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Long Call Vs Short Box (Arbitrage) Options Trading Strategy Comparison

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

Long Call Vs Short Box (Arbitrage)

  Long Call Short Box (Arbitrage)
Long Call Logo Short Box (Arbitrage) Logo
About Strategy A Long Call Option trading strategy is one of the basic strategies. In this strategy, a trader is Bullish in his market view and expects the market to rise in near future. The strategy involves taking a single position of buying a Call Option (either ITM, ATM or OTM). This strategy has limited risk (max loss is premium paid) and unlimited profit potential. When the trader goes long on call, the trader buys a Call Option and later sells it to earn profits if the price of the underlying asset goes up. When the trader buys a call, he pays the option premium in exchange for the right (but not the obligation) to buy share or index at a fixed price by a certain expiry date. This premium is the only amount at-the-risk for trader in case the mark... 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 Bullish Neutral
Strategy Level Beginners Advance
Options Type Call Call + Put
Number of Positions 1 4
Risk Profile Limited None
Reward Profile Unlimited Limited
Breakeven Point Strike Price + Premium

When and how to use Long Call and Short Box (Arbitrage)?

  Long Call Short Box (Arbitrage)
When to use?

A long call Option strategy works well when you expect the underlying instrument to move positively in the recent future.

If you expect XYZ company to do well in near future then you can buy Call Options of the company. You will earn the profit if the price of the company shares closes above the Strike Price on the expiry date. However, if underlying shares don't do well and move downwards on expiry date you will incur losses (i.e. lose premium paid).

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 Bullish

When you're expecting a rise in the price of the underlying and increase in volatility.


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 Call Option

A long call strategy involves buying a call option only. So if you expect Reliance to do well in near future then you can buy Call Options of Reliance. You will earn a profit if the price of Reliance shares closes above the Strike price on the expiry date. However, if Reliance shares don't move up within the expiry date you will incur losses.

  • 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 + Premium

The break-even point for Long Call strategy is the sum of the strike price and premium paid. Traders earn profits if the price of the underlying asset moves above the break-even point. Traders loose premium if the price of the underlying asset falls below the break-even point.

Compare Risks and Rewards (Long Call Vs Short Box (Arbitrage))

  Long Call Short Box (Arbitrage)
Risks Limited

The risk is limited to the premium paid for the call option irrespective of the price of the underlying on the expiration date.

Max Loss = 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 Unlimited

There is no limit to maximum profit attainable in the long call option strategy. The trade gets profitable when price of the underlying is greater than strike price plus premium.

Profit = Price of Underlying - (Strike Price + 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 closes above the strike price on expiry.

Maximum Loss Scenario

Underlying closes below the strike price on expiry.

Pros & Cons or Long Call and Short Box (Arbitrage)

  Long Call Short Box (Arbitrage)

Buying a Call Option instead of the underlying allows you to gain more profits by investing less and limiting your losses to minimum.

  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.

Call options have a limited lifespan. So, in case the price of your underlying stock is not higher than the strike price before the expiry date, the call option will expire worthlessly and you will lose the premium paid.

  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 Protective Put, Covered Put/Married Put, Bull Call Spread


1. Justin Gilead   I Like It. |Report Abuse|  Link|August 16, 2022 8:47:47 PMReply
You partially get it wrong! The max loss will be the equivalent of the call premium paid for a single call position, indeed ; for a synthetic call options, it will be likened to the call options premium that you actually haven't paid as the call position has just been replicated along with the help of a long put and a long underlying though. For instance, if you purchase an ITM put, in addition to the long underlying, then the overall cost will be quite high, but the max risk entailed in the position will be the equivalent of the cheap OTM call options (only time value) that stands on the other side and on the same strike. In short, you may pay more to risk less with a synthetic options ; it definitely does the trick for hedging purposes then.