One-Cancels-The-Other: What Is It And How Does It Work?
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One-Cancels-The-Order Explained

The one-cancels-the-other (OCO) order is a strategic trading instrument that combines two different order types, usually a limit order and a stop order. This one-of-a-kind order type allows traders to simultaneously define stop-loss and profit-taking targets for their positions.

The intrinsic system of OCO orders assures that the fulfillment of one order instantly cancels the other. This trading method is beneficial for risk management, allowing traders to identify their entry and exit locations precisely.

Integrating OCO orders streamlines transactions, reducing the requirement for ongoing market attention. During tumultuous markets, OCO orders give traders more control over their positions. It is worth noting that the implementation of cryptocurrency OCO orders vary among trading platforms.

Some platforms that support OCO allow users to pick multiple order types simultaneously. On the other hand, other platforms may require manual order pairing, forcing traders to create and bundle orders separately for OCO execution.

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How OCO Orders Work

With their broad collection of functions, OCO orders provide a robust and comprehensive approach to position management, allowing traders to automate methods matched with risk management and profit-taking objectives. To understand how OCO orders are used in practice, consider this hypothetical scenario involving Alex.

Alex holds a substantial amount of Bitcoin (BTC) and wants to streamline his trading activity by automating transactions using an OCO order.

Below are the steps Alex is expected to take to ensure a smooth process:

Step 1: Setting OCO Boundaries

After establishing the OCO order, Alex noticed that the price of BTC was bouncing between $30,000 and $33,000. Based on the present trading range, Alex carefully places a take-profit sell order above the higher limit of $33,000 while simultaneously putting a stop-loss sell order below the lower limit of $30,000. This technique lets him seize prospective profit possibilities while protecting against unexpected losses.

Step 2: Specifying Timeframe For OCO Orders

While refining his OCO order, Alex realizes the importance of providing the time window for executing both stop orders. He opts for a strategy where he can use both commands simultaneously.

Thus, the buy-stop and sell-stop orders will remain active until triggered or manually canceled within the stated timeframe. Alex then selects a time frame to match his trading technique.

Step 3: Executing the Buy Order

When the price of Bitcoin rises above the $33,000 resistance level, it triggers Alex’s take-profit order, resulting in a successful Bitcoin sale at an optimal time. Simultaneously, the execution of the sell order cancels the related stop-loss order.

By implementing these strategic tactics, Alex effectively used an OCO order to protect his investment and capitalize on profit possibilities without ongoing market monitoring.

When To Use OCO Orders In Transactions

Day Trading With OCO

When quick decisions are required in day trading, OCO orders are valuable for enabling specified exit points in deals. Day traders can automate the deployment of these critical techniques by initiating a stop-loss order to limit possible losses and a take-profit order to protect gains. This automation allows them to focus on market analysis and identify new possibilities.

Breakout Trading With OCO

OCO orders are helpful when an asset is about to break out of a trading range. Traders benefit from these orders by gaining breakouts above or below support and resistance levels. This trading strategy is particularly beneficial after a lengthy period of consolidation. Thus, OCO orders allow traders to enter the market in the breakout direction without taking undue risks.


OCO orders save traders time and effort by minimizing the need for regular monitoring. They also limit the danger of human mistakes and behavioral trading.

Despite their advantages, some traders may experience difficulties with OCO orders. Using OCO orders efficiently can be more complex than standard orders, requiring additional training and experience before achieving success.

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George Ward

By George Ward

George Ward is a crypto journalist and market analyst at Herald Sheets, known for his engaging articles on the latest digital currency trends. With a background in finance and journalism, he presents complex topics accessibly. George holds a degree in Business and Finance from the University of Cambridge.

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