I read Why do some options trade in 5 cent increments? but despite that I see some options I cannot trade in pennies ( not broker specific), but I routinely see same option being traded by others in penies Please see attached images. Where a option is last traded at 94 cents, but when I tried to put the same order, two brokerages are not allowed. The customer service at those brokerage could not answer, so I hope I can get better answer here.

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  • I'd edited to get the pictures to be visible. And deleted a reference/link to a reddit article you cited as a similar question with no answer. I didn't click, but it seemed senseless to add such a link. Feb 17, 2019 at 20:07
  • What platform are you trading on? It's possible that the platform is requiring 5-cent increments, not the exchange. (the cynic in me thinks that they may be front-running you by placing orders a penny or two above/below your limit).
    – D Stanley
    Mar 19, 2019 at 21:15
  • It might violate the SEC rules protecting investors on maintaining fair, orderly, and efficient markets. Jan 17, 2021 at 16:38

1 Answer 1


Rules on quote width are complicated and there are a number of exceptions. Each exchange has its own rules.

In general, options in high volume securities such as SPY, QQQ, and IWM, are quoted in penny increments regardless of the price. For others that trade below $3, the increment is $0.01 or $0.05 and for contracts above $3, the increment is $0.05 or $0.10

A market maker is not rigidly limited to five to 10 cent increments. The legs of a combo order such as a spread can be filled at any price even though the legs are quoted in 5 cent increments.

Suppose I place an order to buy 5 verticals for 75 cents. I could get all 5 spreads whose legs are at the same price (-1.60 + 0.85). Or all 5 could be filled at (-1.63 + 0.88). Or some or all could be filled at different prices with some crazy fills like (2.88 - $2.03). So even though the quotes were at 5 cents increments, fills could be at one cent increments.

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