Long Call Options

Long Call Option Explained

Do you know what a long call is in options trading? Long calls are the same as buying a naked call option, just a different name. You go long or purchase a call when you believe the stock price is increasing. One options contract is the equivalent of 100 shares of the stock. Calls are typically found on the left side of an options chain.

A long call is the same thing as buying a call. It means that you are bullish and going long the stock. A long put is the same thing as buying a put. It means that you are bearish or going short the stock. Here at the Bullish Bears, we go through each strategy and the different names you’ll hear them by. As a result, you won’t be in the dark when you hear someone say a long call. Instead, you’ll know what they’re talking about.

We start with a long call. What is it? A long call is the most basic options trading strategy. It is buying a call.

When you set out to learn stock trading, you may wonder why options have a few names for the same strategy. Maybe they like confusing new traders. More likely, they like having a more technical name than buying a call.

When it comes to trading options, don’t necessarily get hung up on the exact terminology. Instead, what makes the most sense to you?

Once you’ve figured that out, stick with it. If buying a call is more understandable than an LC, stick to calling it that.

Options in and of themselves are confusing when you’re starting. More moving parts make up options than a stock has. However, that also means that there’s more profit potential as well as loss.

What Is an Option?

An options contract gives you the right but not the obligation to buy (call) or sell (put) a stock at a predetermined price within a certain time. As a result, options are wasting assets.

They have expiration dates, whereas stocks don’t. As a result, if the wrong direction is chosen, you can’t hold forever in hopes of a recovery. One contract controls 100 shares. As a result, you can trade large-cap stocks for a lot cheaper than buying 100 shares outright.

Calls and puts are the foundation of all options strategies. Calls take the bullish side, whereas puts take the bearish side.

Hence, an LC also means buying a call. When you go long, you’re bullish. The same is true for stocks. Many times, you’ll hear about going long vs. short.

If you’re day trading a stock, going long doesn’t mean you’re holding forever. It means you’re bullish on the stock. Shorting takes the bearish side of the stock.

The great thing about options is their ability to make money in any market: up, down, and even neutral, sideways trading markets.

Long Call Option Example

Long Call Option Example

This is an example of a long call option in the ThinkorSwim platform.

Why Take a Long Call Option Position?

When you hear the term long call, you know that a call was bought. You can both buy and sell calls. However, each strategy is, in fact, different.

When you buy a call, you’re bullish on the trade. You believe the stock will increase in price. Buying an LC is like buying a stock when you think the price will increase.

You can day trade, swing trade, and long-term trade options. However, with the different moving parts, you’d want to make sure buying a longer-term position is in your best interests.

Remember that options expire. As a result, time decay occurs, and if you’re long, you lose Theta.

Buying a call means being fairly accurate in your chosen direction. Otherwise, you could lose your entire trade.

That’s why buying naked calls and puts is considered extremely risky, so other options and strategies were formed.

Day Trading Course Options Trading Course Futures Trading Course
DESCRIPTION Learn how to read penny stock charts, premarket preparation, target buy and sell zones, scan for stocks to trade, and get ready for live day trading action
Learn how to buy and sell options, assignment options, implement vertical spreads, and the most popular strategies, and prepare for live options trading How to read futures charts, margin requirements, learn the COT report, indicators, and the most popular trading strategies, and prepare for live futures trading

Knowing When to Buy a Long Call

Since a long call is a directional play, you need to know what to look for if you’re going to buy a call. That means you need to know candlestick patterns along with support and resistance.

Candlesticks are the foundation of all trading. They provide support and resistance; a single candle can tell a story. Group them, and you’ve got patterns.

As a result, if you take an LC trade, you must be sure the stock will move up, especially if you’re swing trading options.

You don’t want to buy a call right near resistance. If the stock can’t break that resistance level, it will fall. You’re in trouble if you go long on a head-and-shoulders pattern.

Not every trade will be successful. Even if you bought it with all signs pointing to bullishness, you must ensure you exit the trade quickly.

Trade Risk Management

When trading a long call, ensure proper risk management is in place. That’ll save your bacon.

Since options are wasting assets, you can’t hold forever in the hope of recovering. If you only bought a weekly call and the direction goes against you, you must sell quickly.

Many times, a weekly option is cheaper because the risk is higher. If the trade goes against you, don’t wait for it to recover. Instead, cut your loss quickly.

That’ll save you money in the long run. You’ve probably heard the saying,” Plan your trade and trade your plan.” That’s especially important when trading options.

If you have a max loss and you hit it quickly, get out. Please don’t wait for it to recover. Again, not every trade will favor you, and that’s okay. It’s part of the process.

The same can be said for a profit target. If your trade has reached its profit target, take the profit. Staying in the trade to make more money usually backfires.

When greed takes over, you often lose. Never go broke taking your profits. Stick to your plan. That’s how you become a successful trader.

Final Thoughts on Long Call Options

Since a long call relies so much on picking the right direction, it’s important to practice. Options, in general, have more going on. As a result, open a simulated trading account.

TD Ameritrade has a great platform in ThinkorSwim. There, you can practice picking the right direction and buying calls. Work out the kinks and get your trading plan established.

If you need more help, take our options trading course.

Frequently Asked Questions

A trader long on a call option is bullish on the security. They purchase a call option because they believe the underlying security will rise in price.

The risk for an investor is losing the premium that they paid for the options contract if it has no intrinsic value at the expiration date.

A long call option is a bullish trading strategy. Traders purchase a long call when they believe that the price of the underlying security is going to increase.

A long call vertical spread is a bullish options strategy consisting of a long and short call with different strike prices with the same expiration date.

Related Articles

Options Trading Levels

Options Trading Levels

What are options trading levels? Brokers implement levels on new trading accounts to protect new traders. Options allow you to trade big-name stocks with less

Read More »


If you’ve looked for trading education elsewhere then you’ll notice that it can be very costly.

We are opposed to charging ridiculous amounts to access experience and quality information. 

That being said, our website is a great resource for traders or investors of all levels to learn about day trading stocks, futures, and options. Swing trading too! 

On our site, you will find thousands of dollars worth of free online trading courses, tutorials, and reviews.

We put all of the tools available to traders to the test and give you first-hand experience in stock trading you won’t find elsewhere.

Our content is packed with the essential knowledge that’s needed to help you to become a successful trader.

It’s important to treat day trading stocks, options, futures, and swing trading like you would with getting a professional degree, a new trade, or starting any new career.

Invest the proper time into your Trading Education and don’t try to run before you learn to crawl. Trading stocks is not a get-rich-quick scheme. It’s not gambling either, though there are people who treat it this way. Don’t be that person! 


The Bullish Bears team focuses on keeping things as simple as possible in our online trading courses and chat rooms. We provide our members with courses of all different trading levels and topics.

If you’re a beginner, intermediate level, or looking for expert trading knowledge…we’ve got you covered. 

We have a basic stock trading course, swing trading course, 2 day trading courses, 2 options courses, 2 candlesticks courses, and broker courses to help you get started. Free.

Just choose the course level that you’re most interested in and get started on the right path now. Become a leader, not a follower. When you’re ready you can join our chat rooms and access our Next Level training library. No rush. We’re here to help.

Click Here to take our free courses.