Ok, I was hoping it wouldn't have to come to this, but I have to ask a really basic question. I've looked everywhere for the answer and I'm assuming at this point that its so basic that its a given in any futures tutorial...Lucky for me I've had several beers after work and could really care less about the verbal abuse and ostracism that I may likely provoke. My question is basically how are margins used in futures trading?I have a lot more experience with stocks and I understand 2/1 margin and what not. In futures and forex, margin is expressed as a dollar amount rather than a fraction, ie, $500 on ES contracts, $600 for YM. Can someone break this down in the simplest of terms for me. For example if I have a $5k account and $500 margin on a certain contract...what does this mean...what is my bp.....how many contracts can I buy? When is there a margin call??? Thanks a ton.