What is an option strategy that someone could employ to simply go long/short volatility?? Assuming I want 0 delta(0 gamma if possible) risk in my option position, how do I take a directional view on volatility? I know that Strangles/Straddles/Iron Condors are all ways to play volatility expansion if it goes beyond the width of your strikes. Not to mention you do maintain a 0 delta position until the price starts trending one way or the other for Strangle/Iron Condors. Are these option positions only way to play pure implied vol?
Iron condors/strangles/straddles (or any other option strategies) are affected by volatility, but are NOT pure volatility plays.
All option strategies are affected by a myriad of factors besides volatility, including but not limited to: directional movement in the underlying (delta), rate in change of delta (gamma), time passing (theta), interest rates changes (rho), etc..
If you want to take a pure directional bet on volatility, you can use volatility-related futures, such as the VIX futures.
Futures on VIX provide a pure play on implied volatility independent of the direction and level of stock prices. VIX futures may also provide an effective way to hedge equity returns and to diversify portfolios.