Complete List of Trading Order Types
Every major trading order type and option, all in one place.
This Guide is written with cryptocurrency markets in mind. Because crypto markets rarely “gap”, the expressed effects of some order types here may differ from their characteristics in traditional markets.
Use the sidebar on the right to skip ahead to any particular order type or option.
Limit orders let you specify the price your order will execute at. When submitted, limit orders enter the order book until matched with another trader’s order. Because limit orders enter the order book, they contribute liquidity to the market and are known as “maker” orders. Limit orders are often charged the lesser “maker” fee. Limit orders are not guaranteed to fill.
The time it takes a limit order to execute is not fixed — you must wait for the market to reach your limit price first. Limit orders can partially fill as well. This means that your order may fill a little bit at one time and the rest later.
You can use limit orders to anticipate the market. You can buy at a lower price (wait for the price to fall) or sell at a higher price (wait for the price to go up) with limit orders.
Limit orders submitted to the wrong side of the order book will instantly match with the best opposing order. When this happens, they remove liquidity (they were not posted to the order book) and are often charged the higher “taker” fee.
Market orders execute instantly upon submission. Market orders do not let you choose the price your order will execute at — market orders match with the best available limit orders in the order book. Because market orders automatically match with limit orders at the top of the order book, they remove liquidity from the market and are known as “taker” orders. Market orders are often charged the higher “taker” fee.
You can use market orders to buy or sell immediately. The trade-off for instant execution is a higher fee (usually) and an acceptance of market conditions. Large market orders are more susceptible to slippage than smaller ones — check the order book or market depth chart before submitting.
Stop loss orders are designed to limit a trader’s loss on a trade, as the name implies. You choose the price the stop loss order is triggered at (called a “stop price”), similar to a limit order. However, stop loss orders trigger a market order to buy or sell when the stop price is reached. There is no guarantee the stop loss will fill at the stop price — since a market order is triggered, stop loss orders are vulnerable to slippage.
Traders often use stop loss orders to close their positions at an acceptable level of loss, or at a price where their market predictions become invalidated. If the position is in profit, a trader can “lock in” profits by moving the stop price past the price they entered the position at (towards market price).
Take profit orders are often used to close a position in profit, as the name implies. You choose the price the take profit order is triggered at (called a “profit price”), similar to a limit order. However, take profit orders trigger a market order to buy or sell when the profit price is reached. There is no guarantee the take profit will fill at the profit price — since a market order is triggered, take profit orders are vulnerable to slippage.
The advantage take profit orders have over limit orders is that they are guaranteed to fill completely because they become market orders when the profit price is reached (provided there are sufficient orders to match with in the order book).
- The stop price, which triggers the stop limit order
- The limit price, which determines the lowest sell price or highest buy price you are willing to accept.
The rules for stop loss orders apply to the stop price:
To prevent the stop limit order from executing immediately, always follow the rules for placing the stop price. Traders often set the limit price lower than the stop price to limit slippage on the order.
Below are some examples of what you might expect when setting the stop and limit prices for a stop limit order:
You must set two prices when programming a take profit limit order:
- The profit price: the price level that, when touched by the market, activates a limit order
- The limit price: the price you want the limit order to fill at (limit orders execute at the limit price or better)
Both the profit price and the limit price must follow the rules for setting limit prices:
Keep in mind that market price will be at or near your profit price when it triggers.
Trailing stop orders are a variant of the stop loss where the stop price moves in relation to market price. The stop price can be set as a fixed percentage or dollar amount from market price. This helps to lock in profits and removes the work of updating your stop loss manually as your position profits.
When the price pulls back (opposing the position direction) the trailing stop order remains in place. If the price pulls back to cover the entire percentage/dollar amount of your trail, then the trailing stop order is triggered. This reduces the risk attached to an open position, protecting profit as the market moves in your desired direction.
To set the stop price of a trailing stop order, follow the same rules as a basic stop loss:
Analyze the market to determine how far away to set your trail amount. If set too closely, any minor pullback will trigger the stop loss, potentially ending the position before the price continues favorably. Setting the trail too far away will defeat the purpose of the trailing stop — you may be allowing the trend to reverse direction entirely before your trailing stop is triggered.
There are three inputs required in a trailing stop limit (apart from price & quantity):
- The trail amount, as a dollar amount or percentage
- A stop price: the price level that, when touched by the market, activates the limit order
- A limit price: the price you want the order to execute at (limit orders execute at the limit price or better)
The trail represents the distance that the market must reverse in direction before the stop price is triggered. The stop price must be touched by the market to activate the limit order. Once triggered, the limit order becomes active.
OCO (One cancels the other) orders come in pairs, where the execution of one order automatically cancels the other.
If a trader has an open long position, they might program their stop loss and take profit orders as an OCO order. This would let them have two exit orders open at the same time, with no risk of the second order executing after the position is closed by the first order. If take profit is triggered, for example, the stop loss would be automatically cancelled.
Also known as a conditional close, OSO (One sends the other) orders activate a second order only if the primary order executes.
If a trader is entering the market, they may submit a limit order to open the position. They can use an OSO/conditional close order to automatically open a stop loss when their limit order executes. If they were to submit both orders normally, the stop loss could fill before the limit order, leaving them in a bad trade.
The OCA (One cancels all) order type lets traders program multiple (3 or more), potentially unrelated orders as a group with the effect that when one order executes, all others are automatically cancelled. If one of the orders can only be partially filled, the other orders will remain open and adjusted to include the remaining value of the partially filled order.
If submitted through a brokerage, a trader can use this order type to spread their budget across multiple asset types (most cryptocurrency exchanges require an order be submitted to a single market). A trader may also use OCA orders to attempt multiple entries into/exits out of a single market.
A Fill or Kill order is either fully executed or immediately cancelled in case it can not be fully executed.
Forces the order to only execute if it would close a position or reduce the open volume of the position. If a reduce only order would open a position, or increase its size, the order is instead cancelled.
IOC (Immediate or cancel) orders must buy or sell as much of the order’s volume as possible immediately. Any unfilled amount is cancelled.
Iceberg orders (a.k.a. Hidden orders) divide a large order size into smaller, equally-sized limit orders. Each equal part is submitted to the market individually over a period of time. The purpose of an Iceberg/Hidden Order is to hide the actual order quantity — sometimes, large orders can affect the price of an asset by their presence in the order book alone.