- Payment Methods
- Exclusive Signup Bonus
- 100% up to $500
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- Anonymous tables create a level playing field for new and recreational players.
- Good quality poker software with plenty of customization options.
- Only available for players in the US, Brazil and Mexico.
Our Bovada Poker review provides comprehensive information about this US-friendly online poker room and the opportunities that exist for both new and experienced players. We have also highlighted some potential disadvantages of using Bovada Poker as a home for your online poker action – notably those associated with funding your account and withdrawing your winnings if not using Bitcoin.
The conclusion we draw at the end of our Bovada Poker review is that the online poker room will be great for some players, but not for all. If you feel it would be to your advantage to compare the merits of this poker room against other online poker rooms, we have created a dedicated page where you will be able to find more online poker site reviews.
- Windows Desktop
- Android Tablet
- Android Mobile
- Apple Desktop
- Apple iPad
- Apple iPhone
Please note, you do not need to download any special apps in order to play at Bovada Poker from a mobile device – simply visit bovada.lv from your mobile, log into your account and start playing. However, whereas the downloadable client for Windows and Mac offers a full portfolio of games, the mobile website only allows you to play cash games and fast-fold Zone Poker. If you want to compete in Sit & Go games and Multitable Tournaments, you will have to log out of Bovada on your mobile device and play from your PC.
The History of Bovada Poker
Bovada Poker is a US-friendly skin on the Pai Wang Luo Poker Network – formerly the Bodog Poker Network. Originally called Bodog Poker, the site changed its name in 2011 following Black Friday. Bovada continued to provide a service to online poker players in the US until September 2016, when its players were migrated to Ignition Poker and the poker platform temporarily retired.
Despite retiring the poker platform, Bovada continued to provide an online casino and an online sports betting service to players. After receiving feedback that players would prefer to have an online poker product, the poker platform was relaunched in August 2017. The site is now one of the busiest for US-facing cash game action.
The Bovada Poker Bonus for New Players
Bovada Poker offers new players a 100% bonus on their first deposits up to $500. The bonus is small in comparison with most other online poker sites, you only get thirty days in which to clear it, and it is only available to players who have never had a Bovada Poker account before. Players who previously played poker at Bovada before being migrated to Ignition, will not be eligible for the Bovada Poker bonus.
The modest size of the bonus can be attributed to the site´s “recreational poker model”. The “model” is best known for the introduction of anonymous tables that prevents players using poker tracking software to prey on weaker players. The modest bonus will also deter many “bonus whores” who simply join a poker site to clear the bonus and then leave – contributing nothing to the poker eco-system.
Clearing the Bovada Poker Bonus
The way in which the Bovada Poker bonus is cleared is also designed to appeal to players who deposit smaller amounts. The bonus is released in six progressively harder stages as players collect Player Points for paying a free to enter a Multitable Tournament or Sit & Go games, or for paying rake in a standard cash game or fast-fold Zone Poker game.
Three Player Points (or fraction thereof) are awarded for each $1.00 paid in entry fees, while the number of points awarded for contributing to the rake varies according to the following scale:
|Rake Paid||Player Points|
|$0.01 – $0.04||0.05|
|$0.05 – $0.24||0.10|
|$0.25 – $0.49||0.25|
|$0.50 – $0.99||0.50|
|$1.00 – $3.00||1.00|
The first $5.00 increment of the Bovada Poker bonus is paid when a player has collected 15 Player Points. At the rate of three Player Points for each $1.00 paid in tournament entry fees, this equates to 100% rakeback. Once the first increment has been released, reaching each stage of the Bovada Poker bonus gets progressively harder.
|Level||Player Points||Bonus Issued||Total Bonus|
Cash Games, Sit & Go Games and Tournaments
As mentioned above, Bovada Poker is now one of the busiest sites for US-facing cash game action. Offering a mixture of Texas Hold´em and Omaha cash game action, the site typically attracts over one thousand low to mod-stakes players. Furthermore, as the Pai Wang Luo Poker Network has a substantial Asian player database, action is guaranteed around the clock.
Bovada´s Sit & Go games are also very popular. These mini-tournaments start whenever the required number of players have entered (between two players and forty-five players) and continue until a winner is determined – except in the case of “Double-Up” or “Quadruple-Up” Sit & Go games, in which case the game concludes when only those players in the money remain.
The site also has a comprehensive tournament schedule that includes US-timed “Nightly Majors”, around-the-clock “Turbo Tournaments” and more than $1.5 million paid out each week in guaranteed tournaments. Large tournament series are often hosted at the site with an accompanying satellite schedule to enable as many players as possible to qualify for the feature events as cheaply as possible.
- NL Texas Hold´em
- PL Omaha
- PL Omaha Hi/Lo
- Zone Poker
- Sit & Go Games
- Multitable Tournaments
Other Available Games
Also as mentioned above, Bovada provides an online casino and an online sports betting service. Both these areas of Bovada´s operations also offer players first deposit bonuses, increasing the value of joining the site if you are looking for an online entertainment package. The online casino is particularly good as we commented in our Bovada Casino review.
Promotions and Player Benefits
The level of poker-related promotions is limited at Bovada Poker. Other than the first deposit bonus and tournament series, there is not a lot to attract poker players to the site other than the relative softness of competition at the tables. For players able to master ABC poker, playing on a level playing field can be more advantageous than promotional gimmicks, but it might be nice to have a few from time to time.
In respect of player benefits, the only thing players can do with their Player Points is use them to enter freeroll tournaments or convert them into bonuses for the online casino or sportsbook. There is no cash exchange option available. For some players, the lack of a cash exchange is a potential disadvantage of playing at Bovada Poker, especially considering the costs associated with funding an account.
Deposits, Withdrawals and Fees
If you want to make a deposit at Bovada Poker, the best way to do it is with Bitcoin. Bitcoin deposits and withdrawals are free of charge, you can request more than one withdrawal each week by Bitcoin and Bitcoin withdrawals have higher limits (currently the equivalent of $9,500). By comparison, deposits by Visa and Mastercard credit cards attract a fee of 5.9% and you can only cash out once a week by check.
If you want to cashout by check, you are allowed one free withdrawal with a maximum limit of $3,000 every ninety days. Subsequent check withdrawals are subject to a processing fee of $100. The site says the fees are necessary to cover its processing costs, but they may dissuade many players unfamiliar with cryptocurrencies from joining the site – or remaining at the site after their first withdrawal.
Player Security & Customer Support
The online betting arm of Bodog was originally launched in 2000 and, in nearly twenty years, there have been no major issues relating to player security. Many of the gripes about the site you will find on online poker forums are typically due to players failing to verify their accounts before requesting a withdrawal or by having unrealistic expectations about how long withdrawal requests take to process.
If you are unsure about how to verify your account, or have any other questions about playing at Bovada Poker, the site´s Customer Support is terrific. Available by toll-free phone (US only), live chat and web contact form, the staff tend to be knowledgeable and professional. The site also has a comprehensive help section for players unfamiliar with any element of playing online poker.
What to Like and Dislike about Bovada Poker
There is plenty to both like and dislike about Bovada Poker, and balancing up the advantages and disadvantages is the key to deciding whether or not this is a site suitable for you. We have listed what we consider to be relevant for most players – both recreational players to whom the site is targeted, and more experience players looking for a venue with an excellent online casino and sportsbook.
- Although only providing cash game action, the mobile poker site is excellent.
- The software is easy to use and navigate with plenty of customizable options.
- The anonymous tables level the playing field for new and recreational players.
- Modest bonus is hard to clear in the time allowed.
- Fiat currency deposit and withdrawal fees.
- Limited promotions and player benefits.
2019 Bovada Poker Review Conclusion
It is not difficult to understand why the network to which Bovada Poker belongs is one of the most popular US-facing networks. Bovada provides an environment in which new players can learn how to play online poker without being preyed upon by pro players using poker tracking software. The same applies to recreational players who want an occasional low-stakes game for a bit of fun.
Naturally, some players will focus on the costs associated with playing at the site, and the lack of promotions or gimmicks that many other sites are introducing. However, it is fair to say Bovada Poker caters for a certain type of player who does not need gimmickry to enjoy a game of poker, and who simply wants to sit at a table and win or lose depending on their level of skill.
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