Choosing a Binary Options Trading Strategy

Developing a trading strategy for the binary options market requires a key understanding of how the market operates in terms of the trade contracts available, the various expiry times, and the understanding of the behaviour of the individual assets.

Trade Contracts

Unlike the forex market where the asset has to move in one direction or the other by an appreciable number of pips to the trader’s favour before profits are made, the binary options market is peculiar. Apart from the Up/Down trade which is based on direction and mimics the requirements of the trades in other markets (except the pip movements), other trade types in the binary option market operate in totally different ways. There are different trade contracts for different platforms. Some binary options contracts do not even require the trader to get the direction of the asset correct. For instance, trading the OUT contract will need the asset to hit one price boundary or the other for profit to be made. So it takes the trader being able to identify a suitable trade contract to be able to fashion a suitable strategy. What is used to trade the Up/Down contract is not the same as will be used for the In/Out contract. The contract type will determine the strategy.

For instance, trading the Up/Down contract will require a strategy that can determine if the asset will make a bullish or bearish movement. Trading the In/Out contract will require either a range trading strategy or a breakout trading strategy to identify a time when the asset stays in a range or breaks out of that range. If you are looking to develop a trading strategy for the In/Out trade, this is how your mind should be working.

In developing a strategy based on the binary options trade types to be traded, there are tools that can assist the trader.  This is where chart patterns, signals services, candlesticks and technical indicators will come in. A simple tool like the pivot point calculator can be used as part of a TOUCH trade strategy with very effective results. Using tools like these will take us to the next part of choosing a strategy, which is how to understand and set expiry times.

Understanding Expiry Times

Expiry times are very important to binary options, because all trades in this market have time limits. However, not all binary options trades require time limits to be successful. Trades such as the Up/Down trades must reach expiry before the trade outcome is known. In contrast, trades such as the OUT component of the boundary trade or the TOUCH component of the High Yield Touch or Touch/No Touch trade contract must not necessarily reach maturity before the outcome of the trade is known. If a trader bets on a TOUCH outcome and the asset touches the strike price well before expiry, the trade outcome is already known and the trade is terminated as a profitable one.

So if the trader is not very good at setting expiry times/dates (and really, no trader in the market can boast of getting his expiry settings right all the time here), the binary options trading strategy will have to be tailored towards trade contracts which are not totally expiry-dependent.

Now when you identify and separate trades that are not so dependent on expiries from those that are, you can better understand what kind of strategy you would be looking at.

Understanding Asset Behaviour

The binary options market combines assets from different asset classes into one market. These assets do not behave alike. Some assets are very volatile with large intraday movements. A very clear example is gold. Some binary options assets are not traded round the clock but only at specific times e.g. the stock indices. The factors that may trigger a massive move in a stock index would obviously not be the same for a commodity or a currency. Even within the same asset class, no two instruments are exactly the same or behave alike.

An understanding of asset behaviour is therefore key to being able to develop a trading strategy for the market. It is up to the trader to study the behaviour of assets, understand the technical and fundamental indicators that will influence the behaviour and price movement of that asset, and then create a trading strategy that will work for that asset.


In this section, we will demonstrate the application of all the parameters we have mentioned above using a simple but effective trade strategy.

–       The strategy we will use determines price bullishness/bearishness, so we will trade a Call/Put contract.

–       We will trade the strategy on a one hour chart, so it will be have an expiry of one hour. We do this using our understanding that the effect we want to trade on the hourly chart, will happen in an hour.

–       We want to use this on an asset that is liquid and responds to the strategy. So we will use the EURUSD.

The strategy has been used to create a colour-coded indicator, which shows a green arrow on bullish signals and a red arrow for bearish signals. It aims to trade the EURUSD because this currency responds very well to price stimuli during the London/New York overlap in the forex time zone, and the response can be delivered in an hour.

As soon as the red arrow appeared (as shown above), the signal was to trade a PUT option on the Call/Put digital option. Using this signal, the trade was executed on the binary options platform. The price of the asset (EURUSD) fell in one hour from the time the signal was generated to the expiry, producing a trade result in our favour.

This strategy (a custom strategy) fulfilled all our conditions:

a)    It was suited to a trade contract on the binary options market.

b)    It was a strategy that was suited to help the trader use a suitable expiry.

c)    It was suited to the behaviour of the asset and above all, THE STRATEGY WAS A PROFITABLE ONE.

For more information about different signals services, click here.

Further reading:

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