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What Is A Lot in Forex?

Haiden Holmes

Oct 08, 2022 17:12


The size of your order on the foreign exchange market is decided by a unit of measurement known as forex lot size. The size of your forex trades will always be measured in lots, and it is essential to comprehend lot size to successfully trade currency pairs on the global forex market. Determining the lot size that best balances opportunity and risk is crucial. The trading lot size directly affects the market movement's influence on your accounts.

What Is A Lot in Forex

In forex, a lot refers to a fixed amount of any particular currency. Even if you are just beginning to learn about the foreign exchange market, you are aware that the amount of profit or loss you incur is dependent on the amount of primary you first invested. Lots allow you to compare the same quantity or increment in other currencies.


In the past, spot forex was only exchanged in specific lots, so you might obtain 100 or 1,000 pieces of dollars, but not 565 or your preferred quantity. Now, more and more dealers have access to non-standard lots. With foreign exchange reserves reaching a record $608 billion, now is an excellent opportunity to standardize your trades using lots.

Types of Forex Lot 

Forex lots are available in a variety of sizes. The following table details the number of units of currency represented by each of the typical lot sizes and the dollar value of one pip.


Now that you are familiar with the fundamental distribution let's get into the specifics of why these lots are divided in this manner and why each type can be useful. You must make choices based on your assets, risk management techniques, and other factors.

Standard Lots 

A standard lot consists of one hundred thousand units of currency; this is the most common lot size among forex brokers. If you're new to forex, you may not want to begin with $100,000 (if you're trading USD) all at once. However, if you're seasoned forex, you may be accustomed to this amount of trading.

As stated previously, your bottom line will fluctuate by $10 for each pip. Typically, retail traders with low account balances will not trade standard lots since their accounts are susceptible to being wiped out by little price swings if they use a great lot of leverage (more on that below).

Therefore, if you're just beginning to trade forex because gold markets are in decline or because you're excited by the market's strong liquidity, you may not be ready for standard lots just yet. Once you have a robust account and understand what you're doing, purchase the basic lot and feel good about it!

Mini Lots 

As its name implies, a mini lot is smaller than a conventional one and represents 10,000 monetary units. It is also a popular alternative among forex brokers, and traders who wish to utilize little or no leverage frequently employ it.

Do not be deceived by the phrase "small"; this is still a substantial investment. However, it is more beginner-friendly if you have sufficient funds. A pip represents $1 in your bank account; however, keep in mind that currencies might fluctuate by 100 pips or more per day, which can add up. Many traders recommend beginning with a minimum of $2,000 before trading small lots.

Micro Lots 

A micro lot is the next-smallest unit of currency, with a minimum of 1,000 units. A portion of brokers offers micro lots, although not all do. Micro lots are an excellent option for novice traders trying to gain a feel for the market since they allow them to practice trading while risking very little money.

Nano Lots 

And now for the smallest available lot size: the micro lot. This is only one hundred units of currency. So adorable and petite! This is less common because you can barely make a return with an investment of this size, but many of the best forex brokers still provide it.

How Are Lot Sizes Calculated?

The standardization of lot sizes across the industry. Beginner forex traders frequently ask, "How much is a lot?" while calculating profit and loss. This varies among the various available currency pairs but is consistent among the major currency pairs on the forex market.

When trading major currency pairs such as EURUSD, GBPUSD, AUDUSD, or NZDUSD, a 1 pip market movement is equivalent to the following monetary values:

  • 1 standard lot = $10.00

  • 1 mini mot = $1.00

  • 1 micro lot = $0.10

  • 1 nano lot = $0.01

This indicates that every 1 pip movement in the exchange rate would result in a $10.00 profit or loss when trading 1 standard lot. A five-pip move would result in a profit or loss of $50 (5 x $10.00). Whether you made a profit or a loss relies on whether you correctly predicted the direction of market movement — up or down. This begs the question, "What is a Pip in foreign exchange?" One pip is equal to one basis point when quoting currency pairs.


The definition of 1 lot in forex can be illustrated with an example.

Suppose that the EUR/USD exchange rate was 1.2000. The currency pair is calculated to four decimal places, which corresponds to $0.0001, and the trader desires to acquire one standard lot.

($0.0001 / $1.2000) * 100,000 units = $8.33 * $1.2000 = $10 every pip. Therefore, every 1 pip movement with 1 standard lot will result in a $10 gain or loss.

Why Is Lot Size Important?

Forex success is impossible without a solid risk management strategy. A trader must always be aware of the risk associated with a deal and the amount of risk he can accept based on his account.

Using bigger lot sizes on tiny accounts frequently results in account overleveraged, which can instantly destroy your account. Therefore, a trader must understand the right use of lot size to control risk successfully.

Which Lot Size Is Best?

The optimal forex lot size for you depends on a variety of criteria related to your trading strategy. Among these are the amount of capital you are willing to risk and the amount of capital you are willing to risk. After determining this, you will be in a better position to select the optimal lot size for you. Remember that you can still use leverage when trading with smaller lot sizes, but the ratio will not rise.


Typically, as you gain experience in the forex trading market, your attitude and willingness to assume somewhat more risk are conducive to increasing your lot size. In light of this, many would advise moving from a demo account to a nano or micro lot size. Once you have mastered them, you can go to the following levels.

If you work with a leading forex broker, you will also notice that many offer loyalty, active trader, and rebate programs. Typically, these are based on the number of standard lots traded. Consequently, it may be something to consider when determining your forex lot size.

What Is The Definition of Leverage?

Leverage is a financial instrument that enables traders to trade a significantly larger position than their trading account size would otherwise permit. Leverage is the practice of borrowing cash, typically from a broker, in order to expand your trading position beyond your own capital capabilities. Therefore, you will need to know how to trade forex to the best of your ability.

As you know, this can greatly raise your profits and magnify your losses significantly. Leverage enables you to trade more lots than your account can now afford, and the most effective forex trading apps will offer leverage. Using the leverage of 100:1, one could trade 100,000 lots of USD/JPY for only $1,000. Leverage may be considered while considering forex risk management.

Leverage – How It Works?

You may be asking how I am able to trade with Lot sizes of 100,000 or even 1,000 basic units. The answer is actually rather easy. This is made possible through the leverage in your account. So let's assume that the leverage on your account is 100:1. This indicates that you are truly exchanging $100 per $1 on the Forex market. In order for you to open a position for $100,000, you will need $1,000 in the margin. Any losses or winnings will be removed from or added to your account's remaining balance.

If your account leverage is set to 200:1, you are essentially trading $200 for every $1 you invest. Therefore, a deal of $100,000 will require a $500 margin.

Importance of Pip Values For Lot sizes

A PIP is the smallest unit of currency trading price measurement. Lot sizes are significant because they directly impact and signify the amount of risk forex traders assume. The lot size determines the magnitude of a market movement's effect on a trader's trading account. A move of 100 pips on a little trade will have a different size than the same move on a very large trade.

As a result, now that we understand what a lot size is, we must concentrate on the computation of pip value in order to quantify earnings or losses from our forex trading.

About Pips And Value Per Pip

A pip or percentage point represents the value difference between two currencies. For yen pairs, 1 pip equals 0.01; however, for most other currencies, it equals 0.0001.

If EUR/USD opens at 1.1385 and closes at 1.1395, for example, there will be a difference of 10 pips. The USD/JPY opens at 107.400 and closes at 107.420, resulting in a difference of 2 pips.

The formula for computing the value per pip is as follows:

Value of one pip in Counter/Quote money Equals (Pip in decimal X 100,000)

For instance:

  • USD/JPY, Value per pip per lot = (0.01x100,000) = JPY1,000.

  • AUD/CAD, Value per pip per lot = (0.0001x100,000) = CAD10.

The good news is that you do not have to perform these actions manually, and you can utilize any of the accessible online pip value calculators.

Why should you be concerned with lots, pip, and pip value? Because all three are required for calculating profit and loss.

Profit/Loss = Number of Pips x Pip Value x Lot Size

For instance, if you purchase EUR/USD at 1.32140 and sell it for 1.32250:

Number of Pip Equals 11

Value per Pip = USD$10

Lot size = 1 (standard lot)

Profit = 11 x 10 x 1 = 110 USD

Your profit or loss will amount to 110 USD.

Another illustration would be selling USD/JPY at 107.55 and closing at 107.95:

Number of Pip Equals 40

Value per Pip (JPY) = JPY$1,000

Lot size = 1 (standard lot)

Profit = 40 × 1,000 x 1 = 40,000 Japanese yen

Your loss will be JPY40,000, which must be translated to the base currency (USD) using the following formula:


Calculation of Pip Values

A pip is the unit of measurement used to express the value difference between two currencies. Typically, it is the final decimal point in a currency pair quote. For example, if the EUR/USD price moves from 1.1075 to 1.1077, this is a two-pip movement.

It represents a negligibly small proportion of the value of one unit of a currency.

Profits and losses are affected differently by a change in the value of a pip depending on both the currency pair you are trading and the currency you used to finance your trading account.

Typically, your forex broker or trading software will calculate your pip value for you. However, it is a valuable process to be familiar with.

The value of a pip can be determined by dividing 1/10 000 or 0.0001 by the exchange rate, commonly known as the currency pair's value at the moment. Multiply this number by your lot size, which is the number of base units you are exchanging.

First-In-First-Out And Hedging

There are a few additional phrases you may encounter in regard to Forex lot sizes and trade entry. They can be quite confusing when you're just starting off. Therefore I'd like to bring them to your attention.

First-In-First-Out (FIFO)

You can enter and exit positions freely with non-US brokers. This is the proper course of action.

However, if you have an account domiciled in the United States, you must leave your trades in the order in which you entered them.

Consider the following two Japanese Yen transactions:

Trade 1: Long 2 mini lots

Trade 2: Long 1 mini lot

If you adhered to the FIFO regulations, you would have to close trade 1 before closing trade 2. Some US brokers may also combine your trades, so you will only see the average of the two trades, not the two deals individually.


You are hedging when your broker permits you to have both long and short positions in the same trading account.

Again, US-based accounts are unable to do so, although traders from the rest of the world can. There is a workaround; however certain merchants may not require it.


Choosing the appropriate lot size for trading positions is essential, but trading with the right broker may be even more crucial. An important component of risk management is lot size. One of the earliest things you should learn about trading is how your broker and trading style influence the lot size you employ. The broker should be licensed for safety and transparency, offer minimal costs, cutting-edge trading platforms, and a straightforward method for calculating your lot sizes for effective risk management.

Frequently Asked Questions 

What is the largest Lot size in forex trading?

The maximum lot size in forex trading varies depending on the FX broker. Many retail brokers offer no more than 500 lots every trade, which is equivalent to 50 million currency units per trade, and this could be more prevalent on institutional forex trading platforms.

What does 0.01 Lot size mean?

A 0.01 lot is equal to one thousand units of money. Since one standard lot = 100,000 units of cash, one micro lot equals 1,000 units of currency (100,000 * 0.01).

How much money do you need to trade forex?

The forex market is less regulated than other markets. Thus brokerages generally establish criteria such as minimum account size. You may be able to trade forex with as little as $100, but it is preferable to save more and allow for losses.

How do you calculate forex profit?

The initial stage in calculating forex profit is measuring the pair's movement. For example, you might be trading a dollar-based pair that moves three pips, or thirty cents, in your favor. Multiply this profit by the size and lot of your lots. If you are trading two lots of normal size, your profit would be $60,000 (2 x 100,000 x 0.30 = $60,000). If you use leverage, you must subtract the amount you borrowed to determine how much profit you will pocket.