Our Bovada Poker review demonstrates why this site is one of the most popular online destinations for US-based poker players who also like to bet on sports and enjoy casino games. It also explains how you can take advantage of one of the best bonus packages offered by any US-facing site.
Bovada Poker Review
Our Bovada Poker review starts with a little history about the site. Launched in 2011, the site took over the database of U.S. players registered at Bodog Poker due to Bodog Poker´s (then) owners wanting to distance themselves from the U.S. market. Bovada Poker remained in the Bodog Poker Network and grew to be the #1 U.S.-facing poker site in the post-Black Friday era.
In August 2016, Bovada announced it was closing its online poker operations. Its player database was encouraged to join the newly-established Ignition Poker – a site that also shared its player pool with the Bodog Poker Network (which has since been renamed the Pai Wong Luo Network). Bovada continued to operate as an online casino and sports betting site.
However, in August 2017, Bovada relaunched its online poker operations. No official reason was given for the reincarnation of Bovada Poker; although it was speculated by industry observers that Bovada´s casino customers and sports bettors had been requesting online poker, and site agreed. Bovada Poker is now available for online poker players in most U.S. states, Mexico and Brazil.
A New First Time Deposit Bonus Offer
Bovada Poker offers poker players a 100% bonus on the total of all the deposits made into their poker wallet within 24 hours of their first deposit (up to a maximum of $500). This is a great offer, as it gives players an opportunity to try out Bovada´s excellent poker software before committing to a larger deposit amount. Furthermore, this is only one of a number of bonuses available. Casino and sports betting bonuses are explained in the next section.
The Bovada Poker bonus is cleared by earning Poker Points. There are two ways to earn Poker Points. If you play Sit & Go games or Multitable Tournaments, you are awarded 3 Poker Points for each $1.00 you pay as an entry fee. If you play cash games (including Bovada Poker´s fast-fold “Zone Poker”), you are awarded Poker Points according to how much you pay in rake. The table below demonstrates the points awarded/rake paid:
|$0.01 – $0.04
|$0.05 – $0.24
|$0.25 – $0.49
|$0.50 – $0.99
|$1.00 – $3.00
Regardless of which way you decide to earn your Poker Points (you can use both if you wish), you have thirty days to clear your Bovada Poker bonus. It is released from your bonus account into your real money account in stages when you reach certain Points Levels (see chart below). The Points Levels are distributed in such a way to make it easier to clear the earlier stages of the Bovada Poker bonus and harder at the end. The Points Levels remain the same regardless of whether you deposit $100 or $500.
Casino and Sports Betting Bonuses at Bovada Poker
Inasmuch as the first deposit poker bonus is unlikely the pulse racing, there are some excellent bonuses available for casino games and sports betting – particularly if you are familiar with Bitcoin. For example, even if you have already cleared the Bovada Poker bonus, you can still take advantage of a 100% match bonus on your first three deposits into your casino wallet up to $1,000 each.
If you are depositing by Bitcoin, the offer is even better. Bovada will give you a 150% match bonus on your first three deposits into your casino wallet up to the Bitcoin equivalent of $1,000 (so, a maximum of $4,500 in casino bonuses), plus another 50% match bonus in your first deposit into your sportsbook wallet up to the equivalent of $1,000 (maximum bonus = $500). The codes to use for each offer are:
- To redeem the fiat currency Bovada Casino bonus, use the bonus code “NEWWELCOME” when making your first three deposits.
- To redeem the Bitcoin Bovada Casino bonus, use the bonus code “BVCBITCOIN150” when making your first three deposits.
- To redeem the Bitcoin Sports Betting bonus, use the bonus code “BVSBITCOIN50” when making your deposit into the sportsbook.
- Please note, there is no special Bovada Poker bonus code to use to claim the poker bonus. Simply follow our links to the site and your bonus will be applied automatically.
Unlike the Bovada Poker bonus, the casino and sports betting bonuses are ready to use immediately. The casino bonuses have a very generous 25x rollover requirement (deposit and bonus combined) before you are able to withdraw your winnings. The sports betting bonus has a 5x rollover requirement (deposit and bonus required) before you can cash out, and please be aware that several casino games and short odds sports bets do not contribute towards the rollover requirement.
A Good Choice of Cash Games and Poker Tournaments
The choice of cash games and poker tournaments is pretty good. The site offers cash games of NL Limit Hold´em, Omaha and Omaha Hi/Lo – all of which are available in fast-fold ”Zone Poker” format – a good range of Sit & Go games (including recently added hyper-turbo, three-handed “Jackpot” games), and a packed schedule of poker tournaments that culminates with a $100,000 guaranteed tournament each Sunday at 4:00pm (ET).
Stakes start at $0.02/$0.05 for cash games with a minimum buy-in of just $2.00 (40 Big Blinds). Buy-ins for Sit & Go games and tournaments start at $1.05 – although there is a healthy number of freeroll tournaments and Poker Points tournaments each day that offer the opportunity to enhance your bankroll for free. There is also a comprehensive satellite schedule for the majority of Bovada Poker´s most valuable tournaments including the Sunday feature event.
Game selection is really easy using a new “Quick Seat” seating process and you can play up to fifteen tournaments at a time on the downloadable software (available for both Windows and Mac). There is also a very good mobile app available for players who want to play poker on the go. At present the app only supports cash games and Zone Poker, but improvements are expected in the future.
Player Rewards at Bovada Favor Casino Games
Bovada Poker operates a very simple player rewards program in which players can exchange their Player Points for tournament entry tickets, casino bonuses and free sports bets. The rate of exchange for Points to tournament entry tickets is not great (100 Points per $1.00), but improves for the casino bonuses (70 Points per $1.00) and free sports bets (90 Points per dollar). Both the casino bonuses and sports bets have rollover requirements before you can withdraw your innings.
Other than that there is not a lot for players who exclusively play online poker. However, there is a very good Rewards Program for your action at the online casino and the money you bet on sports. Depending on the type of bet placed, you can receive up to 20 Rewards Points per $1.00. Rewards Points can be exchanged for cash plus you can get up to 15% cashback on your daily casino and sports betting losses depending which tier of the 14-level Rewards program you are in.
Depositing and Withdrawing Funds is Best by Bitcoin
Bovada only accepts deposits by Visa and Mastercard credit card or by Bitcoin. A fee of 5.9% is charged by Bovada on credit card transactions (except your first deposit), plus you may also be charged a cash advance fee by you card issuer. Players from Mexico and Brazil may also be charged a currency conversion fee by their card issuer if funding a dollar account at Bovada with Pesos or Reals. There are no charges or fees for depositing funds into your account by Bitcoin.
The only available withdrawal methods are Bitcoin and check by courier. Again Bitcoin transactions are free, but players are limited to one Bitcoin withdrawal every five days. Bovada will cover the cost of processing one check withdrawal each ninety days. Further withdrawals by check during this period cost $100 each. Please note there is a maximum limit of $3,000 per check withdrawal ($9,500 per Bitcoin withdrawal). Obviously it is advantageous to conduct all your transactions by Bitcoin!
More Useful Information about Bovada Poker
The size of the first deposit bonus, the limited rewards and the fees attached to deposits and withdrawals for fiat currency transactions may turn some players away from the site, but there are several good reasons for playing at Bovada Poker:
- As Bovada Poker shares its player pool with a skin servicing players in Asia, around-the-clock traffic is guaranteed.
- Players at Bovada Poker can also take advantage of the site´s excellent online casino and sports betting bonuses.
- The standard of the poker software is far better than that offered by most other online poker sites for U.S. players.
- Efficient and multi-lingual customer support can be contacted by email, live chat and toll-free phone twenty-four hours a day.
Bovada Poker Review Conclusion
Players who were familiar with Bovada Poker between 2011 and 2016 will find that little has changed. The features that helped Bovada Poker become the #1 U.S.-facing poker site in the post-Black Friday era are still there and, although the competition may have upped its game since 2016, there is no reason to believe the site will not again become a popular destination for online poker players.