Although Bovada’s return to the world of poker is a recent development, you can hardly tell. The software is stable, there’s plenty of traffic, and the customer service staff are knowledgeable. Whether you prefer cash games, sit and go tournaments, or big guaranteed events, there’s no shortage of excitement at Bovada.
When you read this Bovada Poker online review, we’ll get you up to speed on the downloadable software, mobile gameplay, promotions, tournaments, cash games, level of competition, and more. Here’s where the site stands out:
- 100% sign-up bonus up to $500
- Compatible with PC, Mac, and mobile
- Huge pool of players
- Lots of cash games & big tournaments
Site History & Reputation
Bovada is one of the best-known and most trusted names in the world of online poker. The site has been welcoming Texas hold’em fans from the US and around the world to enjoy thrilling cash games and mammoth guaranteed tournaments since 2011.
Although Bovada is a well-established poker brand, it was formed as a subsidiary of Bodog, which has been operating since 2004. While there have been a number of ownership changes over the years, Bovada is now part of the Hong Kong-based PaiWangLuo Poker Network. The PWL network is the largest poker network that accepts American players.
2019 - Present Day Reputation
Despite winding down their card room in 2016 to focus on sports betting and casino games, the poker site is back and stronger than ever. Since the site is part of the PaiWangLuo Poker Network, which also serves Bodog and Ignition poker, there’s always lots of traffic and big events.
You can count on fair games when you visit the card room, as the site is certified by iTech Labs. Bovada Poker is the top choice for anyone who cares about their privacy and security. The card room lets you play anonymously at the tables and accepts bitcoin. Plus, they’re known for paying players quickly and have great 24/7 customer service.
While conducting our online review for Bovada Poker, we were pleased to discover that the card room offers downloadable poker clients for PC and Mac. You can also play on a smartphone or tablet if you prefer.
The gameplay is pretty much what you would expect from a well-established poker site. It’s easy to find what you’re looking for in the lobby and the interface is self-explanatory even if you are new to online poker. You’ll find lots of special features like in-software casino games, downloadable hand histories, sports-themed tables, the option of playing as many as 15 tournaments at once, and a rabbit cam.
You can easily play real money poker at Bovada using your Windows Phone, Kindle Fire, iPhone, iPad, or Android device. All you have to do is visit the site from your smartphone or tablet to get started. You’ll have access to cash games as well as Zone Poker right in your internet browser. Although there’s no dedicated app, you can create a shortcut on your home screen for instant access.
While our Bovada Poker mobile review team did find a solid selection of cash games and Zone Poker action, the lack of smartphone and tablet tournaments might disappoint some players. The good news is the card room does plan on rolling out mobile tournament play soon, although we couldn’t get a firm release date.
Despite having shuttered its poker room for a year, Bovada has returned in full force. While performing our online review for Bovada Poker, we were particularly impressed with the large player pool. Saying that the poker room picked up where it left off would be putting it lightly. That’s because the card room wasn’t built from scratch. Rather it’s part of the PaiWangLuo Poker Network along with Ignition and Bodog. With 2,500 players online during prime time, you won’t have trouble finding a cash game or tournament.
Although there are some decent poker players on the site, you’re more likely to encounter fish, especially at low stakes cash games and during the early stages of tournament play. You’re sure to meet amateurs who have stumbled into the card room from the Bovada sportsbook, racebook and casino.
Texas hold’em fans can take their pick of no limit, pot limit, and fixed limit cash games, but there’s also Omaha Hi and Omaha Hi/Lo at a variety of stakes. You can find games for as little as $0.02/$0.05, but if you feel like playing with more than pennies, there are tables up to $30/$60. The poker room offers a quick seat feature that takes you to the next available table.
While conducting our Bovada Poker online review, we were pleased to see that the card room offers Zone Poker just like other sites on the PaiWangLuo poker network. Zone Poker works just like fast-fold, zoom, or speed poker on other platforms. When playing, you’ll need to act within 15 seconds and when you fold you’ll be transferred to another table with new opponents and cards. The most surprising part is that the competition wasn’t fierce, which is great news if you are impatient and like winning.
If you’re looking for epic tournament action, you’ll feel at home when you log on to Bovada. The poker room has $1.5M in guaranteed tournament action every week. You’ll probably want to plan your Sunday around the weekly $100K guaranteed event, but there’s also nightly $25K guaranteed super stack events and so much more. The best part is you don’t need a huge bankroll to buy in. The card room has plenty of freerolls and satellites every day.
Like all top-tier poker rooms, Bovada runs headline-grabbing events throughout the year. If you haven’t heard of the site’s Golden Spade Poker Open, the last installment gave away more than $3M in cash prizes. If you don’t like planning, there are always tons of sit and go tourneys with buy-ins as low as $1.10, although there are $215 tournaments if you want to put your money where your mouth is.
Bonuses & Promotions
Bovada offers new players up to $500 for free. You can receive a 100% welcome bonus worth up to $500 on your first deposit. You must earn 5,000 poker points to access all your free cash.
During our Bovada Poker review we were surprised to find that the card room isn’t as generous as its sister sites. Yet if you aren’t going to deposit more than $500, you’ll find Bovada’s bonus is just as lucrative. Given that Bovada just relaunched their poker room, it’s entirely possible that they’ll open their wallets once they get fully settled in cyberspace.
While writing our review for Bovada Poker, we did find an impressive $100 refer-a-friend bonus offer as well as a $5,000 bitcoin bonus, which is available to sports bettors and casino players. Card players can accumulate Poker Points by entering tournaments and ring games. You can redeem your Poker Points for tournament tickets.
“Despite its long history, Bovada isn’t resting on its laurels. The US-friendly cardroom has great customer service and an impressive selection of Texas hold’em and Omaha games.”
There’s no better way to celebrate Bovada’s return to the poker world than by signing up. It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or have already made a name for yourself online. You’ll definitely appreciate the anonymous gameplay, affordable cash games, enormous guaranteed tourneys, mobile compatibility, and innovations like Zone Poker.
While you can find slightly bigger bonuses at the company’s sister sites, you can expect unique promotions and perks at Bovada in the future. The card room does have a rewards program and you can use your bankroll to play casino games, bet on horses, or wager on sports. Don’t forget that the site is not only bitcoin-friendly, but credit and debit cards are welcome too.