When I started trading options, I had to get my option trading quotes from my broker. They had a quote system and they would tell me the bid/ask for each symbol over the phone. Often, it took 5 to 10 minutes to get filled on an order and I never knew what to expect.
In the late “90’s”, the internet exploded and real-time option trading quote systems became readily available. If you are going to trade options, you need real-time option trading quotes.
Most online brokerage firms offer real-time option trading quotes to their customers. Some of them charge extra for the trading platform if a minimum number of trades have not been executed in a given month. Other firms offer the option quotes free with no minimum. The difference between these firms often lies in the quality of their option trading platform. Serious traders need streaming option trading quotes while less active traders can get by with option trading snap quotes. In one case, the markets update dynamically and are displayed in chains. In the other, they update each time you refresh the screen.
Professional traders should consider a robust trading platform with integrated option trading quotes. The option chains include the bid/ask on each of the option exchanges and you can route the order where ever you would like. Personally, I use an application with point and click execution and I can route the order to any exchange with one click.
Investors who trade options can get by with delayed option trading quotes. They are provided free by most of the exchanges. With a longer-term time horizon they don’t need to be concerned with every tick. Almost every online brokerage firm also offers delayed option trading quotes free of charge.
Options are a very dynamic product and you need to have reliable option quotes and fast executions.