What Is Butterfly Spread: Explained Types & Example


Key Takeaway:

  • The butterfly spread is a popular options trading strategy that involves buying and selling calls or puts at three different strike prices, resulting in a limited risk, limited reward position.
  • There are four types of butterfly spreads: call butterfly spread, put butterfly spread, long call butterfly spread, and short call butterfly spread. Each type has its own unique characteristics and profit potential.
  • An example of a butterfly spread would be buying one call option at a lower strike price, selling two call options at a middle strike price, and buying one call option at a higher strike price. This creates a limited risk, limited reward position with a breakeven point and a maximum profit potential.

Struggling to understand options trading? You're not alone. Butterfly Spread can help you maximize your profits and reduce risks. Get the essentials here and learn how to use it to your advantage.

Butterfly Spread

To fathom Butterfly Spread, we must comprehend its Definition and Components. This guide will take you through the various kinds of Butterfly Spread. It'll discuss Definition and Components in brief.


The Butterfly Spread is a popular trading strategy usually used by options traders. It involves buying and selling options simultaneously to take advantage of profit opportunities with limited risk.

  • First, the trader sells two options,
  • At an in-the-money or at-the-money strike price,
  • Then the trader buys one option at a lower strike price (called the wings).

This structure forms the body of a butterfly. The potential profit from this strategy can be substantial if done correctly.

Unlike other option spreads, such as iron condors and verticals, which are directional trades, butterfly spreads are non-directional. They aim to benefit from the volatility of the underlying asset, where the price either climbs or falls unpredictably before reaching an expiration date.

Despite its seemingly complex structure for new traders, butterfly spreads serve as one of the simplest yet consistent means for profiting from volatility.

Interestingly, today's investors use this age-old strategy with stunning effect against today s stock market trends. Today's savvy money-makers depend on butterfly spreads that have proven their worth throughout history because of their competitive edge over other strategies.

Let's break down the components of the Butterfly Spread, because who says financial jargon can't be as colourful as a butterfly's wings?


The intricate mechanisms constituting the Butterfly Spread are interconnected and crucial to its success. Understanding these components is essential for profitable trading.

In the Long Call Butterfly, two calls with a strike price higher and lower than the at-the-money strike price and one call at-the-money strike price are bought while in the short call butterfly, two calls with a strike price higher and lower than the at-the-money strike price and one call at-the-money strike price are sold.

One interesting fact is that traders attempt to use this strategy to profit from stocks whose price does not change that much before options expiry.

The experienced trader confidently executed a lucrative Long Call Butterfly in the volatile market, his knowledge of each component leading him to reap significant rewards.

Butterfly spreads come in more flavors than a Baskin-Robbins ice cream shop, with types ranging from standard to broken-wing and everything in between.

                                Long Call Butterfly          Short Call Butterfly                                Components          2 Long Calls
1 Short Call
At-the-money Strike Price          2 Short Calls
1 Long Call
At-the-money Strike Price            

Types of Butterfly Spreads

To learn about "Butterfly Spread: What It Is, With Types Explained & Example", look into this section. Here, you'll find four subsections. They are:

  1. Call Butterfly Spread
  2. Put Butterfly Spread
  4. Long Call Butterfly Spread
  6. Short Call Butterfly Spread

These subsections provide a brief overview of the different butterfly spread types.

Call Butterfly Spread

For options traders, a butterfly spread strategy is an excellent way to earn profits from slight changes in the price of the underlying asset. The Call Butterfly Spread is a type of butterfly spread strategy used when an investor expects a moderate increase in asset prices.

Call Butterfly Spread Table:

   Leg Contracts Strike Price Premium Paid/Received     Buy Call 1 ATM Strike Price Higher Premium   Sell Call 2 OTM Strike Price Lower Premium   Buy Call 1 Higher OTM Strike Price No Premium or Lower Premium    

The Call Butterfly Spread involves buying one ITM call option, selling two ATM call options and buying one OTM call option. The profit potential will be limited if the price moves against the position, but it can still generate some profits till the price approaches the break-even point.

It is crucial to track historical data and use technical analysis to analyze market trends accurately. Keep tracking all the trades and make informed decisions while utilizing several other analytical tools for gaining deeper insights into various trading conditions.

Don't miss this profitable opportunity! Learn more about butterfly spreads and start profiting today!

Put a butterfly on your investments with the Put Butterfly Spread - just don't expect it to flap its wings and take your profits to new heights.

Put Butterfly Spread

A Put Butterfly Spread is a complex options trading strategy in which the investor simultaneously buys one out-of-the-money put option, sells two at-the-money put options, and buys one more out-of-the-money put option. This creates a profit when the underlying stock's price drops below the middle strike price.

Here is a 6-step guide to implementing this strategy:

  1. Identify the stock you want to use for this strategy
  2. Determine the expiration date that works for your trading goals
  3. Select four put options - two at-the-money and two out-of-the-money
  4. Buy one out-of-the-money put option with the lowest strike price (lowest cost option)
  5. Sell two at-the-money put options
  6. Buy one more out-of-the-money put option with a strike price midway between those of the other two

It is important to note that this strategy has limited profits and losses, making it ideal for investors who expect minimal volatility in the market.

Additionally, using multiple stocks could help diversify your portfolio and protect against risk.

According to Investopedia, "Butterfly spreads earned their name because of their shape on a profit-and-loss diagram." Who needs a butterfly net when you can catch profits with a Long Call Butterfly Spread?

Long Call Butterfly Spread

A Long Call Butterfly Spread is a trading strategy that involves simultaneously buying two options at a lower strike price and selling two options at a higher strike price while purchasing one option at the intermediate strike price.

Here are four key points to understand about a Long Call Butterfly Spread:

  • It is a limited risk and reward strategy.
  • It involves higher upfront costs than other strategies.
  • The maximum profit occurs when the underlying asset's price remains unchanged.
  • The maximum loss occurs when the underlying asset's price moves significantly in either direction.

Additionally, it is important to note that this strategy works best in situations where there is low volatility and a stable market.

To maximize profits with a Long Call Butterfly Spread, consider selecting strike prices slightly different from the current market value and monitoring for potential adjustments. It is also crucial to limit losses by setting stop-loss instructions.

Short Call Butterfly Spread? I may not know much about finance, but that sounds like something a butterfly with commitment issues would do.

Short Call Butterfly Spread

A bear call butterfly is a four-legged strategy that combines an out-of-the-money short call spread with an at-the-money long call. Creating a limited profit range in the process, this technique involves selling a lower strike call options, buying two different middle strike call options, and then selling an even higher strike call option.

Leg Action Option Type Strike Price ($)

        1     Sell to Open     Call     K1           2 & 3 (both legs combined)     Buy to Open     Call     K2/K3 (middle strikes)             4      Sell to Open      Call      K4      

Spread your wings and fly with this butterfly spread example, no cocoon required.

Example of Butterfly Spread

The Butterfly Spread is a popular options trading strategy involving the purchase of both call and put options at different strike prices. Here is an example of how this can be implemented in the market.

                      Option Type       Strike Price       Premium                       Leg 1       Call Option       $50       $3                 Leg 2       Call Option       $55       $1                 Leg 3       Call Option       $60       $0.50                 Leg 4       Put Option       $55       $2                 Leg 5       Put Option       $50       $0.50                 Leg 6       Put Option       $45       $0.25          

This Butterfly Spread involves buying 1 call option at the $50 strike price, selling 2 call options at the $55 and $60 strike prices, and buying 2 put options at the $50 and $55 strike prices while selling 1 put option at the $45 strike price. The trader is betting that the underlying security will stay within a certain range, maximizing profit at the middle strike price of $55.

It's worth noting that the Butterfly Spread is a neutral options strategy, as it does not rely on the stock price moving up or down but rather on the stock price remaining stable within a certain range.

To successfully implement this strategy, traders need to have a solid understanding of options trading, market trends, and risk management techniques. It's important to work with a reputable broker who can guide you through the process and help you make informed decisions.

Don't miss out on the opportunities that options trading can offer. With careful planning and sound strategy, the Butterfly Spread can be a useful tool in your trading arsenal.

Five Facts About Butterfly Spread: What It Is, With Types Explained & Example:

  • ✅ Butterfly Spread is a popular option trading strategy used by investors to earn a profit on a stock with minimal risk. (Source: Investopedia)
  • ✅ This strategy involves buying and holding two call options and selling two call options at different strike prices. (Source: The Options Industry Council)
  • ✅ The two types of Butterfly Spread are the Long Call Butterfly Spread and the Short Call Butterfly Spread. (Source: The Balance)
  • ✅ The Long Call Butterfly Spread is used when the investor expects the stock to be range-bound, while the Short Call Butterfly Spread is employed when the investor anticipates a drop in the stock price. (Source: Fidelity)
  • ✅ A popular example of Butterfly Spread is when an investor buys a call option at a lower strike price, sells two call options at a middle strike price, and buys a call option at a higher strike price, with all options expiring on the same date. (Source: Robinhood)

FAQs about Butterfly Spread: What It Is, With Types Explained & Example

What is a butterfly spread, and how does it work?

A butterfly spread is an options trading strategy that involves buying and selling three options at the same time, with the same expiration date but different strike prices. It's a limited-risk, limited-reward strategy that can be used in different market conditions. The basic idea behind a butterfly spread is to profit from a stock's price staying within a certain range by buying and selling options with varying strike prices.

What are the different types of butterfly spreads?

There are two main types of butterfly spreads: the call butterfly spread and the put butterfly spread. The call butterfly spread involves buying one call option at a lower strike price, selling two call options with a higher strike price, and buying one call option at an even higher strike price. The put butterfly spread works in the same way, but with put options instead of call options.

Can you explain the call butterfly spread with an example?

Sure! Let's say that XYZ stock is trading at $50, and you believe that the stock will stay within a certain price range in the coming month. You could set up a call butterfly spread by buying one call option with a strike price of $45, selling two call options with a strike price of $50, and buying one call option with a strike price of $55. This strategy would allow you to profit if the stock price stays between $47.50 and $52.50 at the expiration date of the options.

What are the risks involved in using a butterfly spread?

The main risk of using a butterfly spread is that the stock price can move outside the range of the strike prices of the options you've bought and sold, resulting in a loss. Additionally, the premiums for the options can change, which can affect the profitability of the strategy. It's important to understand the risks and potential rewards of any trading strategy before using it.

When is a butterfly spread a good strategy to use?

A butterfly spread can be a good strategy to use when you believe that the stock price will stay within a certain range and you want to limit your risk while still potentially profiting from the movement of the stock. It's important to consider the current market conditions, the volatility of the stock, and other factors before deciding if a butterfly spread is the right strategy to use.

What else should I know about using a butterfly spread?

Like any trading strategy, a butterfly spread requires careful planning, research, and monitoring. It's important to understand the potential risks and rewards, as well as the costs and commissions associated with the strategy. You should also make sure that you have the necessary experience and knowledge to effectively implement the strategy before using it.