Bovada Poker Review
- Best customer support and prompt payouts
- Also offers an online casino and well respected USA sportsbook
- Easy to clear 100% to $500 deposit bonus
“Bovada has been a favorite among US players for 10 years. Good software, lots of tournaments, great support & fast cashouts.”
~ Legaluspokersites.com Staff
Bovada Poker receives a good amount of attention from Americans. With fast banking, super-soft games and quality software, Bovada is a competitive choice for anyone from the United States who wants to play real-money poker online.
How Tough is the Competition at Bovada?
Other reviews of Bovada will focus on the games available and mundane details regarding Bovada’s software. We know that US poker players only really care about one thing when they’re thinking about playing at a room – namely, whether or not they can make some money playing poker at that room.
When it comes to Bovada, the answer to that question is a clear yes. The games at Bovada are softer than the average poker room that takes US players, and there are a few unique aspects of Bovada that help to generate this weaker-than-average competition:
- Attached sportsbook and casino: It’s always a bonus for United States online poker players when a room has a casino or sportsbook attached, and Bovada has both. We’re not saying that everyone who bets sports is bad at poker, or that all those who play slots are losing hold’em players. What we are saying is that having more gamblers in a poker room is generally going to work out well for the skilled players in that room.
- No datamining: Serious online poker players like to have a lot of information on their opponents. Bovada makes it much harder than other rooms for players to acquire and apply data concerning their opponents, so a good percentage of serious players avoid the room altogether.
- Fast transactions: Casual players don’t want to jump through hoop after hoop to make a deposit, and they like to get their cash quick when they make a withdrawal. Bovada has over a decade of experience of processing transactions under tough conditions, and it shows in their industry-leading turnaround times for US players.
Deposits and Cashouts at Bovada
A poker room can be the softest in the world but still be of no use to you if you’re not able to get money on and off of the site. Thankfully, Bovada receives higher-than-average ratings from players and industry observers when it comes to banking transactions.
Bovada accepts multiple methods for deposits, including credit card, bank transfer and money transfer services such as MoneyGram. Cashouts can be processed by check and money transfer services. Turnaround time for deposits is generally under one hour, and cash outs are processed in under two weeks on average.
Bovada has some of the lowest fees for US poker players of any site you’ll find online. Deposit fees for almost every method are covered by the room, and players incur only minor withdrawal fees depending on the method they choose to cash out funds.
Bovada operates on the same cashier as the world-renowned Bodog brand, and brings Bodog’s decade-plus reputation and experience to the table as a result. When you’re dealing with a system that has handled billions in transactions without one significant issue, you can feel comfortable trusting your personal information and funds to that system, a level of comfort that Bovada is unique in being able to claim.
How Valuable are the Promotions and Bonuses at Bovada?
The bonuses and promotions at Bovada Poker are worth less than the value you’d find at the average US-facing poker site. Bovada lacks a robust VIP program, and the standing promotions offered by the room return single-digit rakeback percentages to players.
Don’t let this picture dissuade you from playing at Bovada, however. While the room may offer below-average promotional value, it more than makes up for that lack of value in other areas. Here are a few reasons why Bovada may still be a very profitable room for United States players despite weak promotions and bonuses:
- Soft competition: As we mentioned earlier, Bovada has perhaps the weakest competition of any US-friendly online poker room. Getting to dine on soft competition at the tables can make up a lot of value lost on the promotional front.
- Low-cost banking: Many rooms give US players great value upfront with bonuses, but then charge them substantial fees when it comes time to cash out their winnings. Bovada has some of the cheapest banking fees of any room serving United States online poker players.
- Tournament overlays: The one promotional area where Bovada really shines: Generous tournament overlays on both minor and major tournament events. With thousands of dollars added to tournament prize pools every week, Bovada provides tournament players from America with a nice way to boost their ROI without lifting a finger.
Other Products at Bovada
In addition to the Bovada online poker room, players can also access a sportsbook, racebook and a full-featured casino that houses dozens and dozens of games. All of these products are linked from a single Bovada wallet.
Breaking Down the Bovada Software
In addition to multiple table views that give players maximum flexibility when playing poker at Bovada, the room also offers a completely unique feature that you won’t find at any other US online poker site: Anonymous tables. When you play at Bovada, you don’t have to worry about anyone building a profile on you, as all play takes place anonymously. This feature is in place for both cash games and tournaments at Bovada.
Mobile Options for Bovada Players
Operating System Compatibility
In addition to the native Windows client, Bovada Poker is also available to players from the United States in a dedicated Mac poker client. Linux players will be able to run the Bovada software using Wine or a similar program for running Windows executables within Linux.
Bovada Poker Network & License Information
The Bovada poker room is licensed by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission. Bovada is part of the same poker network utilized by several international arms of the Bodog brand. When you’re playing at Bovada, you’re up against an international player pool that also serves as the poker home for players from Bodog.ca and Bodog88. The Bodog Poker Network has offered online poker to players from around the globe since the early 2000s.
Bovada Poker Compatibility Review
Bovada is a top pick for American players. Why?
- They receive the most (US) traffic. More traffic means more games running – less downtime.
- Bovada is rec-player friendly. You won’t find many grinders here, trying to hunt you down and take your money. They don’t allow 3rd party tools either.
- Bovada runs many promotions, including their $1,000 deposit bonus, more than $170,000 in guaranteed tournaments every Sunday and satellites to live tournaments.
Sounds good, right?! Are you ready to get started?
The first step is to download their software to your computer. That’s what I’ll help you with now, followed by an explanation of what to expect in terms of their software once you sign up.
How to Download Bovada to Your Computer
The download process will only take a couple of minutes. But first, here are the system requirements:
- Operating System – Min. Windows XP | Rec. Windows 7
- Processor – Min. 1Ghz Pentium | Rec. Same
- Memory – Min. 500Mb RAM | Rec. 512Mb RAM
- Disc Space – Min. 30Mb | Rec. 60 Mb
- Screen Resolution – Min. 1024×768 | Rec. 1366×768
Here are the steps you need to take to download the software:
- Visit Bovada.
- Click download.
- On the first screen you’ll be asked if you want to run or save the file. Choose run.
- The next screen is the setup wizard. Click next, and choose where you want to download the files to. Then click install.
From here you’ll be asked to create an account. You’ll need to enter your name, address, phone number, email, user name and password. Once completed you’ll be asked to verify your email address. From this point forward you should be able to log-in.
How to Play Poker on Your Mac
Bovada also has a download for Macs. The process is the same as outlined above. Here are the system requirements.
- Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard or later
- 800 MHz G4 processor or faster
- 1 GB memory (RAM) or greater
- 70 MB of available disk space
Bovada Poker on the Go
Does Bovada Poker have a mobile app? Absolutely! Although relatively new, the mobile poker app is smooth, clear and provides the necessary functions without any lags or delays.
Sportsbook – There is nothing that you need to download for their sportsbook. Their website is compatible with iPhone / iPad & Android. All you need to do is visit Bovada on your phone, log-in and you’ll be set.
Casino – With their casino you can add the app to your home screen. That’s just to avoid having to use your browser each time you want to play. From your phone you can play games like blackjack, roulette and more than 5 different slot games.
Bovada Poker Download / Software / Features
Bovada has a couple of software features worth pointing out.
Zone Poker – Zone Poker is Bovada’s response to the fast-fold craze that Full Tilt started with Rush Poker and PokerStars with their Zoom Poker. The idea is that you can fold your hand before the action gets to you. Once you do you’re taken to another table where everyone is dealt a new hand. This enables players to get 3-4x the number of hands in per hour. The game is a huge draw to fish players that enjoy constant action.
Anonymous Tables – Anonymous tables are just how they sound – no one knows who you are when you sit down. Each player is labeled a number (1-9). Your notes only last for one session too. The idea is to make it so that grinders don’t have an edge through 3rd party programs, datamining, lobby stats and so on.
Rabbit Cam – This shows you what cards would’ve been dealt had you continued with the hand.
In-Client Blackjack – You will have access to play blackjack from the lobby / table of the poker download.
Bovada’s software also includes standard stuff like 4-color decks, table layout options, note taking and chatting.
Are 3rd Party Programs Supported?
No. The following programs are not supported:
- Hand trackers / HUDs
- Data mining
- Auto-Hotkey programs
Bovada doesn’t allow you to use this software because it would give grinders an edge, for one thing. Two, it’s not possible to use these programs anyway because they don’t label the players other than with a (temporary) number. You have no idea who your opponents are once you (or they) leave the table. You’re not even able to save notes longer than your current session.
You are able to download your own hand histories though, so that you can review your own play. But you’re not able to track or label other players. This is inline with Bovada’s attempt to create a safe atmosphere for recreational players, and to improve the poker economy as a whole.Play now at Bovada Poker