Introduction to the Option Strangle

The Option Strangle is a prominent strategy in options trading, renowned for its flexibility and potential to harness market volatility. Commonly referred to as simply a “Strangle,” this approach involves the simultaneous purchase or sale of an out-of-the-money (OTM) call and an OTM put on the same underlying asset, with the same expiration date but different strike prices.

Key Takeaways

  • Option Strangles are used in volatile markets to profit from significant price movements.
  • Involves buying a call and a put option with different strike prices but the same expiration date.
  • Margin requirements and commission fees are a small percentage of the total trade value, when long a Strangle.
  • Success with Option Strangles requires careful market analysis and timing.
  • The strategy is neutral, benefiting from movements in either direction, but involves the risk of losing the entire premium.

Strangle 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).

Strangle Diagram from IntraAlpha
Strangle Diagram from IntraAlpha

Understanding Option Strangles

At its core, the Option Strangle strategy is a bet on market volatility. Traders use it when they expect a significant move in the underlying asset’s price but are uncertain of the direction. This strategy combines buying a call option, which gives the right to buy the asset at a specific price, and a put option, which allows for selling at a predetermined price. The strategy becomes profitable when the asset’s price moves significantly, covering the cost of both premiums.

Long Option Strangle Trades

In a Long Option Strangle involving XYZ Corp, let’s assume XYZ is trading at $100. A trader might buy a 45-day OTM call option with a strike price of $110 and an OTM put option with a strike price of $90. If the premium for the call is $200 and for the put is $200, the total premium spent would be $400. This strategy benefits from significant price movements in either direction of XYZ’s stock.

Commissions and Fees with Option Strangles

Relative to other option strategies, Option Strangles can be costlier due to the involvement of two different option contracts. Assuming a commission of $1 per leg, the total cost for entering and exiting this trade (a round trip) would be $4. This fee, however, is a small fraction compared to the total trade value. In our XYZ Corp example, the commission represents 1% of the total premium.

Margin Impact of Option Strangles

Using the XYZ Corp example, the margin requirement would depend on the broker’s policy but typically involves the maximum potential loss. Since XYZ is trading at $100, the margin would be calculated based on the strike prices and premiums of the options involved in the Strangle.

Benefits and Risks of Option Strangles

The main advantage of an Option Strangle is its ability to profit from significant market movements, regardless of direction. However, the risks include the loss of the entire premium if the market does not move sufficiently. This strategy requires careful market analysis and risk management.

Proven Tips for Success with Option Strangles

Successful trading with Option Strangles involves keen market analysis, understanding of the underlying asset, and timing. Monitoring market trends and economic indicators can provide valuable insights for this strategy.

Real-Life Option Strangle Examples

In our XYZ Corp example, if the stock significantly jumps to $120 or drops to $80, the respective options become profitable, covering the cost of the premiums and generating profit. Real-life scenarios often involve market events like earnings reports or economic announcements that can trigger such price movements.

When and Why Traders Use Option Strangles

Traders typically employ Option Strangles in periods of anticipated high volatility. The aim is to capitalize on significant price movements without betting on a specific direction. This strategy is often used around earnings announcements or major economic events.

How do Option Strangles Work?

Option Strangles work by exploiting the price differential caused by market volatility. The strategy becomes profitable when the price movement of the underlying asset is strong enough to outweigh the combined cost of the call and put premiums.

Are Option Strangles Risky?

The risk in Option Strangles lies in the potential loss of the entire premium paid if the market does not move as anticipated. However, the risk is limited to the total premium paid, making it a defined risk strategy.

Are Option Strangles Bearish or Bullish?

Option Strangles are neither inherently bearish nor bullish. They are neutral strategies that benefit from market volatility in either direction.


Mastering the Option Strangle is essential for traders looking to capitalize on market volatility. This strategy, while involving certain risks, offers the potential for significant profits in fluctuating markets. For further assistance and expert advice on trading Option Strangles, feel free to message us on or join our Discord for more support.

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