Am I not understanding call/put options or are 90% of them insanely bad deals?

Options are a zero sum game. For you to win, the writer of the contract loses. Just like the house is always more likely to win, an options writer is more likely to profit. Otherwise, why open the casino, or in this case, sell the options?

There are loads of options trading strategies. I am super new to options. I've learned a lot from ETrade. They have 1 hour seminars on different topics, and you do not have to use ETrade to view them (I think). Under the knowledge tab there should be a tab called Events. If you go to past events, you can watch the seminars. They have a lot on options trading, including a full hour on Implied Volatility. You can also sort by topic (like "options"). Khan Academy also has a good beginners primer on options trading. Then there are loads of YouTube vids (mostly to sell courses or systems). Investopedia also has $200 courses, and I think there are a couple on options..

What I have realized is that I need to know a lot more. I have traded one contract. It was quick and easy money. That was before I knew anything. Now that I actually know what the hell I'm doing (at least a little) I am more reluctant to go into a contract without having a better grasp on not just the fundamentals, but trading strategies/finding the right stocks. Unfortunately, ETrade will not let me do some of the more advanced strategies because I only have a few grand in my account, and I do not have a large enough annual income. So, I'm stuck with long calls and puts and straddles and strangles... not much else. Which is weird, because some of the more advanced strategies are more protected than any of the simple strategies they'll allow me to use.

/r/options Thread