Bovada Poker

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5 ratings

100% up to $500 Bonus

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Launched in: 1994

Regulated in: FSRC

Network: Bodog Network

Bovada Poker room review

Bovada was founded in 1994 by Calvin Ayre, and is regulated in the Caribbean Nation of Antigua Moves by the FSRC and holds a certification handed by iTechlabs for proven fair online gaming systems.

Although they have a badge that proves that gaming at Bovada is fair, they are not licensed currently. Bodog has been one of the most prominent caterers of online gambling and poker in the US-market which stands till today.

As with so many other poker sites, or online casinos, Bodog also got hit by the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA), when the US decided to regulate online gambling and make it illegal to offer any online games that involve luck to US-residents, which forced them to leave the market.

Calvin Ayre, however, did not give up on his brand, fought legal battles with the American court system and achieved to get permission to legally offer poker, casino games and sport-betting in most states of America. Bovada offers their services solely to players based in the United States of America.

Latest news & articles on Bovada

Safety and security

From the year 2012 to 2017, the website Bovada got seized by the US government, initiated by the law enforcement who claimed that Calvin Ayre and other officials of Bovada didn’t comply with the World Trade Organization ruling on Internet Gaming. Although the gaming company does not have a license, it is not illegal to play at Bovada – it does serve risks to play at an unlicensed gaming site though as you have less protection by the LAW. No federal law makes online gambling illegal in the US. The reason why Bovada can offer gambling services to most states in the US is that their company headquarters lay off-shore, and hence they follow laws of a different nation.

Regardless of not being licensed, Bovada never had any significant incidents that put them in a lousy spotlight or made them look not trustworthy. The (UIGEA) has not only affected Bodog; it has affected most online-poker, and casino sites which mostly didn’t even knew that they are not complying with the LAW, and to be fair, most US-friendly poker sites are not licensed, but legal.

Bovada's Poker Software

What is first to notice after the download of the poker platform is that Bovada only offers anonymous tables – you won’t be able to tag players, give them notes, and generally get no emotional attachment to them in any way. That is bad in our opinion because poker lives of making history with different players, categorise their style and adjust your strategy depending on what type of player you are facing.

The anonymous-only tables kill strategical elements that are elementary and make poker whole. Online poker is anonymous enough even without the anonymous tables.When opening the software, you will see a clean and handy to navigate surface. You can play up to 15 poker tables simultaneously at Bovada, and that fluidly – you won’t have software crashes, lags or other kinds of nasty surprises, at least not in our experience.

A fancy gadget the Bovada poker software provides you is the Rabbit Cam: This feature enables you to see the next card even when everyone has folded. Entertaining=Yes, Usefull=No.

Mobile Poker App

The Poker app of Bovada is not downloadable and solely available from the browser; That means that whatever mobile device you use, you can play poker at Bovada directly through their website.

However nice that is, there is something not so sweet; you can’t play anything else than cash game ring-tables and “zone poker” from your mobile. You can’t play SNG poker or tournaments from their mobile application. The design, however, and the gameplay is excellent, leaving not much room for improvement. Another downside is that you can only one-table wit Bovadas poker app.

Poker Game selection & Traffic

Bovada is not too versatile regarding the variety of poker games offered on their platform. However, given that they do not cater to millions of players, it would not be a good idea to spread their player pool on too many different game variations, watering down the traffic of popular formats such as Texas hold’em or pot limit Omaha.

You think there is poker room online besides Pokerstars that has action at exotic poker games? You are wrong! Bovada is really the only US-friendly poker site where you find cash games and sit and go’s running in various variants such as pot-limit Omaha, Omaha Hi/Lo, 7 Card Stud, 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo. You can even find mid stakes SNG’s filling up in the most uncommon formats, so if you like flamboyant poker games and live in the United States your best choice is Bovada.

Cash Games

SNGs & Tournaments

Daily GTDs

The poker tournament schedule at Bovada is excellent, hosting tournaments with price-pools of $150.000 daily, and over $1.500.000 weekly! That is huge, especially given the fact that they mostly cater to US-players. Bovada, together with AmericasCardroom is your best choice when playing tourneys or sit and go’s from the US.

It reminds me of Pokerstars, seeing all the poker tournaments running and registrants waiting in the lobby for a new Sit & Go fill up. If you like jackpot sit and go’s, you have an incentive to play them at Bovada as they open faster than a kid opens its Christmas present. Bovada is one of your best options if you like poker tournaments and sit and goes.

Poker Bonuses & promotions

Besides the first deposit bonus offer and a few freerolls, Bovada has nothing to offer for loyal customers who love to play poker frequently. Their bonus offers are dull to be blunt; they have not one promotional campaign that is entertaining for the casual poker player while there are a couple of enticing VIP offers that reward the casino or sports-betting client for frequent play.

First deposit bonus

When making your first deposit at Bovada, as a new customer, you get a 100% up to $500 welcome bonus. For example, when you deposit $500, Bovada will match your initial deposit by 100%, so you get a $500 poker bonus.

You won’t get the bonus cash immediately though; you will have to collect points by playing real money poker games to get your bonus money paid out. To receive parts of the bonus you must hit certain target-points, and when you hit one a bonus will be released into your account.

You receive three points for every dollar charged as fees in tournaments, and when playing cash games, you get 1 point for every dollar spent in rake as the rake of the pot splits between several players; that is because Bovada uses the weighted contribution rake method.

At Bovada, you can play in three free poker tournaments every day without having to deposit, and then, there are some freerolls that don’t deserve to be titled as a freeroll because you actually have to wager real money and collect points to be eligible registering into it. It is very misleading to claim a term on something, with the incentive to manipulate people into thinking that this tournament is actually free when it’s not. However, this “freeroll” requires you to buy-in with 1000 player points (which you got pay about $300 in rake for) and is a weekly $5000 guaranteed.

Nonetheless, we still clapping our hands for their actual freeroll offers, which you can partake in and win real money without depositing.

Freeroll schedule

$12 Freeroll


Daily at 11:00 CET

$20 Freeroll


Daily at 15:00 CET

$20 Freeroll


Daily at 17:00 CET

Bovada does not have any rakeback offers.

Deposit and withdrawal options

Bovada doesn’t have the most extensive variety of possible payment options, unfortunately, and they also charge a fee of 4.9% when depositing with Visa Card, MasterCard, and a 9.8% fee when using AmericanExpress. The best deposit option for you is to use BTC, there are no fees, and the money will be in your account quickly.

Mastercard logo


Min Dep: $25
Max. dep: $1500

VisaCard Logo


Min Dep: $25
Max. dep: $1500

Bitcoin Logo


Min Dep: $10
Max. dep: $5.000


American Express

Min Dep: $20
Max. dep: $5.000

Bovada's Poker rooms pros and cons

Like any online poker or gaming site, Bovada’s poker room has its benefits and a few drawbacks. This review of Bovada’s poker platform covers both sides of the coin regarding software, bonuses, games offered, security, customer support and legality.


Lots of cash game Action

It is baffling how much action there is on Bovada at the poker tables given all the country restrictions. The player pool of Bovada is vast, and you will find plenty of cash game tables from low/mid-stakes running around the clock. The traffic allows a healthy schedule, whether you like cash games, sit and goes or tournaments, and that is rare for a US-friendly poker room, so thumbs up!

Action everywhere

Bodog not only serves you well if you like Texas Holde’m but also has plenty of action at more exotic games in their poker platform which most of the other US-friendly poker sites don’t.

HUDs are banned

Do you know what a HUD is? No? That is exactly why we like that they are banned at Bovada poker tables. A hud serves the purpose of showing statistics that signal very precisely how you play, what hands you play from which positions and is showing detailed information on your betting-behaviours. That is a huge disadvantage for the recreational player that doesn’t even know what a HUD is, so we love the ban on HUDs by Bovada. Fair is Fair!

Fast and helpful live chat

On Bovada’s website, there is a live chat option which serves you near immediate, and the support is friendly and helpful.

Over 500 casino games

We know, you are here for the poker platform that Bodog offers, but we have to say that Bodog covers a wide variety of casino games with over 500 different games!


No promotional offers

It is one thing to not offer Rakeback, but it’s not ok to not make it up with some other promotional bonus offers like Rake Races or some other sort of giveaway to frequent clients. Bovada doesn’t seem to value their most loyal customers as they only give the first deposit bonus, and that’s it. Thumbs down, we are disappointed.

Anonymous tables only

If you play poker in a casino (that is where it has originated from), you have no chance of making yourself anonymous, but at Bovada, when you play poker, you will get a new screenname everytime you join a new table. It is subjective of whether you like it or not, but we believe that Poker benefits from non-anonymous tables more than the other way around.

Most non US countries are restricted from playing

Players from the following countries are prohibited from playing at ACR: United Kingdom, Malta, Brazil China, France, Finland, Germany, Georgia, Poland, Russia and Romania, to name the biggest country they not cater to, but there is many more country where it is forbidden to play from at Bovada. A BIG PITY!

In the USA, the following states are prohibited from playing on Americas Cardroom: Unfortunately, Bovada is unable to accept new players from the following US states and territories: Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada.

Download takes too long

We might be picky about that, but not everyone has the patience to wait 10 minutes to download the poker client fully.

Bovada's Poker room FAQ

At the moment is exclusively available for US players. If you live outside of the United States you are out of luck!

No, unfortunately you can not get any rake back for playing poker at Bovada.

Yes. There is no law in act that prohibits you from gambling from Tennessee at Bovada.

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