Short Straddle

Updated on April 4, 2024
Article byKhalid Ahmed
Edited byKhalid Ahmed
Reviewed byDheeraj Vaidya, CFA, FRM

What Is Short Straddle?

A short straddle, also known as a sell straddle strategy, involves selling both a put option and a call option with the same expiration date and strike price. This strategy allows investors to profit if they correctly predict that the stock price will not experience significant upward or downward movement.

Short Straddle


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It is suitable for stable market conditions with low volatility. Traders commonly use short straddles to capitalize on reduced volatility, minimal price movement, and time decay. This strategy is market neutral, meaning it has no directional bias. Additionally, advanced traders often employ short straddles to generate income while taking advantage of stable market conditions and exploiting the absence of significant price fluctuations.

Key Takeaways

  • A short straddle involves selling both a put and a call option with the same expiration and strike price.
  • Short straddle allows investors to profit from a stable stock price, while the maximum profit is limited to the initial credit earned. However, the maximum risk is undefined.
  • Short straddle can be complex to understand and implement.
  • Short straddle offers higher profit potential than the Iron Condor strategy, while the Iron Condor has limited profit opportunities. Short strangle, on the other hand, provides traders with limited profit and risk possibilities.

Short Straddle Option Strategy Explained

A short straddle means an intraday short straddle strategy of mixing uncovered writing puts and uncovered calls having the same expiration and strike price. These call-and-put options create a position that helps predict the narrow trading range for the underlying security. Short straddles need a very little movement of related security to make a profit. When its position gets opened, then traders get credit. Furthermore, there is unlimited risk in both directions besides receiving the premium.

A short straddle option strategy consists of short put and call options with the same expiration date and price. It gets sold normally at the money related to the stock. Nevertheless, it can get opened below or above the security price to create a bull or bear bias. Sell straddle is a neutral strategy involving the simultaneous sale of call and put of identical striking price, underlying security plus expiration date. 

Short straddle adjustments are a trading strategy with limited profit and unlimited risk, used by traders who feel the underlying securities will suffer from volatility shortly.

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Sell straddle has three main components:

Limited Profit

It happens when the option’s strike price becomes the underlying stock price at expiration. Call or put options expire worthlessly at this price point, leading to profit for the traders by converting initial credit to profit.

Max Profit = Net Premium Received – Commissions Paid

Unlimited Risk

If the underlying security fluctuates highly towards up or bottom at expiration, it leads to huge losses. The short call or put would cause a deep expiry in the money.

Maximum Loss = Unlimited

Breakeven Point(s)

For each short straddle, one gets two break-even points which can be calculated as follows:

  • Upper Break-Even Point = Strike Price of Short Call + Net Premium Received
  • Lower Break-Even Point = Strike Price of Short Put – Net Premium Received


Variable commissions are charged to traders for using short straddle sales. 


Let us take some examples to understand the topic. 

Example #1

In a scenario where an investor expects the stock price of Company XYZ to remain stable, they can employ a short straddle strategy. Let’s assume the current stock price is $100. The investor decides to sell a put option and a call option with a strike price of $100 and an expiration date of one month.

By selling the put option, the investor receives a premium of $5. Similarly, by selling the call option, they receive an additional premium of $5. Consequently, the investor earns a net premium of $10 ($5 from the put option + $5 from the call option).

If the stock price remains near $100 throughout the month, neither the put nor the call option will be exercised. In this case, the investor retains the premium of $10 as profit. However, substantial deviations in the stock price could result in potential losses if either of the options is exercised, leading to potential obligations to buy or sell the stock at unfavorable prices.

Example #2

Suppose an investor anticipates low market volatility and implements a short straddle strategy on an index fund. The current price of the index fund is $500, and the investor sells a put option and a call option with a strike price of $500 and an expiration date of one week.

By selling the put option, the investor receives a premium of $10; by selling the call option, they receive an additional premium of $10. Thus, the investor earns a net premium of $20 ($10 from the put option + $10 from the call option).

If the index fund maintains relative stability, resulting in both options expiring out of the money, the investor keeps the entire premium of $20 as profit. However, significant price movements in the index fund can lead to potential losses if either the put or the call option is exercised, depending on the exercise price.


Let us look at a graph to understand the concept better:

The graph below of a short straddle strategy displays a distinctive shape resembling an inverted “V.” It is created by plotting the profit or loss of the strategy at different underlying asset prices.

Short Straddle Graph

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The graph starts at a certain strike price, usually at the current market price, and extends upward and downward. As the underlying asset price moves away from the strike price in either direction, the graph shows a linear increase in loss potential. However, as the price remains close to the strike price, the graph indicates a relatively stable region where the strategy can generate profits.

The break-even points, which represent the price levels at which the strategy neither makes a profit nor incurs a loss, are located symmetrically around the strike price. The design of the graph helps traders visualize the risk and profit potential associated with a short straddle strategy and understand how changes influence the underlying asset’s price.

Advantages And Disadvantages

Let us discuss the advantages and disadvantages using the table below:

Allows investors to profit from predicting the price of a securityCan be complex to understand and apply
Prediction is not dependent on market directionHigher transaction costs
Potential for higher profits compared to selling a single type of optionRisk of unlimited losses
May yield higher profits if held until expirationPercentage yield may be relatively small over a period

Short Straddle vs Iron Condor vs Short Strangle

Let us discuss the difference between the three using the table below:

Short StraddleIron Condorshort Strangle
Higher chance of making moneyLimited profit potentialLimited profit potential
Limited riskDefined riskUndefined risk
No directional biasNo directional biasNo directional bias
Relatively expensive to implementIt can be costly to implementCan be costly to implement
Profit probability around 60%Profit probability around 70%Profit probability may vary
Eligible for both margin accounts and IRAsEligible for margin accounts onlyEligible for margin accounts only
Requires larger capitalUses lesser capitalUses lesser capital

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Is a short straddle better than a short butterfly?

The suitability of a short straddle versus a short butterfly strategy depends on market conditions and investor preferences. A short straddle profits from low volatility and stable prices, while a short butterfly strategy benefits from limited price movement, with the choice between the two depending on the desired risk-reward profile.

2. Is a short straddle suitable for all investors?

The short straddle strategy is considered an advanced options strategy and may not be suitable for all investors. It requires understanding options trading, risk management, and market conditions. Investors should carefully assess risk tolerance and consult a financial professional before implementing a short straddle or any options strategy.

3. Can a short straddle be used during earnings announcements or other significant events?

Trading a short straddle strategy during earnings announcements or other significant events can be risky. These events often introduce increased volatility and uncertainty, which can lead to larger price swings in the underlying asset. Such price movements can result in significant losses for a short straddle position, as the options sold may be exercised, causing potential losses to mount. Traders should carefully assess the potential risks and volatility associated with specific events and consider alternative strategies or risk management techniques to mitigate potential losses during such periods.

This article has been a guide to what is Short Straddle. We explain its examples, comparison with short strangle & iron condor, graph, advantages, and disadvantages. You may also find some useful articles here –

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