Gator Oscillator


Gator Oscillator review

Gator Oscillator (fig. 1) was developed by the famous trading theorist and practitioner Bill Williams:

Review of the Gator Oscillator indicator for Forex trading
Fig. 1

This Forex indicator refers to the trend ones, indicating the direction and strength of the main market trend. It allows you to determine the moments of the beginning, reversal, development and fading of the trend when trading on Forex. At the same time, this oscillator is a variation of the most popular of them, Alligator, and is used in strategies most often together with it.

Alligator indicator (fig. 2) is a combination of three moving averages with a shift in the future on the trend line. According to Williams, when the lines are placed at a great distance from each other, the strength of the trend is great, in the author’s concept it means that the «Alligator is hungry». When the moving averages cross, the «Alligator is full», the market is in the flat.

Alligator indicator review for Forex trading

Fig. 2

The problem is that the distance between the moving averages is difficult to identify, that’s why Williams created the auxiliary oscillator for Forex – Gator Oscillator. It is a two-color histogram, in which the information of the alligator lines is indicated by the color, position relative to the zero mark, dynamics and size of the histogram bars. This tool makes Alligator more clear for traders and allows you to develop and organize Forex trading strategies, assess the strength of the trend, find divergences (all about Forex). Gator Oscillator (fig. 3) is a histogram, the columns of which are placed relative to the zero line above or below and colored in the colors corresponding to the dynamics of the trend:

Gator is a histogram, the columns of which change location and color

Fig. 3

The histogram, which is placed above the zero line, shows the absolute value of the distance between the «jaw» and «teeth» of the indicator Alligator. Recall that the «jaw» is a 13-period smoothed moving average, shifted forward by 8 bars, it is a blue line. «Teeth» is an 8-period smoothed moving average, shifted 5 bars forward, usually a red line. The histogram, which is below zero, shows the absolute value of the distance between the Alligator’s teeth and the Alligator’s lips. The lips are a 5-period moving average, shifted 3 bars forward. It is a green line. If the current value of the oscillator is lower than the previous one, the histogram columns are colored red. If the current value of the histogram is higher than the previous one, the columns are colored green.

Gator Oscillator maximum values show the maximum difference between the smoothed moving averages, while the indicator lows show the maximum negative difference, and both indicate a strong trend. The placement of the oscillator Gator Oscillator near the zero point shows a weak trend or its absence.

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Oscillator Gator in MetaTrader 5 platform

Gator indicator is in the list of standard indicators of trading platforms, particularly Metatrader 4 and 5. To MT5 chart it can be added under the tab «Insert», subtopic «Indicators». The oscillator works as an additional indicator for the «Alligator», its parameters can be changed, but it is not recommended to do this until you fully understand the principles of Williams’ indicators.


Gator Oscillator signals

Gator Oscillator does not generate independent Forex trading signals, so it is not used separately, but only as an auxiliary tool for Alligator. In fact, it gives signals similar to the Alligator itself, but expressed in the form of a histogram, which is more visually clear and allows you to open transactions more accurately. At the same time, when opening a position, you should still give preference to the signals of the Alligator itself.

It is believed that it is better to open positions when chart columns grow, for example, the quality signal to enter the market is a strongly stretched column of green color – this confirms the strength of the trend. If the histogram columns are colored in different colors from both the top and bottom of the zero line, it means that the «Alligator wakes up» (fig. 4), or, to put it simply, a new trend begins to form:

Gator Oscillator signals

Fig. 4

The green columns on both sides of the zero line indicate the active development of the trend. The formation of flute movement is indicated by the appearance of red columns on both sides. If columns of different colors appear as the trend progresses, this indicates a slowing down of the trend. It is believed that Gator Oscillator is best applied to medium and long timeframes.


Trading strategies based on Oscillator Gator

The main strategy of using Gator is together with the Alligator indicator and without additional tools. Buy positions are opened when prices are placed above the alligator lines, Gator columns are colored green both above and below zero. Positions should be closed when the price is below the red line of the Alligator indicator. Sell positions are placed below the Alligator lines with similar Gator values, and are closed when prices close above the red line.

By the way, some traders use Gator as a separate indicator in its relation to the price chart. Thus, it is believed that if the descending trend sequence of the Gator peaks forms a converging triangle, it may be a signal to the rise in price. On the contrary, if the sequence of Gator peaks forms a divergent triangle, it can be a signal to reduce the price.

Gator is used in multiindicator strategies (fig. 5) as an oscillator, confirming the Alligator signals and working synchronously with other Williams indicators. One of these strategies is a trading system with Alligator, Fractals, «Awesome Oscillator» and Acceleration/Deceleration Oscillator. The strategy can be implemented on any currency pair on the bar chart, on the timeframe from H1 and above. The Alligator oscillator is additionally installed on the chart.

Trading strategies based on Oscillator Gator

Fig. 5

The first signal on the strategy will be the signal from the Fractals. If a fractal is formed upwards, which is located above the red Alligator line («teeth» in Williams’ terminology), it is a signal to buy and you can already place a pending buy order. After the order has been triggered and executed, the signals shown by «Awesome Oscillator» are analyzed. This is an analogue of MACD, but its values are not based on closing prices, but on median prices and it is the difference between a 5-period ordinary moving average and a 34-period ordinary moving average, both calculated from the median. Thus, in contrast to MACD, the «Awesome Oscillator» has fixed moving lengths and no signal line.

The Awesome Oscillator purchase signal is the placement of the oscillator above zero line, while the histogram of the first column will be of any color, the second – red color and it is below the first, the third column is colored green and above the second. This configuration is called «Saucer». It is exactly what you need to look for in order to implement the strategy. If the «Saucer» is checked, the next pending order is set. Then the signals of the Market Acceleration/Slowdown indicator are tracked.

The Williams acceleration/deceleration indicator measures the rate of acceleration or deceleration of prices, changing the direction before changing the price on the chart, which allows you to work with the value forecast. AC values are calculated as the difference between the indicator P and the moving average from this indicator with a period of 5.

AC shows the following buy signals: if the AC is placed above zero, two consecutive bars should have a higher value than the last downward trend bar on the chart. If the AC indicator is placed below zero, the buy signal will be a configuration of three consecutive bars of higher value than the last bar of the chart. Or it is the second column if the first two columns with higher values cross the zero line. Mark these signals of the AC indicator and place buy orders. Another pending order is placed when green bars are formed simultaneously at two indicators – Awesome Oscillator and Acceleration/Deceleration.

The strategy also notes the notional balance line, which is one of the concepts introduced by Williams. It means the moment when the price fluctuates around a certain notional value that would be in the market without updating. In general, the balance line coincides with zero level «P». When such a situation is formed, the strategy under consideration places an order 1-2 points higher than the maximum price of the bar, which was placed in front of the base bar. Thus, 5 buy positions can be opened in this strategy. Stop-losses are of special importance in this strategy, they should be set in each case when opening a position. In addition, when receiving reverse signals for each indicator positions are closed. Exit from the trades on the strategy is carried out when the trend develops and closes the bar under the red line of the indicator.

Another strategy uses the Alligator indicator, Gator to confirm its signals and Stochastic. The strategy is implemented on a time interval from M15 and above. The Alligator indicator with 13.8 and 5 bars is used for the strategy. Trading is performed only in the direction of the trend. Stochastic here is more necessary for filtering false signals on the flat movement.

The signal to buy will be the crossing of the moving averages of the Alligator and their upward direction. Alligator signals shall be confirmed by Gator signals. The signal to sell will be the crossing of the Alligator lines and their downward direction. Sales are made only on a downward trend. Alligator signals are confirmed by Gator signals. Generally, the strategy with the Alligator and the additional oscillator involves trading on a pronounced trend. Another strategy «Alligator + EMA» (fig. 6), in which Gator can be used to confirm the intersection of the Alligator lines. Since this strategy is too tightly intertwined indicator lines warns that you cannot open positions.

Forex strategy with Gator, Alligator and EMA

Fig. 6

The signal to sell will be the consecutive crossing of the EMA lines of the Alligator down to buy – the crossing of the lines of the Alligator upwards.



Gator Oscillator is one of the indicators of Williams. It is useful for traders who work with the Alligator indicator, because it allows you to better see and understand its signals.

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