Bovada Poker Review

Bovada Poker

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 and create your account.

Introduction to Bovada Poker

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 provides 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

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 – if you playing from a Windows or Mac desktop computer – download the poker client. If you are playing from a mobile device, there is no software to download, but the Bovada Poker mobile platform limits you to playing one cash game or tournament at a time.

Then, from within the poker client or via the mobile app, visit the Cashier and make your deposit. There is no specific Bovada Poker bonus code to use and the amount of your bonus should be credited to your bonus account within twenty-four hours. You have thirty days in which to release the bonus – which may not sound like a lot, but the clearance rate is one of the best in the industry and the bonus is released in increments of $5 each time you have earned 150 Reward Points.

You earn Reward 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. Reward Points are awarded at the rate of fifteen per dollar contributed to the rake or paid as a Sit and Go or tournament entry fee. So, the equivalent rate of rakeback for the Bovada first deposit bonus is an incredible 50%. Please note only 1.5 Reward Points per dollar are awarded when you play Jackpot Sit and Go games.

Software Download, Mac & Mobile Compatibility

The Bovada Poker download for desktop computers 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.

The Bovada Poker mobile platform gets better every time I look at it. Since late 2018, the mobile platform has supported the full range of games available on the PC download, and now has additional security features to prevent players accessing your account if your mobile device is lost or stolen.  Unfortunately, as mentioned above, you can still only play one table at a time from your mobile device, but it is still a far better product than offered by most other online poker sites.

VIP Program for Poker Players

In addition to improving its mobile platform, Bovada Poker has also vastly improved its VIP Program. Now, as you collect Reward Points, you also collect Tier Points which determine your tier in the VIP Program. At the lowest tier, you can exchange the Reward Points you earn for cash bonuses and tournament tickets at the rate of 2,500 Points per dollar, but at the highest tier, the exchange rate is only 1,000 Points per dollar. You also get a better rate of cashback on any losses at the highest tier.

You can earn extra Reward Points by playing in Bovada´s online casino or by betting on sports and horseracing. The Points awarded vary according to the nature of your bet from 1 Point per dollar for playing video poker to 60 Points per dollar for placing horseracing multiples (i.e. Yankee). No points are awarded for playing in the Bovada Live Dealer Casino, but that should not deter you from trying it out because it is pretty good.

Tier Points Req. Exchange Rate Cashback %
1 0 2,500 Points per $1.00 6%
2 2,500 2,250 Points per $1.00 7%
3 10,000 2,000 Points per $1.00 8%
4 60,000 1,750 Points per $1.00 9%
5 150,000 1,500 Points per $1.00 10%
6 500,000 1,250 Points per $1.00 11%
7 1,000,000 1,000 Points per $1.00 12%
8 2,500,000 1,000 Points per $1.00 15%

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.

Game Variations

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.


There are 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 lower than on other Pai Wong Luo Network skins. If you are looking for the Bovada experience with a better bonus and don’t care about having a sportsbook, I suggest you try [geolink href=””]Ignition Poker[/geolink].
  • Although the VIP Program for is better than it used to be, there are a lot of terms and conditions to fulfil before being able to take full advantage of the program or qualify for cashback.
  • The deposit and withdrawal fees for non-Bitcoin transactions. 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 platform is very good. Although enabling you only to play one table at a time, the platform is more advanced than what any other U.S.-facing poker site has 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.

Bovada Poker Review Conclusion

Bovada Poker ReviewTo conclude my 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 a more valuable first deposit bonuses, while plenty of other U.S.-friendly poker 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.

Bovada Poker FAQ

What does NL, PL and FL Texas Hold´em mean?

The initials NL, PL and FL represent the amounts players are allowed to bet in each round of betting.

  • NL stands for No Limit – you can bet as much as your chip stack allows.
  • PL stands for Pot Limit – you can bet as much as is already in the pot.
  • FL stands for Fixed Limit – you can only bet as much as the Big Blind.

What are the system requirements for the Bovada Poker Download Version?

Bovada Poker can be played on a Windows system with Windows 7 or later, and on a Mac with Mac OS 10.7 or later.

Bovada Poker Download System Requirements
Windows Mac
Operating System Windows 7 or later Mac OS 10.7 or later
Processor Intel Core duo or later Intel Core duo or later
Memory 1GB RAM or greater 1GB RAM or greater
Free Space Minimum 200GB Minimum 250GB
Flash Player V16 or later V16 or later

Is the Bovada Poker Download Safe?

There have been a few reports of players experiencing issues with their antivirus software (see the comment in the Bovada Poker Reddit thread below), but these are generally due to configuration errors on the player´s PC or a glitch in the anti-virus software. In the following case, the issue was resolved by running the Bovada Poker download as an Administrator.

Bovada Poker Reddit

Are there connection issues at Bovada Poker?

Similarly some players have reported connection issues. Personally, I have never experienced any connection issues at Bovada Poker; and – judging from what I read about this problem at other sites – the likeliest cause of Bovada Poker connection issues is players´ Internet providers. Some just tend to work better than others – a theory confirmed by 2+2 contributor “AggressiveDog” below.

Connection Issues at Bovada Poker

Is Bovada Poker rigged?

If you spend long enough scouring the Internet, you will find plenty of allegations that Bovada Poker is rigged. None of them are true. Bovada Poker uses a “pseudo” Random Number Generator to ensure all its games are fair, and – due to its anonymous tables and automatic seating policy, there is rarely any opportunity for players to collude.

What is the Bovada Poker phone number for Customer Support?

Bovada Poker recently added a Help Center to its website that answers most frequently asked questions. However, if you need more information than is provided by the Help Center, you can contact Customer Support via email, Live Chat, or the Bovada Poker phone number 1-800-263-0000.

Where can I find the Bovada Poker mobile app?

There is no Bovada Poker mobile app to download. Simply visit Bovada Poker on your mobile browser (or follow our links to the site) and start playing. Bovada´s mobile platform supports all mobile devices using the Android operating system, and Apple devices from iPhone 4 onwards.