throughout the trading day.