Bovada Poker – My #1 recommended poker site. They have been my top dog (bodog) for over a decade. I’ve had dinner and drinks with them and I trust them personally. If my friends ask where should they play, I say Bovada.
|Games||Texas Hold'em, Omaha|
|Bonus||100% to $500 (poker only)|
|Software||Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Instant Play|
My adventures with the team behind Bovada began back in 2004. Although the brand I worked with back then was known as Bodog. Regardless of which brand, the core principles of the company have remained the same and ones that I am proud to work with.
After many years of hard work we became one of Bovada’s biggest affiliates. They invited us and other top affiliates to trips in sunny destinations. I know the team behind the scenes and they are as legit as it gets.
From the poker player side, Bovada became my favorite place to play online poker after Black Friday April 15th, 2011. Prior to that I was a Full Tilt and PokerStars junkie. Those sites were bigger, I liked the software better and of course game selection. Once those sites were forced out of the US, I moved most of my play to Bovada.
They released new poker software in 2019 for the poker client and to say it is a huge improvement is an understatement. It is easy to use, sleek and in my opinion much better than the system they used before.
Bovada offers US friendly poker, boasting the largest player pool serving most of the US right now. Additionally they have a top rated sportsbook with live in-game betting, prop bets and competitive odds to all the major and minor sports you can think of. Finally they have a casino with the latest table games, interactive video slot machines and a live dealer via webcam option for some table games like blackjack and roulette.
Pros & Cons
Is Bovada Legit as a Company?
So the team behind the Bovada brand has been in the business nearly as long as any of the online sportsbooks, casino and poker rooms that still exist today. I am talking 18+ years now.
Simply put, you are not still in business after 18 years if you are not honest, reputable and have a history of fair (but firm) interactions with players, business associates and affiliate partners.
Bovada is at the top of their game and while you will find plenty of complaints from sports bettors and poker players, the general consensus is that they are legit. I know for certain that they have paid out huge winners, in full and consistently do so.
They are legit. They want your action and give you an honest shot at winning. When you win you get paid.
Are the Bovada Poker Games Rigged?
Ahh, an argument as old as time itself. Are the games rigged on Bovada to induce action or to favor the fish?
You know how it goes… you will get it in good and someone lucks outs with a two-outer against you for your stack. Happens time and time and time again you will hear. You will hear that the fish catches the miracle card on the river to beat the good players over and over and over.
The short answer is that there is no compelling financial incentive that is worth it to Bovada to rig the games or to have action inducing flops. The risk of being exposed of having a non-random number generation mechanism for delivering the cards that could be statistically proven beyond a shadow of a doubt would be to great of a risk. Just use a random number generator.
Is Bovada Legal, Regulated and Licensed?
Online poker being legal or illegal depends on where in the world you live. For most of the USA, online poker is not illegal. Bovada serves these areas as a legit online poker site.
As far as licensed and regulated, that used to be the case. However in 2016 the licensing from Kahnawake Gaming Commission revoked their longstanding license because they did not want to license any sites that served US players. This was additional fallout from online poker’s Black Friday.
However, just because a site is regulated and licensed does not mean that they are legit. And just because a site is not licensed or regulated does not mean they are automatically shady. The truth of the matter is that Bovada is the largest US centric online poker site and has no desire to rig their games and risk their reputation.
How To Use Bitcoin On Bovada
Bovada loves bitcoin and it shows. Once logged in, visit the Cashier and you will see who has the top spots on their ‘deposit options’ chart.
While bitcoin has the top billing, most Americans are still using credit cards for deposit. What this deposit option chart does not tell you is the success rate of making a deposit.
Credit cards are successful about 50-60% of the time. That means just about one in two people who want to deposit with a credit card can not.
Bitcoin deposit success rate is virtually 100%.
If you already have bitcoin then making a deposit is as simple as copying the send to address or scanning the QR code.
Choose how much in $USD to send and send it the appropriate amount of bitcoin.
If you need to buy bitcoin for poker then we show you how step by step.
Step By Step Guide To Use Bitcoin at Bovada.lv
- Open your Bovada Account
- Click Deposit > Bitcoin
- Open your personal bitcoin wallet (see my guide to bitcoin poker wallets)
- Scan the QR code Bovada provides or copy down the send to address.
- Paste the send to address
- Choose your amount of bitcoin to send (you will see the approximate USD value before sending if you use my recommended wallet)
- Confirm your send transaction.
- Within 60 seconds your deposit will appear in your Bovada account
- It will be converted into a $USD amount.
- You gamble with $USD amounts (not bitcoin amounts) playing poker or any sports bets / casino games.
- When you cash out your money is converted back into Bitcoin at the market rate and is sent to your personal wallet.
- From your personal wallet, you can sell your bitcoin and get $USD or do whatever you choose with your bitcoin.
Do you have bitcoin already? If yes you are good to go.
If not, take a few minutes and read our guide on how to get set up properly for bitcoin and gambling.
Remember – you gamble with USD denominated ‘chips’. Your account balance at Bovada is converted into a USD balance (not kept as bitcoin). When you are ready to cash out from Bovada back to your wallet is when your Bovada account balance is converted back into Bitcoin, at the market rate at that point in time, and sent to your wallet.
The price of bitcoin is constantly going up and down so depending on the value you may end up with more or less bitcoin even if you deposit and withdraw the same amount a few days later.
Bitcoin Cash at Bovada
Bovada also accepts Bitcoin Cash. This is a separate crypto currency coin than Bitcoin. It is usually represented with a green logo instead of orange.
BCH is the ticker symbol. If you check a site like CoinMarketCap.com you can see prices of the top crypto-currencies. When publishing this content, the price per bitcoin cash is considerably less than Bitcoin.
The individual price does not really matter since both can be divided out into tiny fractions of coins but there are some advantages of using Bitcoin Cash. Namely, super inexpensive transaction fees. Bitcoin Cash focuses on usability and low fee’s.
It’s a great way to buy a cup of coffee where a mining fee of even $0.50 is significant. Bitcoin Cash usually has fee’s that are around fractions of a cent.
To use Bitcoin Cash instead of Bitcoin, you will need a different wallet than my normal recommended one for Bitcoin (GreenAddress).
I would suggest you do your own research but ultimately for these transactions you should be safe to use wallet.bitcoin.com wallet. Bitcoin.com is a bitcoin cash website and they also offer a built in p2p exchange where you can buy Bitcoin Cash.
- Research Bitcoin Cash (reddit / wikipedia)
- Bitcoin Cash wallet
- Buy Bitcoin Cash
- Spend Bitcoin Cash (deposit at Bovada)
Is Bovada Poker Safe For New Players?
Yes, I trust Bovada personally and believe they are legit as legit gets when it comes to US online poker sites.
For over a decade their business actions have reaffirmed their commitment to provide the best online gambling experience. They offer an honest and fair place to gamble online. When you win, you will be paid.
Things happen when gambling online and in any business venture. What matters is how the company responds to situations that arise. Time and time again Bovada has consistently responded in a fair, forthcoming and straightforward way. This isn’t to say there are not pissed off players who feel wronged, there are. Bovada doesn’t get all those flashy lights for nothing.
Only deposit what you can afford to lose. This rule goes for any and all gambling sites.
Most players, over time are likely to lose more than they are to win. If you are skilled at poker then this can be different for you but in general, players lose. Know this upfront and keep your gambling to entertainment money that you can afford to be without.
Today from the USA, if you are looking for real money online poker from a company that understands that the recreational poker players are the valuable members of the ecosystem then look no farther. If you are confused why the recreational gamblers are the valuable members then check out the philosophy behind Bovada’s decisions.
There are a handful of additional reviews of Bovada that reaffirm my belief that they are legit. As always I recommend you do your own due diligence.
Bovada Poker Reviews
I’m a big fan of you doing your own research on and brand and not blindly trusting anyone, even me.
Here are some of the best of the best reviews out there that I have found.
- Atlanta Poker Club
- Reddit r/sportsbook’s Bovada search
- Good Sportsbooks Payout Report
Additional Bovada Info
- Includes a Sportsbook and Casino
- Current largest player base online (US Only)
- Previous brand was known as Bodog
- Bodog was founded by son of pig farmers turned billionaire Calvin Ayre in early 2000’s. He is now “retired” and is working on crypto projects.
- Accepts players from all US states except those that are regulated, (Washington, Nevada, New Jersey, Maryland and Pennsylvania).