What is Scalping? The best brokers for Scalp Trading

In the dynamic world of forex trading, various strategies are employed by traders to capitalize on short-term price movements. One of these strategies is scalping, which involves making quick trades to capture small price changes. This article from Brokerland to learn forex examines scalp trading in forex, defining it, discussing techniques, advantages, risks, and considerations for traders.

What is Scalping?

Scalping in forex refers to a strategy where traders aim to profit from small price movements by entering and exiting trades rapidly. Unlike long-term trading approaches, scalp trading involves holding positions for very short periods, sometimes just seconds or minutes. The goal of this method is to accumulate small profits from numerous trades throughout the day. Scalpers typically target currency pairs with high liquidity and low spreads, allowing them to execute fast trades and capitalize on small price differences.

Key features of scalping include using short time frames like tick charts or one-minute charts to identify rapid price movements. Scalpers heavily rely on forex indicators such as moving averages, RSI, or MACD for quick decision-making in trades. They also use stop-loss orders to manage risk and protect against adverse price changes. This trading strategy requires intense focus, quick decision-making, and a disciplined approach to trading execution.

Scalp trading Techniques in Forex

Scalping in forex requires specific techniques to effectively capitalize on short-term price movements. Here are key techniques commonly used by scalpers:

Choosing the right currency pair: Scalpers typically focus on currency pairs with high liquidity and low spreads. Common choices include major pairs like EUR/USD, GBP/USD, USD/JPY, as well as currency pairs with tight bid-ask spreads to minimize transaction costs.

Scalp trading Techniques in Forex

Short Time Frames: Scalpers operate within very short time intervals, often using tick charts, one-minute charts, or five-minute charts. These short intervals allow them to observe rapid price movements and capitalize on quick fluctuations.

Technical Analysis Indicators: In scalp trading, decision-making heavily relies on technical analysis. Commonly used indicators include:

  • Moving averages: Identifying trends and potential entry/exit points based on moving average crossovers or jumps.
  • RSI (Relative Strength Index): Recognizing overbought or oversold conditions to predict reversals.
  • MACD (Moving Average Convergence Divergence): Providing forex signals for movement changes and trade setups.
  • Bollinger Bands: Identifying price fluctuations and potential price breaks.

Strategies: Below are strategies used in scalp trading:

  • Range Trading: Buying at support levels and selling at resistance levels within a limited price range.
  • Breakout Trading: Entering trades when prices break above or below key levels, aiming for quick profits. Watch out for fake breakouts in this method.
  • Fading: Trading against the trend based on overbought or oversold conditions indicated by indicators.

Fast Execution: Scalpers use fast and reliable trading platforms like TradingView, MetaTrader 5, and MetaTrader 4 with direct market access to ensure swift order execution. This is crucial as scalpers need to enter and exit trades quickly to benefit from small price differences.

Tight Stop-Loss Orders: Due to the short duration of trades, scalpers use tight stop-loss orders to limit potential losses and protect capital. Stop-loss levels are set based on drawing support and resistance levels or technical indicator signals.

Market Sentiment Monitoring: Scalpers often pay attention to market sentiments and forex news releases that can impact short-term price movements. Sudden market changes or unexpected news announcements on interest rates, inflation, and unemployment rates can affect scalping strategies, making staying informed essential.

Risk Management: Effective risk management is vital for scalpers. They often limit the size of their positions relative to their account size and follow an appropriate risk/reward ratio. The goal of scalp trading is to maintain a high win rate with small profits per trade and offset potential losses.

Risk Management

With mastery of these techniques and strategies, scalpers can navigate short-term, high-speed trading environments in forex markets. It’s important to note that scalping requires discipline, decisiveness, and a strong understanding of technical analysis. Traders interested in this method should practice these techniques in a demo account, available with various forex brokers, before using them in live trades to build confidence and refine their skills.

Advantages and Positive Points

Scalp trading offers several advantages for forex traders:

  1. Frequent Trading Opportunities: Scalpers can execute multiple trades in a day and capitalize on numerous short-term price fluctuations.
  2. Reduced Market Exposure: Since trades are held for short periods, scalpers are less exposed to overnight market risks and unexpected news events.
  3. Quick Profits: Scalping targets small price changes, allowing traders to continuously accumulate profits throughout the day.
  4. Drawdown: With tight stop-loss orders, scalpers can control potential losses and manage risk effectively.

Disadvantages and Challenges of Scalp Trading

Despite its appeal, this strategy comes with inherent risks and challenges:

  1. High Transaction Costs: Frequent trading incurs higher transaction costs due to spreads and commissions, which can eat into profits.
  2. Intense Focus and Stress: Scalp trading requires constant attention and quick decision-making, leading to psychological stress and fatigue.
  3. Execution Risks: Rapid market movements or slippage can impact execution and potentially lead to unexpected losses.
  4. Limited Profit Potential per Trade: In scalping, traders aim for small profits per trade, which may restrict overall profit potential compared to long-term trading strategies.

What Makes a Good Broker for Scalp Trading?

Choosing a suitable broker is crucial for success in scalping due to the specific requirements of this trading strategy. Here are key factors a good broker for scalping should have:

Low Spreads: Scalpers aim to profit from small price movements, so the broker should offer tight spreads on major currency pairs. Low spreads reduce trading costs and allow scalpers to enter and exit trades frequently without significant slippage affecting profitability.

Fast Order Execution: A good broker for scalp trading should provide fast and reliable order execution. This means orders should be executed quickly without delays or re-quotes, ensuring that scalpers can capitalize on fleeting market opportunities.

What is Scalping?

Execution without a dealing desk (NDD): Brokers offering NDD execution route trades directly to liquidity providers, reducing the likelihood of conflicts of interest and minimizing execution delays. NDD brokers often provide faster order processing, which is beneficial for scalpers.

Minimum Slippage: Slippage occurs when the executed price differs from the expected price due to market fluctuations or delays. A good broker for scalp trading should have systems in place to minimize slippage and ensure that trades are executed close to desired prices.

Suitable Platform: The trading platform offered by the broker should be user-friendly, stable, and equipped with advanced features suitable for scalping. Look for platforms that support one-click trading, customizable charts, and real-time market data.

Liquidity Providers and Market Depth: Choose a broker that has access to deep liquidity from reputable liquidity providers. Deep liquidity helps ensure that orders are filled quickly and at desired prices, even during periods of high market volatility.

Regulations and Regulation: Choose a broker for scalp trading that is regulated by a reputable financial authority. Regulatory oversight helps protect traders’ funds and ensures fair trading practices. Additionally, the broker should provide strong security measures to protect accounts and customer data.

Transparent Fee Structure: A good broker should have a transparent fee structure without hidden costs. Consider factors such as spreads, commissions, overnight swap rates, and other fees to accurately assess trading costs.

Customer Support: Reliable customer support is essential for scalping trading, especially during active trading hours. Choose a broker that offers responsive customer support through multiple channels (e.g., live chat, phone, email) to quickly address any issues or questions.

Availability of Demo Account: Before depositing real funds, testing a broker’s services and trading conditions using a demo account is helpful. This allows scalpers to evaluate order execution speed, platform performance, and overall trading experience without risking capital.

Good Broker for Scalp Trading

Risk Management Tools: Some brokers offer advanced risk management tools such as Guaranteed Stop Loss Orders (GSLO) or protection against negative balance. These features can help reduce risks associated with fast markets and unstable price fluctuations in scalping.

Considering these factors and conducting thorough research, scalpers can identify a broker that aligns with their specific needs and preferences. If we take into account all the points mentioned above and want to name a few brokers for scalp trading that have all these features, surely Alpari‘s Pro-ECN account, LiteForex‘s ECN account, Fibo Group, standard commission-free account, or zero spread ECN pro account of OmegaFinex, and the ECN trading account with Ingot.

Considerations for Scalpers

Scalping can be rewarding but also challenging. To enhance success and effectively manage risks, it requires a detailed examination of several factors, which are important considerations for scalpers:

  • Choose the right broker: For supporting scalping activities, choose a broker with tight spreads, fast execution, and minimal slippage.
  • Utilize technology: Use trading platforms and tools that enable fast order execution and provide real-time market data.
  • Implement precise risk management: Set real profit targets in scalp trading and adhere to disciplined risk management strategies, including stop-loss orders and position sizing.
  • Continuous learning and adaptability: Stay updated with market developments, modify trading strategies, and adapt to changing market conditions.
  • Monitor trading costs: When evaluating the profitability of scalp trading, scrutinize brokerage costs accurately.

By considering these factors and incorporating them into your scalping approach, you can optimize your trading efficiency, effectively manage risks, and increase the likelihood of achieving consistent profits in the fast-paced forex world. Remember that patience, discipline, and continuous improvement are key to mastering this challenging trading strategy.


Scalping is a fast-paced forex trading strategy designed for short-term price fluctuations. While this approach offers frequent trading opportunities and quick profits, overcoming its inherent challenges requires discipline, focus, and effective risk management. Traders considering this trading strategy should carefully assess their trading style, market conditions, and technological resources to optimize their chances of success in this dynamic trading approach.

By understanding the subtle differences in scalping and implementing correct trading methodologies outlined in this Brokerland article, traders can harness its potential for generating consistent returns amid the fast-paced forex market landscape. However, it’s important to note that this method is not risk-free and may not be suitable for all traders, requiring a specific set of skills and conditions.

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