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Bear Put Spread Vs Short Box (Arbitrage) Options Trading Strategy Comparison

Compare Bear Put Spread and Short Box (Arbitrage) options trading strategies. Find similarities and differences between Bear Put Spread and Short Box (Arbitrage) strategies. Find the best options trading strategy for your trading needs.

Bear Put Spread Vs Short Box (Arbitrage)

  Bear Put Spread Short Box (Arbitrage)
Bear Put Spread Logo Short Box (Arbitrage) Logo
About Strategy The Bear Put strategy involves selling a Put Option while simultaneously buying a Put option. Contrary to Bear Call Spread, here you pay the higher premium and receive the lower premium. So there is a net debit in premium. Your risk is capped at the difference in premiums while your profit will be limited to the difference in strike prices of Put Option minus net premiums. This strategy is used when the trader believes that the price of underlying asset will go down moderately. This strategy is also known as the bear put debit spread as a net debit is taken upon entering the trade. This strategy has a limited risk as well as limited rewards. How to use the bear put spread options strategy? The bear put spread strategy looks like... Read More Short Box is an arbitrage strategy. It involves selling a Bull Call Spread (1 ITM and I OTM Call) together with the corresponding Bear Put Spread (1 ITM and 1 OTM Put), with both spreads having the same strike prices and expiration dates. The short box strategy is opposite to Long Box (or Box Spread). It is used when the spreads are overpriced with respect to their combined expiration value. This strategy is the combination of 2 spreads (4 trades) and the profit/loss calculated together as 1 trade. Note that the 'total cost of the box remain same' irrespective to the price movement of underlying security in any direction. The expiration value of the box spread is actually the difference between the strike prices of the options involved. ... Read More
Market View Bearish Neutral
Strategy Level Advance Advance
Options Type Put Call + Put
Number of Positions 2 4
Risk Profile Limited None
Reward Profile Limited Limited
Breakeven Point Strike Price of Long Put - Net Premium

When and how to use Bear Put Spread and Short Box (Arbitrage)?

  Bear Put Spread Short Box (Arbitrage)
When to use?

The bear call spread options strategy is used when you are bearish in market view. The strategy minimizes your risk in the event of prime movements going against your expectations.

Being risks free arbitrage strategy, this strategy can earn better return than earnings in interest from fixed deposits for any investor. The earning from this strategy varies with the strike price chosen by the trader. i.e. Earning from strike price '10400, 10700' will be different from strike price combination of '9800,11000'.

The short box strategy should be used when the component spreads are overpriced in relation to their expiration values. In most cases, the trader has to hold the position till expiry to gain the benefits of the price difference.

Note: If the spreads are underpriced, another strategy named Long Box (or Box Spread) can be used for a profit.

This strategy should be used by advanced traders as the gains are minimal. The brokerage payable when implementing this strategy can take away all the profits. This strategy should only be implemented when the fees paid are lower than the expected profit.

Market View Bearish

When you are expecting the price of the underlying to moderately drop.


The market view for this strategy is neutral. The movement in underlying security doesn't affect the outcome (profit/loss). This arbitrage strategy is to earn small profits irrespective of the market movements in any direction.

  • Buy ITM Put Option
  • Sell OTM Put Option

  • Buy Call Option 2
  • Sell Call Option 1
  • Buy Put Option 2
  • Sell Put Option 1 (2>1)

Say for XYZ stock, the component spread is relatively overpriced than its underlying. You can execute execute Short Box strategy by selling 1 ITM Call and 1 ITM Put while buying 1 OTM Call and 1 OTM Put. There is no risk of loss while the profit potential would be the difference between two strike prices minus net premium.

Breakeven Point Strike Price of Long Put - Net Premium

The breakeven point is achieved when the price of the underlying is equal to strike price of long Put minus net premium.

Compare Risks and Rewards (Bear Put Spread Vs Short Box (Arbitrage))

  Bear Put Spread Short Box (Arbitrage)
Risks Limited

The maximum loss is limited to net premium paid. It occurs when the price of the underlying is less than strike price of long Put..

Max Loss = Net Premium Paid.


The Short Box Spread Options Strategy is a relatively risk-free strategy. There is no risk in the overall position because the losses in one spread will be neutralized by the gains in the other spread.

The trades are also risk-free as they are executed on an exchange and therefore cleared and guaranteed by the exchange.

The small risks of this strategy include:

  1. The cost of trading - Some brokers charges high brokerage/fees, which along with the taxes could make the overall loss-making trade.
  2. The box spread can be liquidated by an offsetting transaction easily and transparently on an exchange with minimal loss/profit.
Rewards Limited

The maximum profit is achieved when the strike price of short Put is greater than the price of the underlying..

Max Profit = Strike Price of Long Put - Strike Price of Short Put - Net Premium Paid.


The reward in this strategy is the difference between the total cost of the box spread and its expiration value. Being an arbitrage strategy, the profits are very small.

It's an extremely low-risk options trading strategy.

Maximum Profit Scenario

Underlying goes down and both options exercised

Maximum Loss Scenario

Underlying goes up and both options not exercised

Pros & Cons or Bear Put Spread and Short Box (Arbitrage)

  Bear Put Spread Short Box (Arbitrage)

Risk is limited. It reduces the cost of investment.

  1. In short box, you are taking money in, so there's no capital tied up.
  2. This is an Arbitrage strategy. This strategy is to earn small profits with very little or zero risks.

The profit is limited.

  1. It's a professional strategy and not for retail investors. The opportunities are closely monitored by High-Frequency algorithms. These arbitrage opportunities are usually for the high-frequency algorithms and need large pools of money to make it worth it and usually with better brokerage commission schemes.
  2. This strategy has high margin maintenance requirements and in many cases, the trader won't have the margin available to do that.
  3. For retail investors, the brokerage commissions don't make this a viable strategy. Only low-fee traders can take advantage of this.
  4. In theory, this strategy sounds good but in reality, it may not as profits are small.
  5. Locking the box - Trader has to wait until to expiry by keeping the money stuck in the box.
Simillar Strategies Bear Call Spread, Bull Call Spread


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