How to enter spread future trades on Interactive brokers

Discussion in 'Financial Futures' started by mario0887, Feb 8, 2020.

  1. Hi all,

    Wondering if something could provide step by step instructions on how to buy future spreads in one order as i want to mitigate huge margin requirements. I've been fiddling around with IB/TWS and the app and i did come across spread trader but its confusing and the debit/credit when plugging in the spreads seems wrong/confusing.

    I want to focus on entering calenders buy/sell front month/back month and wondering if anyone currently trades these and can advise how to enter them on either TWS or app. Ive been paper trading them to get the feel of it and even with paper trading i get extremely frustrated when trying to enter these trades. Seems like a trade should be going my way and i end up entering it wrong and confusing myself. Tried call the main line but they arent very helpful or at least the person i spoke to wasnt.

    Thanks in advance
  2. Type the name of the futures contract (ex: ES) and hit <enter>. You will get a list with similar instruments. When you select "futures", you have 6 options. First 3 are "ES MAR", "ES JUN", "ES SEP" and more. At the end of the list you have "Futures Spreads". Use that one.
    bone and nooby_mcnoob like this.
  3. Seem to still have issues as for some reason it defaults to the contract ahead. Example trying to buy CL Apr sell CL Dec it defaults to May/Jan. very confusing
  4. rexarus


    Mario, did you figure it out? If not, I can help you. I do these spreads in TWS.
  5. how are the spread margins compared to the CME SPAN margin with IB (i know outrights are more) but what about calendar spreads or even more complex spreads - do they margin appropriately?
    legend4life likes this.
  6. Do you know whether IB provide something like a sniper to fills multiple legs? Say 4 legs?
  7. bone

    bone ET Sponsor

    I personally tried the IB auto spreader a decade ago and found it terribly lacking. I hope it has improved. Certainly was nowhere on the same playing field as TT AutoSpreader or CQG CTS-IC. It frequently got hung on legs (ouch) and it lacked the sophisticated matching engine, order entry flexibility and tools as compared to TT.