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Covered Put (Married Put) Vs Short Box (Arbitrage) Options Trading Strategy Comparison

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

Covered Put (Married Put) Vs Short Box (Arbitrage)

  Covered Put (Married Put) Short Box (Arbitrage)
Covered Put (Married Put) Logo Short Box (Arbitrage) Logo
About Strategy The Covered Put is a neutral to bearish market view and expects the price of the underlying to remain range bound or go down. In this strategy, while shorting shares (or futures), you also sell a Put Option (ATM or slight OTM) to cover for any unexpected rise in the price of the shares. This strategy is also known as Married Put strategy or writing covered put strategy. The risk is unlimited while the reward is limited in this strategy. How to use a Protective Call trading strategy? The usual Covered Put looks like as below for State Bank of India (SBI) Shares which are currently traded at Rs 275 (SBI Spot Price): Covered Put Orders - SBI Stock OrdersSBI Strike Price Sell Underlying SharesSell 100 SBI Shares ... 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 + Underlying Call + Put
Number of Positions 2 4
Risk Profile Unlimited None
Reward Profile Limited Limited
Breakeven Point Futures Price + Premium Received

When and how to use Covered Put (Married Put) and Short Box (Arbitrage)?

  Covered Put (Married Put) Short Box (Arbitrage)
When to use?

The Covered Put works well when the market is moderately Bearish

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 a moderate drop in the price and volatility of the underlying.


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.

Action Sell Underlying Sell OTM Put Option

Suppose SBI is trading at 300. You believe that the price will remain range bound or mildly drop. The covered put allows you to benefit from this market view. In this strategy, you sell the underlying and also sell a Put Option of the underlying and receive the premium. You will benefit from drop in prices of SBI, the Put Option will minimize your risks. If there is no change in price then you keep the premium received as profit.

  • 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 Futures Price + Premium Received

The break-even point is achieved when the price of the underlying is equal to the total of the sale price of underlying and premium received.

Compare Risks and Rewards (Covered Put (Married Put) Vs Short Box (Arbitrage))

  Covered Put (Married Put) Short Box (Arbitrage)
Risks Unlimited

The Maximum Loss is Unlimited as the price of the underlying can theoretically go up to any extent.

Loss = Price of Underlying - Sale Price of Underlying - Premium Received


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 limited to the premiums received. The profit happens when the price of the underlying moves above strike price of Short Put.


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 Options exercised

Maximum Loss Scenario

Underlying goes up and Options exercised

Pros & Cons or Covered Put (Married Put) and Short Box (Arbitrage)

  Covered Put (Married Put) Short Box (Arbitrage)

Its an income generation strategy in a neutral or Bearish market. Also allows you to benefit from fall in prices, range bound movements or mild increase.

  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 risks can be huge if the prices increases steeply.

  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 Put Spread, Bear Call Spread


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