Long Guts

Introduction to the Long Guts

Long Guts is a significant strategy in the world of options trading, offering unique opportunities for traders. This strategy, sometimes referred to as ‘long strangle’, involves the simultaneous purchase of an out-of-the-money call and an out-of-the-money put on the same underlying asset with the same expiration date.

Key Takeaways

  • Long Guts involves buying an OTM call and put option on the same asset with the same expiration.
  • It capitalizes on significant price movements in either direction.
  • Costs include the premiums paid and minimal commissions.
  • Margin requirement is based on the maximum potential loss.
  • Suitable in volatile market conditions with uncertain direction.
  • Risk is limited to the premium paid, making it a controlled-risk strategy.
  • Effective when traders anticipate high volatility but are unsure of the direction.

Long Guts Profit and Loss Diagram

Let’s plot this strategy so we can visually see how the trade P/L performs (y axis), at expiration, given a particular stock price (x axis).

Long Guts Diagram from IntraAlpha
Long Guts Diagram from IntraAlpha

Understanding Long Guts

At its core, Long Guts involves a combination of buying a call option and a put option. The call option gives the trader the right to buy the asset at a specified strike price, while the put option provides the right to sell it at a predetermined price. This strategy is designed to capitalize on significant price movements in either direction.

Long Guts Trades

Consider a trade with XYZ Corp, currently trading at $100. A trader might purchase a call option with a strike price of $110 and a put option with a strike price of $90, both expiring in 45 days. Suppose the total premium spent is $300. This setup positions the trader to benefit from significant price swings in XYZ Corp’s stock, either above $110 or below $90.

Commissions and Fees with Long Guts

Trading Long Guts can have varying costs. Assuming each leg of the trade incurs a $1 fee, a round trip trade would cost $4 in commissions. If the total trade value is $300, commissions would represent about 1.33% of the trade’s total value. This percentage gives a clear idea of the relative cost of executing this strategy.

Margin Impact of Long Guts

Using the XYZ Corp example, assuming the stock is trading at $100, the margin requirement is typically the maximum possible loss. In our scenario, this could be the net premium paid, which affects the trader’s available margin.

Benefits and Risks of Long Guts

The primary advantage of Long Guts is the potential for high returns from substantial price movements. However, risks include the loss of the entire premium paid if the underlying asset’s price doesn’t move beyond the strike prices of the options.

Proven Tips for Success with Long Guts

Success in trading Long Guts comes from a keen understanding of market conditions and timing. It’s crucial to have a clear exit strategy and to be aware of the time decay of options as expiration approaches.

Real-Life Long Guts Examples

Continuing with the XYZ Corp example, if the stock surges to $120 or plummets to $80, the strategy can be highly profitable. However, if the stock remains between $90 and $110, the trader may incur a loss equal to the premium paid.

When and Why Traders Use Long Guts

Traders opt for Long Guts when they anticipate significant volatility in the underlying asset but are uncertain of the direction. This strategy is often employed around major events or earnings announcements.

How do Long Guts Work?

Long Guts work by combining the benefits of both call and put options, enabling traders to profit from significant swings in either direction, provided the move is substantial enough to offset the cost of the premiums paid.

Are Long Guts Risky?

While there is a risk of losing the entire premium, this strategy’s risk is limited to the amount spent on premiums, making it a controlled-risk strategy.

Are Long Guts Bearish or Bullish?

Long Guts are neither inherently bearish nor bullish. This strategy is neutral and profits from volatility in either direction.


Long Guts is a nuanced strategy in options trading, suitable for scenarios where significant price movements are expected. Mastering Long Guts requires an understanding of market dynamics and careful risk management. For further assistance, traders can reach out for support on X.com or join our Discord community.

Related Articles

The Best Options Report Trading Results

In this post we are analyzing the results of our “Best Options Report” which we release each morning. For those of you familiar with the report, you can jump down to the results section below. If you are just learning about the report you can read more about it here and sign up to receive it each day for free.

tastytrade x IntraAlpha

tastytrade, Inc. (“tastytrade”) has entered into a Marketing Agreement with IntraAlpha(“Marketing Agent”) whereby tastytrade pays compensation to Marketing Agent to recommend tastytrade’ brokerage services. The existence of this Marketing Agreement should not be deemed as an endorsement or recommendation of Marketing Agent by tastytrade and/or any of its affiliated companies. Neither tastytrade nor any of its affiliated companies is responsible for the privacy practices of Marketing Agent or this website. tastytrade does not warrant the accuracy or content of the products or services offered by Marketing Agent or this website. Marketing Agent is independent and is not an affiliate of tastytrade.