Bovada Poker Room Review

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Bovada is a US facing online poker room and is part of the larger Bodog Poker Network. Formerly Bodog, was established in 2011 to take on Bodog’s US client base. Though the company changed names and ownership, players can expect the same exceptional service that has made Bodog a giant in the industry for a decade plus.

Bovada is licensed and regulated in Canada, by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission and has offices located in Mohawk Territory. Bovada’s parent company is Meadway Leisure Limited, which was established in 2007, and has done an excellent job with the transition from Bodog to Bovada. The online poker room also doubles as an online sportsbook and casino.

Software at Bovada

Around the same time Bodog left the US market, Bovada took over and the company went under a change in platform. Bovada’s new software update made all poker tables fully anonymous; players do not have screen names and are given generic numbers when sitting at tables. This change is for tournament and cash games site wide, so every poker game/table available is anonymous. The system isn’t complex, players will just be given a number as a screen name, such as “Player 1”, “Player 2” and so on.

Bovada has come under fire from some players for the implementation of anonymous poker, and that is understandable. Still, Bovada wanted to make the games more like a live poker game where players sit down against a table of unknown players. Players will not be able to track (through third party software) the play of their opponents, or take long term notes on other players. However, players will be able to take notes that will expire once the player leaves the table. How an opponent is playing during a session, is the most information players will have to go on.

Bovada’s software isn’t flashy, but it is stable, and but has all the basics of a terrific online poker room with some notable features. Tables are easily resizable, just by clicking and dragging. The room has a built in stats interface for tracking play, has basic table options and a four color deck. The lobby filters are adequate, and overall the client runs smoothly with little lag.

A few more caveats regarding Bovada’s software are the four table maximum and full games not being shown in the lobby. Players are only allowed a four table cash game or sit n’ go tournament maximum. A total of six tables are available for players if two of the tables are multi-table tournaments. Also, the poker lobby does not show full tables. This can be confusing, but only tables with open seats will be able to seen in the lobby. If Bovada is at peak hours and the lobby seems desolate, keep watching for tables to pop up once players leave. It’s an unusual feature, but management wants players to start more games rather than wait listing full games.

Bovada’s Customer Support

Bovada has outstanding customer service. Their staff is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and has separate phone numbers just for poker room customers. Bovada’s response time to emails 4 hours, and are usually even faster. They are helpful, courteous and professional. Customer service is one of the poker room’s best assets.

Cashier at Bovada

As mentioned above, Bovada is purely for US players playing on the Bodog Poker Network. The room does not take citizens from other countries, and is strictly US citizens. With that said, due to the US Department of Justice’s crackdown on online gambling, US deposit and withdrawal options are somewhat limited.


One of the best options for depositing at Bovada is using a credit card. Visa cards are the only cards currently accepted, and this deposit method comes a 4.9% fee. Bovada also offers Western Union or MoneyGram transfers, which players can send at most retail outlets. Bovada will cover fees for deposits over $300, and funds will be available for play as soon as a Bovada agent receives them, which is usually a few hours after sending.


Bovada, like many US rooms has a limited number of withdrawal options, but rest assured their payout record is impeccable. Checks are taking 3-4 weeks, which is around the industry standard. Players are allowed one free check a month, with additional ones incurring a $50 fee. Cash transfers, or Western Union transfers are also available for withdrawal, if players depositing using this method. These are processed relatively quickly, usually within 24-72 hours. However, fees can be costly; depending on the amount sent fees can range from $70 to $210 per transfers.

Bonus and VIP

Bovada, offers players Poker Points, which users can use to buy into multi-table and sit n’ go tournaments. Poker Points are earned every time a player plays a raked hand, or pays a tournament fee.

Bovada’s current first depositor bonus is a whopping 100% bonus up to $1,000. The bonus is cleared by earning Poker Points, and currently one of the best deposit bonuses for US poker players.

Traffic and Games Available

Bovada shares its player base with and, is still a top 20 online poker room worldwide. Several thousand players are active during peak hours and Bovada offers Hold Em’, Omaha Hi, Omaha Hi\Lo, Seven Card Stud and Stud Hi/Lo. There is consistent action from the micro limits up to the middle to high limits at both Hold Em’ and Pot Limit Omaha. The action at other games is sporadic but occasionally games will form at peak hours.

Pot Limit Omaha

PLO is very popular at Bovada, micro limit games go 24 hours a day and middle to high limit action is consistent in the late afternoon to evening hours.

Bovada, is the likely the fishiest site available for US players, and the PLO action is excellent. Bovada draws less professionals and more amateur types to the tables, and the four table maximum keeps multi-tabling grinders off the site.

There is 6-max, 9 man, and heads-up tables available for most limits. However, it is important to note that heads-up tables are not available above the $1/$2 level.


Bovada is an interesting poker room because it’s perceived shortcomings actually make the site more profitable for players. The anonymous tables and four table max keeps professional type players away, making the fish that populate Bovada easier to pick off. Even though the room has drawbacks, it has large number of fish, and a fantastic up to $1,000 deposit bonus to get started.