Gamma is a popular term used in option trading. Usually, it is a term that describes the rate of change in an option’s delta in the context of options trading.

Gamma measures the rate of change in an option’s delta over time, whereas delta represents the rate of change in an option’s price relative to the underlying asset.

Delta, which is always fluctuating, depicts how the cost of an options contract alters in response to a $1 rise or fall in the value of the underlying market.

Gamma, on the other hand, is used to explain the change in delta and predict how the underlying price will move in the future.

When compared to options with a low gamma, high gamma options will be more responsive to changes in the price of the underlying asset.

In this article, we will go into further detail on what Gamma is in options trading. 

Gamma: What Is It?

The difference in speed between an option’s delta and the price of the underlying asset is represented by gamma.

Higher Gamma values suggest that even relatively slight price changes in the underlying stock or funds could cause the Delta to fluctuate significantly.

For instance, if XYZ is trading at $200.00 and the market price is $200.00, a $200.00 call on XYZ is in-the-money.

The contract will be out-of-the-money or  in-the-money  based on any change in either direction.

As a result, the option’s Gamma will be larger for at-the-money options because the contract is particularly sensitive to stock fluctuation.

Gamma grows for near-the-money options as expiry draws near because time value is running out and the option no longer has any intrinsic value.

Delta measures inherent value, while Gamma calculates Delta. Options are primarily priced in their inherent value upon expiration. 

As a result, the Delta can make significant, abrupt swings between being close to 0 (out-of-the-money) and being close to 1 or -1 (in-the-money) close to expiration, which is reflected in an extremely high Gamma.

In essence, higher Gamma suggests a greater shift in Delta, that shows a greater sign in the option’s value when the stock moves $1.00 otherwise.

Gamma Example

The majority of traders will use spreadsheets and specialized software because gamma is incredibly difficult to calculate.

However, for this example, we have kept things simple. 

Consider an option on an underlying asset that is currently worth $50 and has a 0.3 delta and a 0.2 gamma.

An option’s gamma is frequently shown as a percentage.

Every 20% change in the stock price will result in a corresponding 20% adjustment to the delta.

Accordingly, a $1 increase in the underlying’s price will cause the delta to rise to 0.5 by adding the gamma’s 0.2 value to the existing delta’s 0.3 value.

Similarly, by deducting the gamma of 0.2 from the present delta of 0.3, a 20% drop in the price of the underlying will cause a similar loss in delta to 0.1.

Ways To Use Gamma In Options

Ways To Use Gamma In Options

There are a couple ways in which gamma can be helpful and used in options training.

The following are some of the most common ways to use Gamma in options. 

Stability Of Delta 

The main way Gemma is used is to understand the stability of Delta. Gamma can be used to determine whether Delta is stable or unstable.

A greater possible change in Delta, can cause an increased instability of Delta, is indicated by a higher Gamma. 

In essence, Gamma can assess the stability of the probability provided by Delta when using it to calculate the likelihood of being in-the-money at expiration.

Gamma And Long Options

Gamma can help identify a potential increase in changes in the option’s value because it is a prediction of the movement of Delta.

In adaptation to that, Delta is the measurement of the option’s sensitivity to the underlying assets.

If a share or stock moves up or down by $1.00, the option value changes more quickly, according to a greater Gamma.

This will consequently speed up gains for a long position and speed up losses for a short position.

Gamma And Short Options

As the option moves more quickly, higher Gamma can put option sellers at danger. As a result, options can have large profits and bigger losses.

Hence, a bigger Gamma suggests that the underlying is moving more quickly.

An uncovered short option carries more risk because the stock could move more swiftly in either direction and result in a loss more quickly.

Things to Consider With Gamma

When Delta is out of the money and reaches 0 or is in the money which is +1/-1 at the expiry date, Gamma becomes 0.

In other words, if the option has a Delta of 0 at expiration, it is worthless because the market price is higher than the strike price. 

If the option’s delta is positive or negative at expiration, it should be exercised because the strike price is better than the market.

Gamma is often larger for at-the-money options, since deep-in-the-money options have a Delta that is already very near to -1 or +1 and is less noticeable.

The price for holding an option over the expiry date (Theta) reduces as Gamma rises. Theta reflects the predicted rate of value decay of an option over time.

This happens a lot because options lose time value as they get closer to their expiration date.

Conclusion 

Gamma is a term used in options trading to describe how quickly the option’s delta changes. Gamma gauges how quickly an option’s delta changes over time.

It can be really difficult to calculate  gamma yourself, which is why there are spreadsheets and software to do it for you.

We hope this article has been helpful and given you a better understanding on what gamma is in options.