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Bearish on the market? Unleash the power of the bear put spread

In 2023, a staggering 85 billion options contracts were traded by Indian investors, surpassing every other country in the world. This statistic alone underscores the immense popularity and potential of options trading. Amidst this bustling market, one strategy has proven to be a powerful tool for those anticipating a bearish turn – the bear put spread.

Traders with a moderately bearish view of the market often use this strategy. It offers a good balance between risk and return, making it a popular choice among experienced and new traders. 

Let’s explore the interesting world of the bear put spread and find out what it can do.

What is a bear put spread?

A bear put spread can be used when you think the price of the underlying object will go down slightly soon. Make use of this strategy by buying put options at a higher strike price and selling them at a lower one.

You can make money with the bear put spread strategy when the price of the underlying asset goes down, and you can also use it to protect yourself from danger. As the net premium paid for the options is the most that may be lost, it is a common technique.

For example, let’s think about a bear put spread strategy example. Imagine a scenario where a trader purchases a put option for ₹100 and then sells another put option for the same stock for ₹90. The investor will make a profit from the disparity between the strike prices and the cost of establishing the trade if the stock price drops below ₹90.

Components of a bear put spread

At its core, the bear put spread approach relies on two things:

  • Purchase of a put option
  • Sale of a put option

The strike prices are significant to this approach. There is a bear put spread payoff that shows the maximum profit that can be made. It is the sum of the strike prices of the options that were purchased and those that were sold.

The bear put spread margin requirement is the net premium that needs to be paid to start the strategy. For an investment, this amount is the biggest loss that could happen.

How to execute a bear put spread?

To do a bear put spread, you need to buy and sell put options in a planned way. Here is a step-by-step guide:

  1. Identify the underlying asset: Choose the stock or asset you believe will decrease in price.
  2. Buy a put option: Find a put option whose strike price is just above the asset’s current market value and buy it. This is known as an “in-the-money” option.
  3. Sell a put option: At the same time, sell a put option with a strike price less than the current market value of the product. An “out-of-the-money” choice describes this situation.
  4. Monitor the market: Watch the market closely. If both options are in the money and the predicted drop in the underlying asset’s price happens, you’ll make money off of the gap between their strike prices less the net premium you paid.
  5. Close the position: To exit the position, you can either let the options expire in the money or close the position early if the underlying asset’s price moves in the expected direction.

For example, if you’re considering a bear put credit spread or a combination of bull call spread and bear put spread, the process would be similar but with different expectations about the market direction.

Maximum profitStrike price of long put – Strike price of short put – Net premium paidIf the underlying object declines in value below the strike price of the short put, the contract will expire.
Maximum lossNet premium paidWhen the underlying asset values are stable relative to the short put’s strike price
Break-even pointStrike price of long put – Net premium paidWhen strategy makes no profit no loss

Risks and rewards of a bear put spread

The price of the underlying object must fall below the strike price of the short put for the trader to make the most money. This profit is the variance across the two strike prices minus how much the options cost directly.

So long as the underlying asset price remains higher than the long put’s strike price, this is the maximum loss that can occur. Only the total amount spent on the options will be forfeited.

When the market goes down, this approach works well because it lets traders make money from the underlying asset’s price going down while also limiting their possible loss.

The bear-put spread approach comes in different forms, such as the bear-put ladder spread and the bear-put ratio spread. In these strategies, you buy and sell different numbers of options contracts at different strike prices. This gives you more choices and the chance to make more money, but it also makes things more complicated and increases your risk. 


The bear put spread is a strategic tool in options trading, designed for a bearish market. Trading put options at various strike prices is what it entails. While it offers potential profits in a falling market, it also comes with risks. Therefore, thorough understanding and careful risk management are crucial for considering this strategy.


What is an example of a bear put debit spread?

A bear put debit spread is an options strategy used when an investor expects a moderate decline in the price of an asset. For example, if a stock is trading at ₹50, an investor could buy a put option with a strike price of ₹45 and sell a put option with a strike price of ₹40. This strategy would result in a net debit (cost) to set up, hence the name Bear Put Debit Spread.

How do you profit from a bear put spread?

A bear put spread strategy profits when the price of the underlying asset decreases. It involves buying a put option at a higher strike price and selling another at a lower strike price. The maximum profit is the difference between the two strike prices minus the net premium paid. This profit occurs when the price of the underlying asset falls below the strike price of the sold put option.

Why use a bear put spread?

A bear put spread is used when an investor has a moderately bearish outlook on the market. It allows the investor to profit from a decrease in the price of the underlying asset while limiting potential losses. The strategy provides a balance between risk and reward, making it a popular choice for options traders navigating a falling market.

What is the butterfly strategy?

The butterfly strategy, often termed fly, is a non-directional options strategy designed for a high probability of earning limited profit. It combines both bull and bear spreads with a fixed risk and capped profit. This strategy involves four options contracts with the same expiration but three different strike prices. It pays off the most if the underlying asset doesn’t move before the option expires.

What are the disadvantages of the bear put spread?

The bear put spread strategy, while effective in a bearish market, has certain disadvantages. The profit potential is limited due to the selling of an out-of-money put option. If the underlying asset’s price rises, it can result in a loss of the entire net premium. Moreover, this strategy only works when the market outlook is bearish. Lastly, significant downside movement in the market might not yield expected returns.

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