Definition of recoil

What is a setback?

A reversal refers to a derivatives trading strategy that replaces an existing position with a new one that has a closer expiration date. Other than the expiration date of the contract, other details are often left unchanged. For example, a trader can reverse a September call at the money position to a June position with the same strike price.

Traders use this strategy to reduce market risk and volatility in the short or long term. Option roll strategies, sometimes called jelly rolls, can take a number of forms, including rewind, forward, roll, and rewind.

Key takeaways

  • A reversal involves exiting an existing derivatives position to replace it with a similar position but with a closer expiration date.
  • A call or put option reversal can be employed and is used to increase the long or short gamma exposure on an option position.
  • Other rolling strategies include roll forward, roll up, and roll down. Reversals can reduce risk, limit losses, and save on transaction costs.

How a rollback works

A reversal is one of many options trading strategies available to traders and one of many that is labeled a roll. A pullback can also be called a pullback. This strategy moves from an option position to a new one with a closer expiration date.

The reversal component of the transaction requires the expiration month to be closer than the previous position. Other aspects of the contract, mainly the strike price, may change or remain the same.

Most reversals occur as all put options or all calls. But a trader could potentially switch from one to the other. In all types of reversals, the option owner sells his option contract on the open market to close the position and then uses the proceeds to move to the new shorter-term position.

A reversal is used to increase the long or short gamma exposure on an option position, where the gamma of an option is its sensitivity in its delta to changes in the underlying price. A trader would want to increase a long gamma position if he believes that the underlying will be quite volatile in the short term, while he would prefer to increase a short gamma position if he believes that the underlying price will remain constant and stable.

Gamma is the rate of change between the delta of an option and the price of the underlying asset. The option’s delta is the rate of change between its price and a $ 1 change in the price of the underlying asset.

Call back

Traders use a pullback to take advantage of changing market conditions or to review positions that they no longer consider profitable. Reverse call positions with higher strike prices are also considered a roll up or a roll back and up. Reverse call positions with a lower strike price are considered a roll down or a roll back and down. Options with the same strike are simply considered a reversal and focus only on the expiration date.

Put Roll Back

A put roll back will roll one put to another with a closer expiration. The trader can use the sale proceeds to purchase a new sales contract with a higher, lower, or equal sales strike price than the previous position. Changing the strike price would also incorporate a roll up or roll down. With a reversal of the sale, the investor believes that there will be higher gains from the contract in the short term.

Backtracking example

Here are a couple of examples to show how the rollback process works with both a call and a sale. Remember, a call option gives the trader the right (but not the obligation) to buy a security on a specific date at a specific price, while a put option gives the owner the right (but not the obligation) to sell the security on a specific date at a specific price.

Let’s say a trader has a call to October 50 and wants to run a reversal. They do it by exchanging it for a call from September 50. This trader may believe that the previous October call is no longer worth it and the September call is a better bet. If the investor is bearish on stocks, it is possible that they will pull back and drop with a September 45.

This is how it works with a put. Let’s say this trader buys the September 50 contract and decides that it would be better to sell this contract for one with a closer expiration date. They use the proceeds from the sale of the contract to buy one in the same position for the month of August.

Advantages and disadvantages of setbacks


As mentioned above, option contracts are a hedge against risk and volatility. Traders can take advantage of the reversal of their option contracts to reduce market risk, which can jeopardize the investor’s entire investment.

By reducing risks, pullbacks also allow traders to cut losses and secure their profits. This is because this strategy gives them the option to agree on a fixed price so that the underlying security is bought or sold with the other party on a specific date.

Merchants can also save on transaction costs. Trading option contracts, including the execution of reversals, means that the trader pays a lower cost at the start of the contract (including commissions) rather than buying the underlying security individually. And the commissions are generally lower, as traders may have to pay a fee to exchange contracts.


Trading options of any kind requires a lot of experience. You must have a good understanding of all the risks involved and the possible losses that may come your way. In short, this type of trading is not for novice investors. As such, the company you work with, the one that handles your accounts, will need to make sure you have enough experience to execute these trades and strategies, including reversals.

Speculation plays an important role in options trading. Traders use a variety of techniques to chart the direction their investments will go, which means it is never an exact science. You risk increasing your losses while trying to chase profits if your strategy doesn’t work.

Your brokerage or finance company may want you to set up a margin account so that you can trade options contracts. And there may be a minimum balance requirement to set this up. This can increase your costs as you can add interest charges, account fees, not to mention increasing the amount you originally intended to invest in the first place.


  • Reduces market risks and volatility.

  • Limit losses and lock in profits

  • Save on costs and transaction fees


  • You need experience to take advantage of reversal strategies

  • Speculation can lead to more losses

  • You may need to set up a margin account, which could increase your costs

Other Option Throwing Strategies

Traders have many strategies available when they want to exit or enter options contracts. Setbacks are one of those options. These strategies involve exiting a contract and entering a new one in the same class. While some details of the contract may or may not change, a definitive one is that the expiration date on the new position is always earlier.

Continuous strategies help options traders lock in profits, limit losses, and reduce risk. Investors often renew contracts because the contract they seek to close is far from the money.

Using the following roll strategies can help an investor increase their earning potential and capitalize on market changes:

  • Accumulated option: Traders move from an option contract on an underlying security to another on the same security with a higher price.
  • Drop-down option: Traders move from an option contract on an underlying security to another on the same security with a lower price.
  • Roll forward: A forward is the opposite of a setback. In this operation, a trader goes from an option contract on an underlying security to another on the same security with a longer term maturity. This is often used by traders who want to expand their position.

Reversal FAQ

Can you buy back an option that you sold?

Once you sell your option, you generally cannot buy it back. But there is a way to eliminate your short position. You can do this by purchasing a call option with similar details for the same underlying asset, including the strike price and expiration date.

Do mobile options count as a daily trade?

A daily operation is any operation, either buy or sell, that is carried out in a single day. Options can count as daily transactions. But they tend to count as one-time operations because they are carried out in a contract.

What does it mean to cast an option?

Launching an option means closing and opening a position in an options contract at the same time. Pullbacks occur when an investor exits a contract with a long-term expiration date and takes a position in one with a shorter-term date.

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Mark Holland

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