DEFINITION of 'Wild Card Play'
Having the right to deliver on a futures contract at the last closing price, even though the contract is no longer trading. A wild card play occurs when a contract holder retains the right to deliver on the contract for a given period of time following the close of trading at the closing price. This will end up financially benefiting the contract holder if there is a shift in the value or price of the asset between the time of the closing price and the actual delivery.
BREAKING DOWN 'Wild Card Play'
Having the right to a wild card play allows the holder to deliver the cheapest to deliver issue, regardless of the value of that issue at the time at which the contract expired. The specified time at which delivery can take place varies from contract to contract depending on the rights granted to the holder of the wild card play. This situation is similar to a wild card option on an options contract.