Although the gambling site launched in 2011, the team behind it has actually been in the online betting industry for nearly two decades. Previously known as Bodog, the Bovada brand was owned and operated by the Morris Mohawk Gaming Corporation, licensed by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission. During this time, it was one of the most popular gambling sites in North America, well-known among poker players and sports betting fans as a safe, solid and trustworthy place to play for real money on the Internet. Being part of the PaiWangLuo network since March 2017, Bovada remains one of the most reputable web-based gambling platforms for US players.
Attracting players with fast and easy-to-use downloadable poker software, and with generous promotions for both new and existing players, the website has a lot of traffic at any given time. For poker fans, this guarantees an exciting and an entertaining gaming experience as there is always competition whenever you decide to log in. Committed to bringing customer satisfaction at all cost, the Bovada brand is also synonymous with safety and fair play, something that is, unfortunately, not a standard when it comes to betting and poker platforms friendly to US customers.
One of the most notable features of Bovada is the Bitcoin integration which allows players to make instant and secure deposits into their gaming accounts. The highly valuable cryptocurrency has dramatically increased its popularity in the past few years, becoming a preferred banking method in online casinos and betting sites. Poker fans at Bovada can also take advantage of the anonymous tables where they can play comfortably without revealing their identity and previous activity to the opponents. This, along with the removal of waiting lists, is a clear sign that the brand is targeting recreational players, unlike some poker networks which focus on seasoned and even professional-level players.
Promotions and Bonus Terms
Bovada has prepared different promotional offers for each of its products – Sportsbook, Casino, Poker and Racebook, allowing players to choose the most appropriate bonus for their needs and interests. Those who decide to join the busy Bovada Poker Room can enjoy a nice welcome bonus and take part of the Rewards Program designed for the most loyal players. There are also various limited-time promotions and a wide range of tournaments with appealing prize pools for the top poker players.
100% Poker Welcome Bonus up to $500
Newly registered players who make a deposit at Bovada can receive a generous Poker Welcome Bonus of up to $500. In order to be eligible for it, they need to sign up for a real-money account, top up their balance with at least $20 (or 20 BTC), and download the Poker Client on their computers. The bonus will be then unlocked and issued in 6 increments, the first of which will be available after the player earns a minimum of 15 Poker Points.
Unlike welcome offers at other poker websites which typically contain a match bonus on the first deposit, the total amount of the Poker Welcome Bonus at Bovada is 100% match on all deposits made within 24 hours of the first deposit. With a maximum amount of $500, this bonus is based on all funds loaded during this time, while the six different increments depend on the Poker Points earned within 30 days of the first deposit. This means that you will keep receiving bonuses long after you register on the website.
The first portion of bonus funds you will be credited is $5 and it is unlocked after earning 15 Poker Points. The second bonus is $20 and it is received after you collect 85 points, while the third one worth $25 is given when you earn 185 points. The final, sixth bonus of $250 is credited to your account when you manage to earn 5,000 Poker Points but you need to accomplish it within the first 30 days of depositing for the first time. One of the greatest aspects of this promotion is that it comes with no wagering requirements, referred to in the Bovada website as “rollover”. This means that you can withdraw the bonus funds without having to play through them a certain amount of times first.
Up to $100 Refer-a-Friend Bonus
Apart from the specific poker, casino or sportsbook promotions, Bovada also has a nice Referral Program which awards you for every new active player you invite. Once your friend joins the gambling site, you are given a generous bonus of up to $100. There is no limitation regarding the number of friends you invite and, therefore, to the number of bonuses you receive.
In order to refer a friend, you need to send them a link to the website. It is available on the Promotions page and when the new customers open it, they need to register an account. Once they make a deposit into Bovada, you will automatically receive a 200% match on the deposited amount. The maximum bonus you can get per friend is $100, which is considered bonus cash and is, therefore, subject to a wagering requirement. Before you can withdraw the bonus funds or any winnings generated with them, you need to place bets on sports or horses equal to 5 times the bonus amount. You can choose to complete the wagering in the Casino but in this case, you will need to wager the bonus 30 times. More importantly, bets in Bovada Poker Room do not contribute to the requirements at all.
General Bonus Terms
Before you can take part in any of the promotions at Bovada, whether in the Poker Room or in any of the other sections of the gambling platform, you need to meet certain conditions and requirements. The bonuses are designed specifically for US-based players, so, in general, they are not available to customers in other countries. Some exceptions include residents of Brazil, Mexico and several other countries in Central and South America. Also, players should know that they have the right to receive only one welcome bonus as the site does not allow multiple user accounts to be opened by the same person.
Another aspect of the bonuses at Bovada is their wagering requirement. It is different for each bonus and it refers to the amount of funds you need to wager on various games before the bonus is “unlocked” and withdrawals can be made. Fortunately for poker fans, the Poker Welcome Bonus has no rollover, so it is cashable as soon as it is credited to the player’s account. Still, in order to receive it in full, you will need to play and earn Poker Points. The more points you collect over the course of 30 days, the more bonuses you will receive.
Recently, Bovada made an interesting move when it announced it would accept Bitcoin payments. The news was initially met with mixed reactions but soon, many players realized the benefits of using the digital currency for online gambling purposes. This fast, secure method also provides anonymity when making deposits and withdrawing winnings from your poker balance. Other banking options available to Bovada members are credit cards and cheques, which are traditionally used for online payments.
Poker enthusiasts who decide to join this popular poker room should know that it operates in two currencies only – US dollars (USD) and Bitcoin (BTC). More importantly, there are processing fees associated with deposits and withdrawals via credit cards and cheques. In contrast, Bitcoin transfers are free of charge and much faster to process.
Credit and Debit Cards
The most preferred method for making payments both online and in brick-and-mortar stores and various other outlets is credit and debit cards. They are completely safe, convenient and easy-to-use, especially if they are universally accepted brands such as Visa or MasterCard. At Bovada Poker Room, players can make deposits via both types of cards and the transactions are typically complete within minutes. In some instances, you may be required to verify your age or identity if you are depositing for the first time.
Players who choose to use their MasterCard, Visa or American Express credit or debit cards for funding their Bovada accounts should know that every transaction is charged a 5.9% fee. It is also important to consider an alternative method for cashing out as the gambling operator does not offer payouts to credit and debit cards. You can see all available options once you open the Cashier section of the Bovada Poker Client.
Those who are looking for a fast and secure way to top up their gaming balance at Bovada may also select Bitcoin deposits. This payment method is available for withdrawals, as well, which makes it the ideal banking option when playing in this poker room. Although many players still consider Bitcoin too modern or complicated, it is actually a rather straightforward digital currency. It can be purchased online similarly to any other conventional currency, but it does not exist physically in the form of banknotes or coins. And although it is often referred to as “virtual money”, it is actually very real – you can store it in a Bitcoin wallet and use to make purchases or to load funds into your gaming account.
This payment method comes with several benefits for those who decide to switch to it. The first one is obviously the speed of Bitcoin transactions – they are processed instantly and even cashing out is much faster than traditional methods such as credit cards, bank transfers or e-wallets. There are also low or no fees at all when you are making a Bitcoin deposit or withdrawing your winnings from an online poker room or casino. Last, but not least, these payments are completely secure and anonymous, which is a priority for many gambling fans.
Conventional cheques can also be used at Bovada Poker Room but they are available only for withdrawals. In order to load funds into your balance, you will need to select either a credit/debit card or Bitcoin. The gambling operator allows one free withdrawal by cheque every 90 days, so each additional paper cheque sent to you will be charged a $100 fee. In addition, the maximum withdrawal amount via this method is $3,000, which makes it inconvenient and costly for larger payouts.
Players should also take into consideration the average processing time frame for this type of payments which is between 10 and 15 business days. If the slow processing times and the hefty fees are no issue for you, you are allowed to request a withdrawal every 7 days. In order to do it, you need to simply opt for Check by Courier from the list of available methods at the Cashier at Bovada Poker Room.
|Banking Methods||Minimum/Maximum Deposit||Minimum/Maximum Withdrawal||Deposit Timeframe||Withdrawal Timeframe||Countries Where Available||Currencies|
|Visa||$20 – $1,000||N/A||Instant||N/A||Most Accepted||USD|
|MasterCard||$20 – $1,000||N/A||Instant||N/A||Most Accepted||USD|
|American Express||$20 – $1,000||N/A||Instant||N/A||U.S.||USD|
|Bitcoin||$10 – $5,000||$10 – $9,500||Instant||From 2 to 48 hours||Most Accepted||BTC|
|Bitcoin Cash||$10 – $5,000||$10 – $9,500||Instant||From 2 to 48 hours||most Accepted||BTC|
|Check by Courier||N/A||$100 – $3,000||N/A||From 10 to 17 business days||most Accepted||USD|
Unlike most gambling sites with diverse offerings, where comp points are given for betting in all sections, Bovada offers several loyalty and VIP schemes designed specifically for poker players, casino enthusiasts or sports betting fans. While Bovada Rewards target those betting in the Casino, the Sportsbook and the Racebook, the Bovada Poker Points are awarded to poker players only.
Those who use the downloadable Bovada Poker Client can earn 3 Poker Points for every $1 paid in tournament or Sit’n’ Go fees. Cash game players earn a certain number of points based on the size of the pot they contribute to. For instance, they are awarded 1 point when the rake is between $1 and $3, but when it is $0.50-$0.99, they receive 0.50 points. Playing on micro-stakes tables ($0.01-$0.04) earns you only 0.05 points. The Poker Points help to release the Welcome Poker Bonus but also come with different rewards and additional bonuses.
Bovada also offers a VIP Program to all its members, whether they are playing casino games or poker, or they are betting on sports and horses. The program is called the Red Room and in order to join, players should contact the customer support. Members of the Red Room enjoy special treatment in the form of exclusive cash rewards and offers, weekly deposit bonuses, convenient banking options, free payouts, access to special events, personalized customer service, and more.
Software and Available Games
Until recently, Bovada used to offer its poker product on the popular Bodog platform which was, however, acquired by the PaiWangLuo Poker Network (PWL Network). For nearly a year, the poker room was closed and players were moved to Ignition. Currently, several gambling websites share the same Poker Client as Bovada and these include Bodog which accepts players from Canada and Ignition which targets US and Australian-based players.
With its reliability and great performance on all devices, the Bovada Poker software is one of the best choices for US and Latin American players. It features an improved design, new skins and enhanced aesthetics, as well as a different welcome bonus than the one offered at Ignition. It boasts easy navigation, classic black-and-red colour pattern, simplistic layout and convenient filters and menus that make finding any information extremely easy. You can instantly contact the support division by phone, email or via the Live Chat functionality.
The Poker Client can be downloaded on Windows-powered computers with system requirements easy to meet by most PCs purchased within the past five years. Among the few things players should take into consideration is that the client requires Windows 7 or later and Flash Player 16 or a newer version. Mac users have not been forgotten – the recommended minimum system requirements to download and install the poker software are also easy to meet (Mac OS X 10.7 64bit, 1 GB RAM, Flash Player 16, etc.).
The installation process is equally easy on both systems and should take only a few minutes to complete – once you download the poker software, you need to run the installer and join Bovada if you still do not have an account. When you register, you will be able to fund your balance in order to play for real money or simply try out the games in Practice Mode. In your Balance, you will be able to see your cash balance, your Poker Points, any tournament tickets available, as well as the play money which allows you to improve your poker skills in Practice Mode. You will also have quick access to the cashier, your Account section and the Preferences page where you can customize various in-game settings.
Poker Games and Tournaments
Bovada Poker Room offers some of the most popular forms of the classic card game, including Texas Hold’em, Omaha and 7 Card Stud. Players can easily find the perfect game for them as they can see all available tables, their limits and stakes, the number of players, and the average pot. There are several no-limit and fixed limit games you can choose from, as well as pot limit poker variations. There are also Omaha Hi-Lo, 7 Card Stud Hi-Lo, and more. The majority of options are low-limit tables and even tables with micro-stakes of $0.02/$0.05, although you will also find the occasional $10/$20 tables. At peak times, the poker room also attracts high-rollers with buy-ins reaching $2,000.
Along with the conventional cash games, you can also take part in various scheduled tournaments and Sit’n’ Gos. There are over ten tournaments each day, most of which are No Limit Texas Hold’em, but there are also several Pot Limit Omaha and Omaha Hi-Lo. Most of the tournaments attract even low-rollers as buy-ins start at $1.10 and reach a little over $100. Every Sunday, there is a $100,000 Guaranteed Tournament with a $162 buy-in, but players can also win a seat during the several satellites that run throughout the week. There are plenty of other guaranteed tournaments with a total weekly prize pool of $1,5 million where the buy-ins start at $11.
Another interesting poker option available at Bovada Poker is Zone Poker, a popular fast-fold variant where grinders can play three or four times more hands per hour. Once you decide to fold, the current table closes and you are seated to a new one where new cards are dealt. This faster version of poker is full of adrenaline and is available in No Limit Texas Hold’em from $0.02/$0.05 up to $1/$2.
Bovada offers a browser-based Mobile Poker Room which can be opened on every Android and iOS device. In order to access your favourite poker cash games or tournaments on the go, you should simply visit Bovada Poker website on your smartphone or tablet. Some players may be disappointed that there is no native app available, but the mobile site is perfectly functional and offers all the popular variants such as Texas Hold’em, Omaha and Omaha Hi-Lo.
Mobile users can enter the Poker Lobby but they will not be able to choose a table or seat. Instead, the software will find them a random seat. They can also access all other sections of Bovada, including Account, Promotions, Banking, Help, or Bitcoin. With the poker account, they can also play for real money games in the Casino, or place bets in the Sportsbook and the Racebook. The Live Chat functionality is also available, but there is also a convenient email form that can be filled and sent within seconds.
Additional Poker Room Features
The Poker Lobby at Bovada features a user-friendly design and a convenient layout with classic filters such as Card Game, Buy-In, and Limit. With these, it is easy to find a suitable game and see where all the action is, as you can check the number of players on each table. The lobby also has the option to hide the empty tables and hide the heads-up.
One of the most attractive features of Bovada Poker is the Anonymous Players policy. The user names of players are not revealed and instead, you are playing against anonymous numbers. You cannot recognize regular players or newcomers, and it is impossible for poker tracking software to track the actions of players over time. In fact, this feature makes playing at Bovada much more similar to the play in land-based casinos and poker rooms where you sit against opponents you have never met before.
In the Articles section of Bovada, punters can also find interesting blog posts about poker. The gambling operator offers guides on playing cash games and tournaments, as well as strategies for the different versions of poker available. Less experienced players can learn how to choose the most suitable game based on the expected value, whether the pot is fixed or not, etc.
Licensing and Restricted Countries
Launched to specifically meet the needs of poker players and betting fans in the United States, until recently, Bovada did not accept players from abroad. Now it is expanding its operations outside the US and allows registrations from several Latin American countries such as Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela. Still, due to legal restrictions, poker players from the following US states cannot sign up and play for real money – Delaware, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, and New York.
Punters from Europe and Canada who wish to play poker in the PWL Network have an alternative. They can join the Bodog websites, which are fully licensed and regulated by the Directorate of Offshore Gaming of Antigua and Barbuda. Bovada is also a member of the large affiliate network Best Partners which manages Bodog and Bodog Asia, Cafe Casino, Ignition Casino, Bumbet, Slots.lv, Joe Fortune, and Slots.com. Most of these brands share the same software platform and user interface, so poker and casino enthusiasts from all around the world should be able to easily sign up, deposit and play at the website most suitable to them.
Offering its services in North and South America, now Bovada is available not only in English but also in Spanish and Portuguese. This is important not only when browsing the website and playing in the Poker Client, but most of all, when contacting the customer support in your local language. The support agents will professionally deal with any issue you may have. You can reach them instantly via the Live Chat functionality or call them on the direct phone line. There is also an email form you can fill.
Apart from contacting the Customer Support Service, players at Bovada can also find solutions to their problems when they open the Help section of the site. It contains several FAQ pages, including a special Poker FAQ where customers can find useful information about the poker tournaments, the game limits, and the general poker etiquette. New players will certainly appreciate the rules posted for Texas Hold’em, Omaha and Omaha Hi-Lo, as well as the article about poker hands and their ranking. The gambling operator is also providing important information about the download requirements and compatibility of the Poker Client. In addition, there is an excellent blog-style section of Bovada which contains articles on a wide variety of topics – poker strategy, bluffs, bankroll management and many others.