Stock Trading
Oct. 25, 202315 min read

Day Trading Options Strategies Every Trader Should Know

Tim BohenAvatar
Written by Tim Bohen

Day trading options strategies involve buying and selling options contracts within the same trading day to capitalize on short-term market fluctuations. These strategies offer traders the potential for high returns with defined risks, making them a popular choice for those looking to diversify their trading portfolio. This article will break down the essentials of day trading options, from the types of options available to the strategies that can maximize your profits.

Read this article because it provides a comprehensive guide to day trading options strategies, breaking down the essentials from types of options to maximizing profits.

I’ll cover the following questions:

  • What is day trading and how does it differ from long-term investing?
  • What types of options are available for day trading?
  • What are the benefits of day trading options?
  • How does leverage work in options trading?
  • What is the strike price in options trading and how is it calculated?
  • What are the different levels of options trading?
  • What strategies can be used specifically for day trading options?
  • What tips should options day traders keep in mind for risk management and strategy optimization?

Let’s get to the content!

Table of Contents

What Is Day Trading?

Day trading is the practice of buying and selling financial instruments within a single trading day. The goal is to capitalize on small price movements to make quick profits. In my years of trading and teaching, I’ve found that day trading requires a unique skill set, including quick decision-making and a solid understanding of market trends.

While the article delves into the essence of day trading, it’s crucial to understand that there are specific rules that govern this trading style. These rules can vary depending on the type of account you use and the market you’re trading in. Understanding these rules can help you avoid costly mistakes and penalties. For a comprehensive rundown of day trading rules, check out this in-depth guide.

How Does Day Trading Work?

Day trading involves opening and closing positions within the same trading day. Unlike long-term investing, the focus is on short-term price movements. Traders use technical analysis, charts, and other tools to predict price changes and make trades accordingly.

What Types of Options Are There?

Options are financial contracts that give you the right, but not the obligation, to buy or sell an asset at a predetermined price within a specific time frame. Understanding the types of options is crucial for developing a robust trading strategy.

Put Options

A put option gives you the right to sell an asset at a specific price before the contract expires. Traders buy put options when they anticipate a decline in the price of the underlying asset.

Call Options

A call option gives you the right to buy an asset at a specific price before the contract’s expiration. Traders buy call options when they expect the price of the underlying asset to rise.

Binary Options

Binary options are a type of options contract where the payout depends on the outcome of a yes/no proposition, typically related to whether the price of an asset will rise or fall. These are high-risk instruments and are generally not recommended for day trading.

Benefits of Day Trading Options

Day trading options come with several benefits that can make them an attractive choice for traders. From my experience, the leverage and flexibility offered by options can be a game-changer.

The benefits of day trading options are numerous, but how do they stack up against other trading methods like options trading? Each has its own set of advantages and challenges, and knowing the difference can help you make an informed decision. If you’re curious about how day trading compares to options trading, explore this detailed comparison.

Leverage Benefits

Options allow you to control a large amount of stock for a relatively small investment, known as the premium. This leverage can amplify your profits, but it also increases risk, so manage it wisely.

Market Flexibility

Options offer the flexibility to make money in both rising and falling markets. You can buy call options when you anticipate upward movement and put options for downward trends.

Portfolio Diversification

Options can be a great way to diversify your portfolio. They can be used to hedge against potential losses in other investments, providing a safety net for your capital.

Risk Protection

One of the key advantages of trading options is that your risk is limited to the premium you paid for the option. This makes it easier to manage potential losses.

Low Capital Needs

You don’t need a large amount of capital to start trading options. The cost of an options contract is generally much lower than buying the underlying asset outright.

Defined Risks

With options, your maximum loss is defined from the outset: it’s the premium you pay for the option. This makes risk management simpler compared to other forms of trading.

High Liquidity

Options markets are generally very liquid, especially for popular stocks. This high liquidity ensures that you can enter and exit positions easily.

Daily Profits

The fast-paced nature of day trading options allows for the possibility of quick profits. However, it’s essential to have a well-thought-out strategy to succeed.

Strike Price in Options Trading

The strike price is the predetermined price at which an options contract can be exercised. Understanding the strike price is crucial for any options trading strategy.

Calculating the Strike Price

The strike price is set when the options contract is created. It’s the price at which you agree to buy or sell the underlying asset if you choose to exercise the option.

Advantages of Knowing the Strike Price

Knowing the strike price allows you to make informed decisions about which options to buy or sell. It’s a key factor in determining the profitability of an options trade.

Market Price and Potential Profits

Your potential profits in options trading are influenced by the market price of the underlying asset. Knowing how to estimate these profits is crucial for successful trading.

Estimating How Much You Can Make from Stock Options Trading

The potential profits from options trading depend on several factors, including the strike price, the cost of the premium, and market volatility. Traders use these variables to calculate potential returns.

Strategies to Maximize Potential Profits from Day Trading Options

To maximize profits, traders often use strategies like spreads, which involve buying and selling multiple options contracts simultaneously. These strategies can help mitigate risks and increase the potential for high returns.

Options Contracts and Stock Prices

An options contract gives you the right to buy or sell an asset at a predetermined price. The price of an options contract is influenced by the stock price of the underlying asset.

Understanding options contracts is vital, but what happens when you decide to exercise an option? The process of exercising an option can be complex and requires a deep understanding of both the contract and the current market conditions. If you’re considering taking this step, make sure to read this guide on how to exercise an option.

What Is an Option Contract?

An option contract is a financial contract that gives you the right, but not the obligation, to buy or sell an asset at a specific price within a set time frame.

Types of Option Contracts

There are several types of options contracts, including American, European, and exotic options. Each has its own set of rules and characteristics.

Relationship between Stock Prices and Option Prices

The price of an options contract is directly influenced by the stock price of the underlying asset. If the stock price moves in a favorable direction, the value of the options contract can increase, leading to potential profits.

Levels of Options Trading

Different levels of options trading allow for various strategies, ranging from basic to advanced. Knowing your level can help you choose the right strategies for your trading goals.

Level 1: Covered Calls

Covered calls involve holding a long position in an asset while selling call options on that same asset. It’s a basic strategy used to generate additional income from a stock position.

Level 2: Long Options

Long options involve buying call or put options with the expectation that the asset will move in the direction that benefits your position. It’s a straightforward strategy but requires a good understanding of market trends.

Level 3: Spreads and Combinations

Spreads involve buying and selling multiple options contracts simultaneously. Combinations are similar but can involve different types of options. These strategies are more complex and require a deeper understanding of the options market.

Level 4: Naked Short Options

Naked short options involve selling options without owning the underlying asset. This strategy is high-risk and should only be used by experienced traders.

Level 5: Advanced Multi-leg Strategies

Advanced multi-leg strategies involve using multiple options contracts to create complex positions. These strategies are for experienced traders and require a deep understanding of the options market.

Options Day Trading Strategies

Day trading options requires a different set of strategies compared to traditional options trading. These strategies are designed to capitalize on short-term market movements.

Long Call and Put

Long calls and puts are the most basic day trading options strategies. In a long call, you buy a call option expecting the stock price to rise. In a long put, you buy a put option expecting the stock price to fall.

Bull Call Spread

A bull call spread involves buying and selling call options simultaneously. This strategy is used when you expect a moderate increase in the price of the underlying asset.

First Scenario (Profit)

In a profitable scenario, the stock price rises above the strike price of the call option you bought, leading to potential profits. However, your gains are capped at the strike price of the call option you sold.

Second Scenario (Break-Even)

In a break-even scenario, the stock price ends up being equal to the total cost of buying and selling the options. In this case, you neither make a profit nor incur a loss.

Third Scenario (Lose Money)

In a losing scenario, the stock price falls below the strike price of the call option you bought. In this case, you lose the premium you paid for the option.

Bear Put Spread

A bear put spread involves buying and selling put options simultaneously. This strategy is used when you expect a moderate decrease in the price of the underlying asset.

Tips for Options Day Traders

Day trading options is not for the faint of heart. It requires quick decision-making, a deep understanding of market trends, and a solid strategy.

Be Great at Hedging Risk

Risk management is crucial in options day trading. Use strategies that allow you to hedge your positions to minimize potential losses.

Pick Which Options to Buy or Sell

Choosing the right options contracts to trade is crucial. Look for options with high liquidity and tight spreads between the bid and ask prices.

Predict the Option Strike Price

Being able to accurately predict the strike price is crucial for successful options trading. Use technical analysis and market trends to make informed decisions.

Determine the Option Time Frame

Time decay can erode the value of an options contract. Be mindful of the expiration date and how it impacts your trading strategy.

Should You Day Trade Options?

Day trading options can be profitable but it’s not for everyone. It requires a significant time investment and a deep understanding of the market. If you’re new to trading, start with simpler strategies and work your way up.

Key Takeaways

Day trading options offers a way to capitalize on short-term market fluctuations. It provides leverage, flexibility, and the potential for high returns. However, it also comes with its own set of challenges and risks. Make sure you understand these before diving in.

There are a ton of ways to build day trading careers… But all of them start with the basics.

Before you even think about becoming profitable, you’ll need to build a solid foundation. That’s what I help my students do every day — scanning the market, outlining trading plans, and answering any questions that come up.

You can check out the NO-COST webinar here for a closer look at how profitable traders go about preparing for the trading day!

Do you have a go-to options day trading strategy? Let me know in the comments!


How Can I Start Trading Options?

To start trading options, you’ll need to open a brokerage account that allows options trading. Make sure to choose a broker that offers a robust trading platform and competitive fees.

When Do Options Trade During the Day?

Options can be traded during regular market hours, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET. Some options also offer after-hours trading.

Can You Trade Options for Free?

While some brokers offer commission-free options trading, be aware that you’ll still have to pay contract fees. Always read the fine print to understand the total cost of trading.

What Indicators Are Useful for Day Trading Options?

Indicators such as support and resistance levels, along with fundamental news events, are key for predicting the movement of shares and premiums in the options market. Understanding the downside risks and following earnings reports can also enrich your trading strategy.

How Do Beginners Get Started With Day Trading Options?

Beginners interested in day trading options should start by absorbing quality information and content that provides a fundamental understanding of market movements. Enrolling in a course and reading user reviews can give them a head start. Knowing the right number of shares or ETFs to begin with can also be instrumental.

What Role Does a Company’s Earnings Play in Options Trading?

Earnings reports can have a significant impact on an investor’s decision-making process. When a company releases its earnings, it often leads to a fluctuation in shares and premiums. Both individual and institutional investors rely on this information to formulate their trading strategies.

What’s the Importance of Support and Resistance in Options Trading?

Support and resistance levels serve as key indicators for setting your order in day trading options. These levels help in determining the downside risk and potential earnings, offering crucial information for both new and experienced investors.

Are ETFs a Good Option for Day Trading?

Yes, ETFs offer a diversified way to engage in day trading options. They allow investors to buy a share of a larger portfolio. This strategy can be particularly useful if you are not willing to commit to company-specific events or news but want to capitalize on broader market movements.