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Gamma is a financial term used in options trading to represent the sensitivity of an option’s delta to changes in the underlying asset’s price. It measures the rate at which an option’s delta changes as the asset’s price fluctuates. Simply put, gamma is the rate of change of an option’s risk exposure to the underlying asset’s price movement.


The phonetics of the keyword “Gamma” are: /ˈɡæmə/

Key Takeaways

  1. Gamma is a term used to represent the third letter of the Greek alphabet and is often used as a variable or parameter in mathematics and physics.
  2. Gamma refers to gamma rays in the electromagnetic spectrum, which are high-energy photons with the shortest wavelengths and highest frequencies, and are emitted during radioactive decay or other high-energy processes in space.
  3. Gamma is also a term used in finance, specifically in options trading, to denote the rate of change in an option’s delta with respect to changes in the underlying asset’s price. This helps traders assess the sensitivity of an option’s price relative to the changes in the market.


Gamma is an important financial term because it helps investors and traders understand the sensitivity of an option’s delta in relation to the underlying asset’s price changes. As one of the key Greek variables used in options pricing models, it represents the rate of change of an option’s delta to every one-point move in the underlying asset. This information is crucial for options traders as it enables them to assess how rapidly their position will respond to market movements, allowing them to make more informed decisions, hedge their risks effectively, and optimize their trading strategies. By understanding and monitoring gamma, investors can obtain a deeper insight into the potential outcomes of their options positions in a constantly fluctuating market.


Gamma, a second-order Greek derivative, plays a vital role in the world of finance, particularly when it comes to assessing the risks and potential rewards associated with options trading. As an options trader, being aware of gamma is crucial for understanding the rate of change in an option’s delta concerning the movements in the underlying asset’s price. By offering a deeper insight into how the option’s price is likely to change in response to market fluctuations, gamma serves as an important component in the overall risk management strategy for options traders, helping them fine-tune their positions, hedge effectively, and capitalize on potential profit opportunities. In practical applications, gamma is commonly utilized in scenarios like gamma-hedging or managing large option portfolios, where traders may need to keep their positions delta-neutral. A real-life example could be an options trader who wants to maintain a delta-neutral position, meaning the overall value of their portfolio won’t change regardless of minor price movements in the underlying asset. In this case, gamma helps traders to calculate the necessary adjustments in their options positions to remain delta-neutral, effectively minimizing the risk of potential losses from unexpected market changes. Additionally, having knowledge of the gamma values helps traders make informed decisions about when to adjust a hedge or even close it altogether based on the level of risk they’re willing to undertake, ultimately allowing them to optimize their risk exposure and performance in various market conditions.


Gamma is a financial term used primarily in options trading. It refers to the rate of change in an option’s delta concerning the underlying asset’s price. Here are three real-world examples of gamma in business and finance: 1. Options Trading Strategies: Option traders use gamma to create delta-neutral strategies, such as the iron condor or butterfly spreads. These strategies allow traders to profit from different market conditions, like sideways or consolidating markets, by optimizing the gamma levels of their options portfolio. Traders monitor the gamma to ensure that their options portfolio is not overly exposed to sudden moves in the underlying asset. 2. Risk Management: Asset managers use gamma to mitigate risks associated with options trading. Gamma helps asset managers to understand how sensitive their options positions are to changes in the underlying asset’s price. By monitoring gamma, they can make better-informed decisions about which options to trade or hedge. This helps them to better manage the potential risk and reward associated with each trade. 3. Market Makers and Arbitrage: Market makers, who facilitate the trading of options contracts, also use gamma to ensure they maintain a delta-neutral position in their inventory. By doing this, market makers reduce their exposure to large price movements in the underlying asset. Additionally, gamma can be used by arbitrageurs to take advantage of mispricings between options contracts and the underlying asset, ultimately profiting from price discrepancies.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is Gamma in finance and business terms?
Gamma is a financial term that refers to the rate of change of an option’s Delta with respect to the underlying asset’s price. It measures the sensitivity of an option’s price movement in relation to the changes in the price of the underlying asset, such as stocks or commodities.
Why is Gamma important to options traders?
Gamma is important to options traders because it helps them understand how the price of an option will change as the price of the underlying asset changes. This information is crucial for making well-informed decisions in option trading and managing the risk associated with those trades.
How is Gamma calculated?
Gamma is generally calculated using complex mathematical models, such as the Black-Scholes model or the binomial model. These models take into account various factors, including the current option price, the underlying asset’s price, time to expiration, and the implied volatility.
Is a high Gamma always desirable?
Not necessarily. A high Gamma means that the option’s Delta (price sensitivity) is changing rapidly in response to the underlying asset’s price movements. While this can be attractive to traders who anticipate large price movements, it can also lead to increased risk, as the option’s price may change dramatically even with small changes in the underlying asset’s price.
What is the relationship between Gamma and other Greeks in options trading?
Gamma is related to other Greeks in options trading, such as Delta, Theta, and Vega. Delta measures the rate of change of an option’s price concerning the underlying asset’s price, while Gamma measures the rate of change of Delta. Theta measures the sensitivity of an option’s price to the passage of time, and Vega measures the sensitivity of an option’s price to changes in the underlying asset’s volatility.
Can Gamma be negative?
No, Gamma cannot be negative. A negative Gamma would indicate that the option’s Delta is moving in the opposite direction of the underlying asset’s price movements, which is not possible in a standard call or put option. However, other option strategies, such as short options or option spreads, can have a position with a negative Gamma.
How can traders use Gamma to manage their options positions?
Traders can use Gamma to manage their options positions by being aware of how Gamma affects option pricing and adjusting their trades accordingly. To maintain a “Gamma-neutral” position, traders can adjust their option holdings to balance the Gamma exposure and protect themselves from rapid price fluctuations. This can be done through strategies such as delta hedging or gamma scalping.

Related Finance Terms

  • Option Greeks
  • Delta Hedging
  • Black-Scholes Model
  • Implied Volatility
  • Financial Derivatives

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