Fill or kill orders are a powerful tool in the forex trader’s toolkit. As the name suggests, these orders are designed to either be filled immediately at a specified price or cancelled entirely if the order cannot be filled right away. Understanding how to use fill or kill orders effectively can give forex traders more control over their trades in volatile market conditions.

In forex trading, fill or kill orders differ from regular market orders which are filled at the best available price. With fill or kill orders, you set a specific price you want to buy or sell at. If the market price matches your specified price, the order is filled. If the price mismatches, the entire order is cancelled automatically.

These unique properties give fill or kill orders advantages and disadvantages compared to other order types like limit orders or stop orders. Let’s take a deeper look at how fill or kill works and when you may want to use these orders in your forex trading.

What are the Key Benefits of Using Fill or Kill Orders?

Fill or kill orders come with some unique strengths that savvy forex traders can utilize:

Guaranteed Entry Price

The major benefit of Fill or Kill orders is the guarantee that you will only enter a trade at your ideal, pre-set price. If the market price moves away from your specified entry level, your order will be cancelled rather than filled at a less desirable price.

This factor is helpful in fast-moving forex markets where prices can shift quickly. You won’t have to worry about getting filled at a price you didn’t want just because the market moved suddenly. The order is killed and you can re-evaluate your trade.

Avoid Slippage on Large Orders

Another useful aspect of Fill or Kill orders pertains to execution certainty. These orders can help traders avoid slippage on large orders in particular.

Slippage occurs when there is a discrepancy between the expected price of a trade and the actual fill price received. This typically happens when market orders are used to enter or exit large forex positions of 100,000 units or more.

If you use a Fill or Kill instead, you can set the specific price where you want your large order filled. If that price is no longer available for the full order size, it is canceled and you avoid adverse slippage.

Take Quick Advantage of Short-Term Opportunities

In volatile markets, prices can swing up or down rapidly creating short windows of opportunity. Fill or Kill orders allow traders to try and take advantage of these short-term market movements.

If you see a price swing down to an attractive level where you want to buy, you can attempt to get filled at that exact price with a Fill or Kill order. If the price jumps back up quickly, your order is killed and you wait for the next opportunity.

This is preferable to using a standard limit order which runs the risk of only getting partially filled at the ideal price before the price moves away.

When is it Best to Use Fill or Kill Orders in Forex?

While Fill or Kill orders have some advantages, they aren’t always the best choice in every forex trading scenario. Here are a few of the situations where Fill or Kill orders tend to be most useful:

Around Major News Events

Major news announcements like employment data, interest rate decisions, and other economic releases can cause sharp volatile price swings in currency pairs. These news events create short windows of opportunity as the market prices in new information.

Fill or Kill orders allow traders to capitalize on their price forecasts around news events without getting filled at inadequate levels if the price whipsaws. If their desired price isn’t instantly available, the order is cancelled at no cost.

Fading Spikes in Technical Patterns

Technical trading strategies often involve fading short-term counter-directional price spikes that occur within larger patterns. This involves quickly taking a contrarian position aiming to profit from the price reversing course.

For example, when trading a bullish flag pattern, traders might attempt to fade the downwards price spikes with buy limit orders. Using Fill or Kill orders allows trading at predetermined support levels without getting filled at worse prices if the price spike extends.

Scaling In or Out of Trades

Fill or Kill can also be useful when scaling in to or out of positions around key technical levels. Traders may want to scale into a long position on a pullback for example, or scale out of a winning trade at a profit target.

By using Fill or Kill, traders can ensure they scale in or out at predetermined prices. If those prices aren’t immediately available as the market moves, the orders are canceled rather than filled at unplanned levels.

Hedging Other Positions

Some traders use Fill or Kill orders specifically to hedge other existing positions in their portfolio at precise price points. This allows them to hedge effectively without taking on excessive additional exposure if their hedging orders are only partially filled at worse prices.

For example, you might place a Fill or Kill buy order to hedge an existing short position if prices pullback to a key support zone. If that support level holds, your buy hedge is canceled and your original short position remains intact.

What are the Downsides of Using Fill or Kill Orders?

Despite their advantages, Fill or Kill orders aren’t perfect in every trading situation. Here are a few of the key downsides to consider:

Orders Can be Cancelled Frequently

The biggest drawback is that Fill or Kill orders are frequently cancelled if prices move away from your specified level. This can lead to repetitive order placement and monitoring which some traders find frustrating.

If you aren’t able to enter a position due to cancelled orders, you also run the risk of missing out on a favorable market move. This downside needs to be weighed against the protection Fill or Kill provides.

Less Priority During Volatility

Exchanges and ECNs often prioritize market orders and limit orders over Fill or Kill orders when there is volatility and liquidity decreases. This means your Fill or Kill orders may get cancelled while other order types are still filled.

This nuance is due to the “All or None” stipulation on Fill or Kill orders. Market makers are less incentivized to fill these orders if the price starts moving away before the full order is executed.

Can Lead to Over-Trading

Some traders fall into the habit of over-trading by repeatedly placing Fill or Kill orders anytime prices move slightly. Without proper discipline, traders may end up getting filled at suboptimal levels or paying extra spread costs due to excessive order placement.

Requires Quick Reaction

To use Fill or Kill orders optimally, you generally need to be able to react and place them quickly as opportunities arise. This requires complete focus on the markets during the trading session. If you delay order placement, the price is likely to have moved before your order reaches the market.

Best Practices for Using Fill or Kill Orders

Here are some tips for getting the most out of your Fill or Kill orders as a forex trader:

  • Clearly define ahead of time your optimal entry or exit price levels where you want to use Fill or Kill. Don’t randomly place orders on a whim.
  • Consider combining Fill or Kill with limit or stop entry orders to automate your trades at key levels.
  • Adjust your Fill or Kill prices in real-time if support or resistance levels shift as price action evolves.
  • Use Fill or Kill orders judiciously only for trades with a highly defined risk to reward ratio. Avoid over-trading.
  • Be ready to act fast when trading around news events or technical patterns. Delay can lead to missed opportunities.
  • Monitor order fills and cancellations. Adjust your trading strategy if Fill or Kill orders are being cancelled excessively.
  • Be patient and wait for prime conditions to use Fill or Kill. Don’t force trades if volatility is low.
  • Use stop losses with all trades, including those entered via Fill or Kill orders. Manage risk accordingly.

Examples of Using Fill or Kill Orders in Forex Trading

To see Fill or Kill orders in action, here are two examples of how forex traders might use them in different situations:

Fading a Technical Price Spike

EURUSD is printing a bullish flag pattern on the 5-minute chart. Price rises up to touch the upper trendline resistance at 1.1750 where it starts to drop rapidly, creating a bearish price spike.

You want to attempt fading this price spike back up towards the upside trendline. You place a Fill or Kill buy order at 1.1735 targeting the 50% Fibonacci retracement level.

If prices reverse off the low and your buy order is filled at 1.1735, you can trail your stop upwards targeting a continued move higher. If the spike extends lower and your order is cancelled, you avoid getting filled at inadequate prices.

Hedging Around a Major News Event

USDCHF has been in a strong downtrend on the hourly chart. You are short USDCHF from the 0.9150 level and the trade is currently in profit.

There is major Swiss National Bank news upcoming which brings two-sided risk. You want to hedge your short position if prices spike above 0.9200 momentarily on surprise news.

You place a Fill or Kill buy stop order at 0.9205 to implement your hedge trade. If the news surprises to the upside and your order is filled, you are now flat and protected from excessive losses. If the news is more dovish and prices don’t reach your level, your short position remains intact.


Fill or kill orders provide traders with pinpoint accuracy for entering or exiting forex trades during volatile market conditions. By specifying a precise price to be filled immediately or cancelled entirely, Fill or Kill orders give you greater control over your trade execution.

Like any trading tool, Fill or Kill requires discretion and discipline to be used effectively. But in the right situations, these unique orders allow you to capitalize on short-term opportunities and implement defensive strategies. Just be sure to weigh the advantages against the potential downsides.

By mastering Fill or Kill orders as part of your overall trading plan, you can accurately enter and exit forex trades while avoiding unnecessary slippage and limiting downside risk during unpredictable swings. With the right strategies, Fill or Kill orders can become a reliable weapon in any active forex trader’s arsenal.