Ease of Use
If you’re a relatively new trader looking for help identifying good options trades you may have come upon OptionsPlay. OptionsPlay is a platform that claims to promise “options for the rest of us.” It is an automated platform that highlights potential trade ideas and strategies. Does this platform have what you need? Learn more and see if it is right for you in our review of OptionsPlay.
What Is OptionsPlay?
OptionsPlay is a platform promising “options for the rest of us.” It caters to relatively new options traders who need help identifying promising options trades and evaluating strategies. The automated nature of the platform is nice, as it highlights potential trade ideas and strategies to help traders zoom in on potential opportunities. However, OptionsPlay isn’t cheap, so it’s best for traders who are serious about getting deeper into options trading.
Keep reading our OptionsPlay review to find out if this platform is right for you.
OptionsPlay starts out with a 30-day free trial. After that, it costs $100 per month or $750 per year.
Options Trade Ideas
OptionsPlay is built around surfacing potential options trades and offering suggestions for potential strategies.
That starts with options trade ideas that come right from OptionsPlay’s Chief Strategist Tony Zhang. You get two to three new trade signals per week, and Zhang’s ideas have an average return of 21% according to OptionsPlay (as of September 2023).
Trade ideas are organized into a list that you can filter according to whether they are bullish or bearish, the market cap of the underlying company, and the market sector. Ideas are based on a series of nightly scans that focus on the commodity channel index (CCI), Williams Percent Range, and Money Flow Index. You can limit the trade ideas to only stocks picked up by multiple of the built-in scanners to look at only the most robust trading opportunities.
OptionsPlay also includes a pre-made technical chart for each trade idea, which includes CCI and Williams Percent Range along with support and resistance levels. It also gives a “technical score” on a 1-10 scale, although OptionsPlay doesn’t provide much information about how these scores are calculated. The chart isn’t very customizable and only displays daily bars.
For all stocks, regardless of whether they’re listed as a trade idea, OptionsPlay will suggest three options strategies with the highest probability of profit. One strategy involves a stock leg (i.e. buying or selling shares), one involves a single leg, and the third involves multiple legs. These strategies are presumably calculated using some of the same indicators that are used to find trade ideas in the first place, along with trading range and historical volatility.
These three strategies are given “OptionsPlay Scores” – once again, it’s unclear exactly how these are calculated, or even what scale the scores are graded on (we found options strategies with scores as low as 33 and as high as 134). That said, the strategies also prominently display the trade cost, potential return, the maximum amount at risk, and breakeven price.
Along with these options trading strategies, you’ll find five analysis panels to determine which strategy is best for you. These panels include options trading tools like:
- A profit and loss simulator
- A plain English description of each strategy
- A risk calculator (to determine how many contracts to trade)
- A trading range simulator
- A strategy editor
The trading range simulator and strategy editor are the most noteworthy of these tools. They let you adjust the target price of the stock, the date by which you think it will reach that price, and the future implied volatility. If you modify the expected trading range of the stock price, OptionsPlay will adjust its recommended strategies and scores accordingly.
It’s also worth noting that OptionsPlay lets you evaluate any options strategy, not just the three it recommends. You can select from any of 40+ strategies, which are categorized into bullish, bearish, neutral, and sharp-move menus. If you do choose a new strategy, OptionsPlay will automatically calculate a score and display data just as if it were a recommended strategy. To evaluate fully custom options strategies, you can enter in additional legs to a trade manually.
One thing that’s nice for beginner options traders is that once you finish customizing your trade, OptionsPlay will display the orders you need to enter with your broker to execute your chosen strategy.
Another point in OptionsPlay’s favor is that the platform helps you develop optimal income strategies built around writing options. There’s less customization potential here, although you can evaluate risk and reward for options with different strike prices and expiration dates.
OptionsPlay offers two income strategies – a covered call strategy for if you already own the underlying stock or a put strategy if you do not – and lets you easily view the risk, return, and breakeven price. Importantly, it also displays the probability that the option will expire worthless based on historical volatility.
Options Trading Education
OptionsPlay also includes some educational resources that can be really helpful for new options traders.
First, there’s weekly webinar with Chief Strategy Tony Zhang. The webinars are recorded, so you can go back and watch past webinars to learn more about different strategies and trade execution. Zhang also hosts live Q&A sessions with OptionsPlay members every few months.
You also get access to a six-part options trading course. The course covers:
- The Benefits of Options Trading
- Managing Options Orders
- Buying vs. Selling
- Enhancing Your Equity Positions
- Maximizing Profits with Debit Vertical Spreads
- Maximizing Your Income with Credit Vertical Spreads
It’s not as comprehensive an educational service as Sky View Trading, but this course really adds to the value of OptionsPlay.
Customization And Layout
OptionsPlay allows you to evaluate fully custom options strategies. That’s important since it enables traders to compare risk, reward, and probabilities across any options strategy – not just the several dozen that are built into OptionsPlay.
In addition, you can create portfolios and watchlists of stocks rather than rely entirely on OptionsPlay’s trade ideas. What you cannot do, though, is to add your own custom scans to supplement the platform’s existing trade ideas.
The OptionsPlay web interface keeps everything on a single page. That’s convenient, but it does make the platform a little confusing to navigate. It would be nice to have the option to show or hide panels as needed and to use extra screen real estate to compare more than three options strategies at a time. Unfortunately, it also takes some work to evaluate two custom options strategies side-by-side.
OptionsPlay Platform Differentiators
OptionsPlay offers a relatively straightforward way to identify opportunities for options trades and then evaluate the strategies with the highest reward-to-risk ratios. There isn’t much that’s groundbreaking about the scans that OptionsPlay uses to identify trade ideas. But the fact that it automatically calculates the best options strategies based on probability of profit is a huge plus, especially for newer options traders.
In addition, the ability to evaluate fully custom strategies is an important feature of this platform. While it would be nice to compare more than three options strategies at a time, this won’t be a major issue for most traders.
What Type Of Trader Is OptionsPlay Best For?
OptionsPlay is best suited for traders who are just getting into options trading and need help choosing strategies for a given setup. The platform offers a helping hand for identifying trading opportunities and evaluating the best strategies.
The tools that OptionsPlay offers are likely to be too restrictive for more advanced options traders. But, they are likely to be just right for stock traders who are comfortable with technical charting, price targets, and volatility and want to make the jump into options trading.
Traders who find OptionsPlay too limiting can check out more customizable tools like OptionStrat or OptionVue. On the other hand, if you would rather get ready-to-trade options alerts, you might prefer a service like Motley Fool Options.
- Automatically finds options trade ideas based on seven nightly scans
- Options strategies suggested based on probability of profit
- Evaluate 40+ built-in and fully customizable options strategies
- Calculate risk, reward, and probability for income strategies
- Can only compare three strategies at a time