There this site Vix and more which i came across as being a good guide to options and all things volatility of the market.
This week there is an article on how one can take advantage of volatility as a hedging function or as an opportunistic bet:
Fortunately, there are a number of VIX derivatives that allow traders to take positions on the VIX without owning the underlying. In no particular order, they are:
- VIX options – these include standard options as well as VIX binary options
- VIX futures – standard VIX futures contracts have a contract size of 1000 times the VIX; the recently added mini-VIX futures have a contract size of 100 times the VIX
- VIX ETNs – currently consists of two exchange traded notes: the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (VXX) and the iPath S&P 500 VIX Mid-Term Futures ETN (VXZ). The former targets one month VIX futures and the latter targets five month VIX futures.
In addition to VIX products, one can always trade options on the SPX (or SPY). A long VIX position is very similar to a long SPX straddle (or strangle); a short VIX position is very similar to a short SPX straddle (or strangle.)