top of page

Legs in option trading

Legs in option trading

What is a leg in options trading?

You need to know what is a leg in options trading. The reason for this is that leg in options trading is often associated with multi-part trade. There are multi-leg options strategies that help the investors to use more than two options in one strategy. The investors also need to understand how to count legs in trading and legging into options before using leg in options strategy.

Legs can be classified as components or sets of options that make an options spread.

In this type of trading, a trader combines various options and futures contracts and gets in a position from where you can earn a profit, either by Spread Widening or Tightening of the multiple options. In the above scenario, every contract of the underlying security is called a leg.

To make what is a leg in options trading more simple, you need to know that all the components, when combined make an options strategy, or spread, each component is called a leg.

When two options are combined together, and make a strategy, they are known as two-legged options. So, now we hope you must have a brief idea about what is a leg in options trading.

So, if an investor is talking about Leg up and Leg down, he simply means to say the price trend of certain stocks going up and down. An up leg represents a bullish trend and a down leg represents the bearish trend of the stock. The word Leg in the options market is nothing but the individual component which makes an options strategy.

Multi-Leg Options Strategies

When you are buying a single options contract, and are trading in that only, then it can be said as single-legged strategy, when you buy any number of contracts of the same options still it will be counted as a single-legged option strategy, as only one type of contract is involved in that options.

Many more complex strategies consist of more than one leg or component and it is called multi-leg options strategies. A two-legged strategy is called Long Straddle in options trading. When there is a three-legged option strategy involved in the contract then that is known as a Butterfly spread.

In multi-leg options strategies, the very popular one is the butterfly strategy, this strategy comprises three legs or options contracts. This strategy is the most popular among investors in the stock trading world.

How to count legs in trading

If you want to know how to count legs in trading then you need to see in the charts. First of all, the legs are created only when three or four consecutive legs are formed ie. when a bull trend, higher highs, and higher lows are made. A two-leg trade operates from two positions, that can be bought -buy, buy-sell, Sell-buy, or sell-sell. There must be two straddles, long and short, the height from one another and the distance between both is a source of information which indicates the trend and direction, whether the underlying value will rise or fall, for particular options.

Similarly, Seagull options from the three-legged option trading strategy operate on 2 call options and 1 put option, and vice versa.

Counting legs might be very tough for you if you are a beginner, so you can seek the help of the broker, it might take some time to understand how to count legs in trading. It would be better to accompany your broker when he is performing the trade.

After spending a plentiful time you will come to know how to count legs in trading.

Legging into Options

Legging into Options means the investors enter multiple positions so that one overall position can be formed in options trading. Legging into Options strategy is difficult and complex to understand. The strategy can be useful to the traders who put on position one piece so that it becomes comparatively less expensive than establishing all.

Legging into Options is most commonly used by investors so that they can bring the overall cost lower when they buy/sell complex strategies in options. It is up to traders to build different spread strategies because they have choices available like a straddle, butterflies, vertical call spreads, etc.

Legging makes the options trading cheaper by entering multiple positions but it is certainly not free from risks, The risk associated with the legging is called leg risk. Sometimes the prices of one or more than one leg become does favor during the trade.


The term “up leg” means bullish market trends and the term “down leg” means bearish market trends.

The two-legged options strategies include the most popular ones like Bear Call Spread, Bull Call Spread, and Long Straddle. And Butterfly Spread is the three-legged strategy that is quite popular.

The four-legged option strategy includes Condor Spread.

It depends upon the investors or experts to choose which options strategy they want to move forward with.

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page