The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet's guest contributor program, which is separate from the company's news coverage.NEW YORK ( Options Trading Signals) -- Welcome back to the world of options. My reality exists in three dimensions and offers far more combinations of potential positions than does the one-dimensional world of the stock trader. The view from my turret is ruled by the three primal forces of options: time to expiration, price of the underlying, and implied volatility. Consider for a moment that each of these factors can independently affect a given option. Multiply this by several available expiration dates and strike prices, add in that individual option positions can include a variety of short and long positions at different strikes and expirations, and the potential combinations that make up an option position in a single underlying security mushroom. For those traders first beginning to navigate this unfamiliar world, I think it is important to understand that trade selection is manageable. There are certain families of trades that are unified by similar characteristics. It is important to become familiar with the various trade constructions available to the knowledgeable options trader. Grouping the potential trades into related groups dramatically reduces the number of trade setups you must consider before entering a new trade. If you are familiar with the various trade constructions, it makes discussion of a specific family member whom we may consider for employment in a trade far easier to understand. Description of the family characteristics will take a little time, but it forms the framework on which we can hang the individual trades we will discuss in future postings. I want readers to begin to become familiar with these patterns, because it is these families of multilegged option trades that we will return to on a regular basis to consistently perform for us. Let me begin discussion of the various families by pointing out the redheaded stepchild of the trade constructions available. This family member, the single-legged position of being long either a put or call, is not completely without utility. The reason for its infrequent use is that for the knowledgeable options trader, this position rarely represents the best risk/reward structure given the variety of available trade constructions.