Options & Derivatives Trading


What is rollback?

Rollback or rollback refers to a derivatives trading strategy that replaces an existing position with a new position with a closer expiration date. Apart from the expiry date of the contract, other details usually do not change. For example, a trader can roll back a September at-the-money call position to a June position with the same strike price.

Traders use this strategy to reduce short- or long-term market risk and volatility. Option roll strategies, sometimes called jelly rolls, can take many forms, including rollback, rollforward, rollup, and rolldown.

key takeaways

  • A rollback involves exiting an existing derivative position in order to replace it with a similar position, but with a closer expiration date.
  • Rollbacks can be used on call or put options to increase long or short gamma exposure in an option position.
  • Other roll strategies include roll forward, roll up, and roll down. Rollback reduces risk, limits losses, and saves transaction costs.

How Rollback Works

Rollback is one of the many options trading strategies available to traders, and one of many that are labeled as rollback. Rollback can also be called rollback. The strategy rolls from an options position to a new position with a more recent expiration date.

The rollback portion of the transaction requires the expiration month to be closer than the previous position. Other aspects of the contract, primarily the strike price, can change or remain the same.

Most rollbacks occur when either all bears or all bulls are present. But traders may switch from one to the other. In all types of rollbacks, the option owner sells their options contract on the open market to close out the position and then uses the proceeds to roll over into a new short-term position.

Rollback is used to increase the long or short gamma exposure of an option position, where the option’s gamma is the sensitivity of its delta to changes in the underlying price. Traders will want to increase their long gamma position if they believe the underlying will be volatile in the short term, while they would prefer to increase their short gamma position if they believe the underlying price will remain unchanged and stable.

Gamma is the rate of change between the option’s delta and the price of the underlying asset. The delta of an option is the rate of change between its price and a $1 change in the price of the underlying asset.

call rollback

Traders use rollbacks to take advantage of changing market conditions or to modify positions they no longer consider profitable. A bullish position that rolls back at a higher strike price is also considered a roll-up or roll-back and up. A bullish position rolled back at a lower strike price is considered a rollback or rollback and rollback. Options with the same strike price are considered rollbacks only, focusing only on the expiration date.

put rollback

A put option rollback will roll a put option to another put option with a closer expiration time. Traders can use the sale proceeds to buy new put contracts with sell strike prices that are higher, lower, or the same as the previous position. Changes to the strike price will also include roll-up or roll-down. With the rollback of put options, investors believe the contract will see bigger profits in the short term.

Rollback example

Here are a few examples to show how the rollback process works with calls and puts. Remember, a call option gives the trader the right (but not the obligation) to buy a security at a specific price on a specific date, while a put option gives the owner the right (but not the obligation) to sell the security on a specific date at a specific price for a specific price .

Suppose a trader has a call on October 50 and wants to perform a rollback. They did that by swapping it for a September 50 conference call. The trader may think that the previous October call is no longer worth having and that the September call is a better option. If investors are bearish on the stock, they may roll back on Sept. 45.

This is how put options work. Suppose the trader bought the September 50 contract and decided they’d better sell the contract for a contract with a closer expiration date. They used the proceeds from the sale of the contract to buy a contract at the same location in August.

Advantages and disadvantages of rollback


As mentioned above, options contracts are a hedge against risk and volatility. Traders can take advantage of rollback option contracts to reduce market risk, which could put an investor’s entire investment at risk.

By reducing risk, rollbacks also allow traders to cut losses and lock in their profits. This is because this strategy gives them the option to reach an agreement with the other party on a fixed price for the underlying security on a specified date.

Traders can also save on transaction costs. Trading options contracts, including executing rollbacks, means that the trader reduces costs (including commissions) at the start of the contract, rather than buying the underlying security separately. Commissions are usually lower because traders may have to pay a fee to swap out contracts.


Options trading of any type requires a lot of experience. You need to fully understand all the risks involved and the losses you may suffer. In short, this kind of trading is not suitable for novice investors. Therefore, the company you work with (the company that handles your account) will need to make sure you have enough experience to execute these trades and strategies, including rollbacks.

Speculation plays an important role in options trading. Traders use a variety of techniques to determine which direction their investments will go, which means it’s never an exact science. If your strategy doesn’t work, you do run the risk of increasing your losses when you try to chase profits.

Your brokerage or financial firm may want you to set up a margin account so you can trade options contracts. And there may be a minimum balance requirement to set it up. This increases your costs as it increases interest charges, account fees, not to mention the amount you originally intended to invest.


  • Reduce market risk and volatility

  • Limit losses and lock in profits

  • Save on transaction costs and fees


  • You need experience to take advantage of rollback strategies

  • Speculation can lead to more losses

  • You may need to set up a margin account, which may increase your costs

Other options rollover strategies

When traders want to exit or enter options contracts, they can use many strategies. Rollback is one of those options. These strategies involve exiting a contract and entering a new contract in the same class. While some details of the contract may or may not change, it is certain that the expiry date of the new position will always be earlier.

Rollover strategies help options traders lock in profits, limit losses and reduce risk. Investors often roll contracts because the contracts they seek to close are far beyond their funding.

Using the following rolling strategies can help investors increase their profit potential and take advantage of market changes:

  • Summary of options: A trader moves from an options contract on one underlying security to another option contract on the same security at a higher price.
  • Options scroll down: A trader moves from an options contract on one underlying security to another option contract on the same security at a lower price.
  • Roll forward: Rollforward is the opposite of rollback. In this type of trade, a trader moves from an options contract on one underlying security to another option contract on the same security with a longer expiration date. This is often used by traders who want to expand their positions.

Rollback FAQ

Can you buy back the options you sold?

Once you sell your option, you usually cannot buy it back. But there is a way to eliminate your short positions. You can do this by buying a call option with similar details on the same underlying asset, including the strike price and expiration date.

Do rolling options count as intraday trades?

Day trading is any transaction that takes place within a day, whether buying or selling. Options can be counted as intraday trades. But they tend to count as a single transaction because they are held in one contract.

What does rolling out options mean?

Launching an option means that you close and open a position in an options contract at the same time. A rollback occurs when an investor exits a contract with a long expiry date and holds a contract with a shorter date.

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