I'm learning about OPTIONS, but I need some practical facts to tie in with the theory.

I hope somebody with experience with the markets can answer these:

  1. Which options (ordered ranking) are most popular, in terms of trade volume? Not just a ranking, but preferably some idea of relative comparisons (fx I know calls and puts are most popular, but "how much more" popular exactly than some exotic alternatives? What percentage of total trade volume does each option category make up, for example?).

  2. Which maturities are most common? A couple of days? Weeks? Months? Years? Again, an ordered ranking, WITH relative comparisons is most appreciated.

    1. Which strikes are most common for options like calls and puts? I'd imagine ATM is most popular, but how OTM or ITM can we get before it gets to a point where nobody's really buying those sorts of options. For example if spot is 100, and strike is 10... Is that too ITM (for call), or does that trade a lot?

1 Answer 1


Regarding equity options, nearer term expirations tend to have more liquidity and daily trading volume than further expirations as do options closer to the current price of the underlying.

FWIW, I don't think that there's anything to be achieved from ranking or analyzing a scatter plot of option trading by strike or expiration. Options are derivatives that for the most part follow the price of the underlying (secondary changes due to time decay, change in implied volatility, pending dividends, etc.). The goal is to get on the right side of that, meaning being directionally correct. In addition, option buying (or selling) does not reflect the intent of the trader so there's no way to know if an option buyer is bullish or bearish or neutral, based on the type of option bought (or sold).

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