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Bovada Poker
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Bovada Poker Room Review


Bovada is one of the oldest and most popular alternative poker sites for poker players located in the USA. Long ago Bovada began life as a part of the vast Bodog empire but it’s now a standalone site built specifically with American players in mind.

The site places a special emphasis on recreational players and boosts completely anonymous player profiles, which means you’ll never be tracked and poker pros won’t be able to use tools like heads-up displays. Bovada has a proven track record of getting payments through quickly and effectively. Interestingly Bovada is also one of the few sites that accepts Bitcoin for both deposits and withdrawals. Bitcoin payouts are actually exceptionally fast, which is a big plus. Bovada also accepts credit cards.

The site offers a very competitive suite of features including its own version of fast-fold poker, customizable tables, support for multiple languages and the aforementioned anonymous tables. The interface itself is clean and a cut above competitors who tend to clutter up the playing experience with unnecessary visual distractions.

Bovada is available to both USA players and much of Latin America so it actually has a very large player pool and there are plenty of ongoing cash games and tournaments.

While Bovada is now separate from Bodog it does benefit from having years of experience in developing poker clients. The original Bodog software dates all the way back to 2004 and developers have had over a decade to perfect the platform while increasing security and reliable.

Bovada is not perfect and you still run some risks playing on what is essentially a gray market site in the USA but it’s still one of the top choices for Americans. Perhaps best of all Bovada is known for offering extremely soft games.

Games Offered

Bovada features all the heavy hitters of the online poker world but you’re going to have to look elsewhere if you want to play more obscure games. The foremost game on Bovada (as with virtually every other online poker site) is of course No-Limit Hold’em. There are countless No-Limit Hold’em cash games, tournaments and Sit & Go’s.

Pot-Limit Omaha is also surprisingly popular on Bovada and PLO players should have more than enough to keep them busy. There’s also support for the split variant of PLO (also known as PLO Hi-Lo) if players get bored of regular PLO. The downside is that players won’t have access to Seven-Card Stud, Five-Card Draw or 2-7 but considering how little traffic those games usually generate its hard to argue with Bovada on that one.

Players on Bovada also get access to Zone Poker, which is the company’s take on fast fold poker. Zone Poker allows players the opportunity to fold their hand and instantly get another one on a different table. It’s one of the most popular games on the site.

In summary these are the games available on Bovada:

  • No-Limit Hold’em
  • Pot-Limit Omaha
  • Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo
  • Zone Poker - Hold’em
  • Zone Poker - Omaha
  • Multi-Table Tournaments
  • Cash Games
  • Sit & Go
  • Jackpot Sit & Go

Mobile App Support

Bovada offers a surprisingly feature-rich mobile client that runs through popular browsers on smart phones and tablets.

Browser-based poker solutions don’t always work that well but the Bovada version is actually pretty strong. The best thing about online poker clients that are based on browsers is that it’s very easy to synch your games across all platforms. If your device can run a browser than it can run Bovada.

You could conceivably start up a cash game on the desktop software and keep playing it on your smart phone while on the bus or train. While Bovada’s mobile offering is fairly strong it still falls behind standalone software or a dedicated mobile app. One glaring omission is any tournaments on the mobile platform. Despite its flaws the mobile software is still worth checking out if you spend any amount of time on Bovada.

Loyalty Programs & Promotions

Bovada offers very large sign-up bonuses to new players.

They go the standard route of offering a percentage match of whatever you deposit. It generally floats around 100% of your deposit amount so if you deposit $100 you have a chance at earning an extra $100.

Of course online poker sites aren’t going to let you instantly walk away with $100 profit. Instead you’ll have to play a certain number of real-money hands to unlock your bonus. Bovada’s playthrough requirements are very consistent with the rest of the industry but one downside is that they only give you 30 days to unlock your bonus. Some competitors offer 60 or even 90 days in some cases.

Bovada has a very simple rewards program that is connected to the casino side of the business. Basically if you play real-money hands you’ll earn points. The points can be redeemed for cash or tournament tickets. If you earn enough points you’ll start to move up the Bovada tiers where you’ll gain access to perks like freerolls. There’s not a lot to the program but it’s certainly better than nothing.


Bovada offers some serious value for big game hunters.

The site features over $1.5 million in guarantees every week. The crown jewels of the tournament schedule are a $75,000 guaranteed tournament and a $100,000-GTD tournament that run every week.

The $100,000-GTD tournament is particularly notable as it features a guaranteed first-place prize of $20,000 to the eventual winner. The tournament frequently smashes the guarantee and offers huge value to players. You can buy in directly to the $100k for $162 but it also offers a number of qualifying options that start at just $1.

There are actually bigger tournaments in the online poker world but it’s tough to find ones that are quite as soft as the Bovada $100k-GTD. Some players sign-up for accounts at Bovada just so they can play the $75k and $100k guaranteed tournaments.

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