Bovada Poker is a skin on the Pai Wong Luo Network (formerly the Bodog Poker Network) that welcomes players from the U.S., Brazil and Mexico. There are both pros and cons for playing at the site compared to any of the other network´s skins – all of which you can read about in my Bovada Poker review.
If you have never played at Bovada Poker before, you are eligible for a 100% bonus on your first deposit up to $500. In order to take advantage of this opportunity, click on the “PLAY NOW” button below to visit bovada.lv and create your account.
Introduction to Bovada Poker
Bovada Poker was first opened in 2011 to accommodate U.S. online poker players following the closure of PokerStars and Full Tilt on Black Friday. The site quickly became the number one destination for orphaned players due to its sleek software, valuable tournaments and anonymous tables. Sharing its player database with other sites on the Bodog Network (now the Pai Wong Luo Poker Network), Bovada Poker provided around the clock action.
In September 2016, Bovada shut its poker platform, and its player database was transferred to the recently opened Ignition Poker skin on the Pai Wong Luo Poker Network. Bovada carried on supplying a sports betting and casino facility, and – in the summer of 2017 – relaunched its poker platform to supply an additional service to its sports betting and casino customers – welcoming players from Brazil and Mexico, as well as those from the United States.
Bovada Poker Bonus Code 2018
Eligibility for the Bovada Poker bonus is a bit complicated. If you have never had an online poker account with Bovada before, you are eligible for a 100% match on your first poker deposit up to $500. If you benefitted from a first deposit bonus at Bovada Poker between 2011 and 2016 – or were grandfathered into the site from an account previously held with Bodog Poker pre-2011 – you will not be eligible for the Bovada Poker bonus.
Claiming the Bovada Poker bonus (if you are eligible) is straightforward. Simply click on our links to visit bovada .lv, complete the one-page registration form to create your poker account, and download the poker client. Then, from within the poker client, visit the Cashier and make your deposit. There is no specific Bovada Poker bonus code to use and your bonus should be credited to your bonus account within twenty-four hours.
You release the bonus into your account as you earn Poker Points for contributing to the rake when it is deducted from pots in cash games, or when you pay to enter a Sit and Go or poker tournament. Points are earned on a sliding scale for cash games and at 3 Poker Points per dollar in Sit and Go and poker tournaments. The bonus is released into your account in ever-increasing increments when you have collected a certain number of points as illustrated below:
- Level 1: The first increment of $5.00 is released when you have earned 15 Poker Points (total Poker Points to date 15 / total bonus to date $5.00).
- Level 2: The second increment is for $20.00, and is released when you earn a further 60 Poker Points (total Poker Points to date 85 / total bonus to date $25.00).
- Level 3: The third increment is $25.00. This increment is released when you earn a further 100 Poker Points (total Poker Points to date 185 7 total bonus to date $50.00).
- Level 4: The fourth increment – $50.00 – is released when you earn another 315 Poker Points (total Poker Points to date 500 / total bonus to date $100.00).
- Level 5: The fifth increment is for $150.00, and is released when you have earned a further 1,000 Poker Points (total Poker Points to date 1,500 / total bonus to date $250.00).
- Level 6: The final increment of $250.00 is released when you earn another 3,500 Poker Points (total Poker Points to date 5,000 / total bonus to date $500.00).
Software Download, Mac & Mobile Compatibility
The Bovada Poker download is compatible with both Windows and Mac operating systems. Bovada automatically establishes what system you are using and not only downloads the appropriate installation file but also gives you instructions on how to install the software. The process is quick and simple, but be sure to read the terms and conditions of using the software during the installation process.
A limited version of the software is available for players who want to play poker from their mobile devices. Bovada Poker offers a mobile-friendly, web-based service (no download required) that provides access to cash games and the site´s “Zone Poker” fast-fold games. Unfortunately, you will only be able to play one table at a time from your mobile device, but it is better than nothing!
VIP Program for Poker Players
Bovada offers very little in the way of a VIP Program for online poker players. The Poker Points you collect for contributing to the rake or for paying a tournament entry fee can be exchanged for tournament entry tickets, casino bonuses and sports betting bonuses, but the rate of exchange is not particularly good. Furthermore, there is no “enhanced rate of exchange” for players who put more action across the tables.
By comparison, Bovada´s casino and sports betting Reward Programs are fairly decent. You get up to 20 Reward Points per dollar depending on the type of bet you place and you can exchange your Reward Points for cash. Unlike the Poker VIP Program, the Bovada casino and sports betting programs incentivize players to put a higher level of action in – offering better point exchange rates and an increasing percentage of cashback on losses the higher status you achieve.
Level of competition
A primary reason why Bovada proved to be so popular in the past – and will likely prove to be popular for new players – is the level of competition you will find at the site. Due to the anonymous tables – on which players are allocated a number rather than any identifying name or code – new and inexperienced players are protected from more experienced players and those using software to help their game.
The level playing field attracts players to the site who have failed to be successful elsewhere and, as a consequence, the standard of competition is not as high as you will find on other online poker sites. However, anonymity is no guarantee of profitability. There is still plenty of good poker players at Bovada. The only trouble is, you never know who they are. So beware, anonymous tables can have both advantages and disadvantages.
Bovada has reduced the variety of games it offers since its relaunch – nonetheless, the most popular online poker games are still well catered for. Players have a choice of NL, PL and FL Texas Hold´em, Omaha Poker and Omaha/08 cash games. All three types of cash game format can be played as fast-fold games, while Bovada Sit and Go and poker tournaments are predominantly played in NL Texas Hold´em format.
The schedule of tournaments at Bovada is particularly healthy. More than $1.5 million is paid out every week in guaranteed poker tournaments thanks to a nightly series of “Majors” tournaments and Sunday´s $100K guaranteed event. There is a comprehensive satellite schedule supporting all the major tournaments, plus frequent tournament series in which the guaranteed prize pools are enhanced. Bovada Poker also hosts a good selection of freeroll tournaments.
Player Security, Support and Fees
In terms of player security, all transactions are protected by SSL encryption and players’ personal and financial data is stored in a secure database. Anti-collusion and anti-fraud measures are in place to provide a fair playing experience, and any issues players encounter are quickly and professionally addressed by the site´s Customer Support team which is available 24/7 by phone, email and live chat.
When it comes to deposit and withdrawal fees, it pays to use Bitcoin. All Bitcoin transactions are free, whereas credit card deposits are subject to a 5.9% processing fee and the only non-Bitcoin option for withdrawing your winnings – check by courier – is subject to a $100 fee. Bovada will waive the withdrawal fee for checks once every ninety days, but limits apply to how much you can withdraw in one go by check.
I mentioned at the top of the page that there were both pros and cons for playing at Bovada Poker – not just when compared to other online poker sites on other networks, but also when compared to other skins on the Pai Wong Luo Network. I will start with a few of the most noticeable “cons”:
- The value of the poker bonus is much lower than on other Pai Wong Luo Network skins. It also has tougher clearing requirements. If you are looking for the Bovada experience with a better bonus, I suggest you try Ignition Poker.
- The VIP Program for online poker players is very disappointing – not only because it lacks a cash exchange option, but also because of the number of Poker Points you have to collect in order to get a tournament ticket or casino bonus worth anything.
- The deposit and withdrawal fees for non-Bitcoin transactions will likely put off any player who is unfamiliar with Bitcoin. Unfortunately, most online poker sites serving the U.S. have similar fees, although most offer a wider variety of deposit options.
As for the “pros” of playing at Bovada Poker, there are an equal number of those. Whether or not you decide to play at the site may come down to the type of player you are, the time you have available to play online poker and the other online gambling activities you enjoy:
- The anonymous tables are a huge advantage to new and inexperienced players. They give you the chance to develop your game and learn more about basic poker strategies such as playing from position, pot odds and fold equity.
- If you like playing poker on the go, the Bovada Poker mobile service is fairly decent. Although enabling you only to play one cash game at a time, the mobile poker at Bovada is more advanced than any other U.S.-facing poker sites have achieved.
- A significant advantage of playing at Bovada Poker – as opposed to any other skin on the Pai Wong Luo Network – is that you can use your funds to play casino games or bet on sports. Ignition Poker, for example, does not offer sports betting opportunities.
2018 Bovada Poker Review Conclusion
To conclude my 2018 Bovada Poker review: Bovada Poker offers very good software with a number of cool features to improve the online poker experience. If you want to enjoy online poker on the go, there is a decent mobile product, and – if you are the stay-at-home type of player, you have a great range of well-supported tournaments at your disposal.
Would I choose Bovada Poker over any other site? Only if I wanted to combine my online poker by playing at an online casino and betting on sports. I think I have made it clear in my Bovada Poker review that other skins on the same network offer more valuable and easier-to-clear first deposit bonuses, while plenty of sites offer more rewarding VIP programs.
If you have already cleared a first deposit bonus at Ignition Poker, and never had an account at Bovada Poker before, you are eligible for the Bovada Poker bonus but you will not be able to transfer funds from one site to the other. As you only have thirty days in which to clear the Bovada Poker bonus, you should consider any deposit/withdrawal fees before registering for an account with Bovada for the sole purpose of clearing the new first deposit bonus.