What instruments do hedge funds use to trade currencies?

I can’t seem to find out if the big funds trading the FX market use instruments like forwards, options, swaps and so on or simply trade spot like the rest of us, through a broker. The reason I am asking is trying to see how reliable these brokers are in the eyes of the ‘smart money’. There appear to be lots of theories about brokers trying to cripple you as you become big and consistently profitable (which, if they’re not market makers doesn’t make much sense).

I’ll be happy to hear your opinions.

Kind regards,

Hedge funds generally don’t operate in the retail forex market. It’s too small of a pond for them to play in terms of volume and they get better execution (read lower cost) in the interbank market. The idea that retail brokers “cripple” customers who get to a certain size has less to do with them intentionally trying to hamper them and more about risk management.