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Different Types of Futures Option Spreads

Different Types of Futures Option Spreads

There are many ways of trading in the futures commodity markets. One way is to trade options on futures. There are many strategies you can use in trading futures options. You can just buy an option or just sell an option. You can also put on what is called a spread using options. A spread is when you buy and/or sell more than one option at a time in the same order.

You can buy 2 options or sell 2 options or buy one option and sell another option. The options you buy have to be in a different strike price to be considered a spread. If you just purchased 2 of the same options, that would not be a spread. The 2 options would have to be 2 different option contracts. Let’s look at corn. These are not current prices but just an example. If I purchased 2 $3.00 corn options, that would not be a spread. If I purchased one $3.00 corn option and sold one $3.10 corn option, that would be a spread. I would put this trade on in one order.

Not all spreads have to be in the same contract month or even the same market. When putting on a spread in different months, you could put in an order to buy one option in one month and sell another option in another month at a certain price. These are called calendar spreads as they involve different months.

Now when putting on a spread, you will either have money coming into your account or going out. If your purchased options cost more than the sold options, you would state that you are putting it on for a debit. If you are taking in more with the sold options than you are paying with the purchased options, you are putting the spread on for a credit.