For those in North America, there are few better all-inclusive gambling sites than Bovada.lv. Founded in the early 2010s, Bovada is a spin-off of the storied and reputable Bodog brand. While Bovada itself might have only been founded in 2011, Bodog has been around since the mid-1990s. This connection with a larger gambling brand and the experience gained as a result is just one of the many reasons Bovada is consistently ranked among the top gambling sites for those in the United States.
Bovada is widely regarded as the best online poker option for folks in the United States, and it doesn’t take long for one to understand why. Not only is their interface—which can be downloaded to a desktop or utilized within a web browser—well-organized and user friendly, you can quite literally choose the type of game that most closely suits your needs.
No matter whether you want to play cash games, tournaments, or any of Bovada’s other interesting offerings, you can filter your selections quickly and easily. This is far more intuitive than the seemingly endless lists of games and events that many online poker players will (not so fondly) remember.
When a player chooses the ‘Cash Games’ selection from Bovada’s poker homepage, they are immediately taken to a filtering tool, so to speak. This landing page will direct you to choose between Hold’em, Omaha, and Omaha Hi/Lo. Players will then select the limit (no, pot, and fixed limits) and number of seats (2, 6, or 9). Once you have done this you will be asked to choose the stake level at which you would like to play. After making these selections, you will be taken to the first available table.
Another aspect of Bovada that makes its poker great is the fact that they cater to players of every caliber, shown in the expansive selection of stake levels. From micro to high roller, there are going to be cash games available for players of all types. Below is a quick listing of the available stake levels for cash games:
Despite Bovada being far and away the most heavily-trafficked US-facing online poker site, it is like most other poker sites in that most of the action is found towards lower and micro stakes. The smallest few stake levels will see large player populations at any given time, but you can expect the larger stakes to heat up in the evening hours during the week and especially on Saturdays and Sundays.
An inherent aspect of Bovada’s online poker cash games is the fact that all players remain anonymous at all times. Not only are players unable to select the specific tables they are playing at, their seats will be chosen for them and their usernames (and any other personal information) will be shielded.
Sit & Gos and Tournaments
Sit & Go tournaments are incredibly popular at Bovada and though the way in which you choose an event is different than how you are seated at a cash game table, it is still done by way of manual filtering whereby you select the criteria that most closely suits your individualized needs. Below the ‘Tournament Filters’ section you will find a complete listing of all tournaments as well as their current status (running, registering, and so on).
Jackpot Sit & Gos
Jackpot Sit & Go tournaments are no different than your standard Sit & Go with the lone exception being that all events involve only three players. The catch here, according to Bovada, is that every event features a large jackpot, ranging from a few hundred dollars to up to $100,000, while boasting only a small buy-in. For a chance at more than $2,000, for example, the buy-in will be only a few dollars.
Perhaps no other feature better exemplifies why Bovada is regularly regarded as one of the best US online poker sites than Zone Poker. In essence, Zone Poker at Bovada is the same as their cash games, only the games are played at a much faster rate of speed, allowing players to double or even triple the number of hands able to be played.
This is accomplished by way of transporting players to new tables the second their hand has been folded. Rather than sit and watch other players after you fold pre-flop, you are instantly taken to a new table where your next hand can begin immediately.
This is not only a fun and fast-paced game, it is unique to Bovada and can be found nowhere else.
Tournaments are in plentiful supply at all times at Bovada and, like their cash games, are able to cater to players of all different stake levels. As you might have come to expect, there is an intuitive filtering tool within the ‘Tournaments’ page that allows players to refine tournament type (regular, special, satellites, etc.), game type (Hold’em, Omaha, Omaha Hi/Lo), buy-in level, status (registering, late registration, running, etc.) and limit quickly and easily.
Just as you will see within the Sit & Go section, there is also a complete listing of every tournament available for players to sift through. Even here you are able to filter by buy-ins and number of players who are playing/registered.
If there is one thing you can unequivocally take away from Bovada’s total online poker offering it is that its organization is beyond reproach. With so many different games and game types, Bovada has made filtering through an overwhelming number of options as easy as possible. More than 230 tournaments being listed at any given time may seem daunting, but the ability to filter selections to such a fine degree makes locating your desired game/event fast and easy.
Bovada’s casino is fine enough, but is clearly an afterthought when compared to the sportsbook and online poker offerings. There are well over 200 slot games, all the table games you would expect, and an adequate number of video poker and specialty game selections.
Live Dealer Casino Games
Bovada is like many other online casino sites in that they are offering live dealer casino games. That is, standard casino games where the dealers are real people, playing on real tables, in real time. These dealers are streamed live over the internet to provide a truly interactive experience that perfectly intertwines the online casino experience with the experience of being on the floor of a real casino.
Keeping true to their roots, Bovada not only boasts a wide number of live dealer games at all hours of the day, the games boast stake levels that cater to most budgets. Games available include blackjack, roulette, baccarat, and Super 6, which is a variation of baccarat.
For a lot of people, one of the biggest draws to Bovada is the sportsbook. In terms of overall offering, Bovada’s sportsbook is able to compete with any other out there. Naturally, because this is a site that primarily caters to North America, the biggest and most immediate focus is on sporting leagues and events based in the United States.
For this reason, you will see betting markets for leagues like the NBA, NFL, NHL, and MLB before most others. College sports—specifically NCAA basketball and football—are also a focal point for Bovada. When it comes down to it, you will be hard-pressed to find a US-based sporting league that Bovada does not offer betting lines for.
As it relates to international sports, Bovada does not skimp there at all. Being that soccer is inarguably the most popular sport around the world, it only follows that Bovada’s coverage of soccer leagues is second to none. Popular leagues from across Europe, like Spain’s La Liga as well as the English Premier League, are covered with extreme attention to detail. Sure, you will find standard spread, moneyline, and totals (over/under) betting markets, but that is far from all. For a given match from one of the more popular leagues, you can expect to see 50 or more betting markets, ranging from things like team over/unders, to timeframes of goals scored, and even propositions relating to if/when a player will score a goal.
Although soccer is undoubtedly the most popular and prevalent international sport featured on Bovada, it is far from the only. Other sports such as auto racing, cricket, snooker, darts, rugby (league, union, and sevens), and Australian rules football complete the rest of Bovada’s sports market offering.
Without live betting, an online sportsbook would have a tough time surviving in this increasingly crowded field of operators. Bovada’s live betting is complete in that it covers a wide range of sports and also offers a competent number of betting options for the events that they feature. As far as the selection is concerned, the live betting markets more or less mirror the static markets discussed above.
US-based events and leagues will be focused on first and foremost, while international events are generally given a backseat. Soccer, of course, is the glaring exception as any given Saturday or Sunday morning will see dozens and dozens of markets available. Again though, the most high-profile leagues and matches will be covered first and foremost.
Promotions and Player Rewards
For new and returning players, there are plenty of rewards and promotions available. For new players, there are different welcome bonuses based upon what aspect of Bovada you plan on making the most use of (sports, poker, or casino). In addition to welcome bonuses for each section of the site, there is a Bitcoin welcome bonus aimed at new players who are making their initial deposit via cryptocurrency.
Bovada Rewards program is a tiered system where players are rewarded simply by placing the bets and playing the games they were always going to play. Simply put, the more you play the more you are rewarded, with rewards coming in the form of cash back, prizes, and so much more. Like players’ cards at most brick and mortar sportsbooks and casinos, there is nothing to lose when you partake in Bovada’s Rewards program.
Bovada offers players an adequate selection of banking methods, most of which players are familiar with already. The method of banking that Bovada touts as being the quickest and easiest (and cheapest) is Bitcoin (and Bitcoin Cash). In addition, you can fund an account by way of most major credit cards as well as Zelle, which is a direct payment service that is offered by most major banks. With all of this being said, users are frequently running into issues with credit card deposits, as many banks and credit card companies refuse to process transactions relating to real money gambling online.
As far as withdrawals are concerned, both Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash are the two methods most heavily pushed by Bovada. In addition, players can withdraw via a mailed check. With that said, a check carries a $100 fee for every withdrawal, while cryptocurrency withdrawals are processed free of charge.
As far as customer service is concerned, the primary points of contact are by way of an email of live chat. Live chats are monitored 24/7 and emails are typically replied to quickly, depending on the nature of your inquiry. While these traditional methods of contacting customer service are easy enough, there is an entire portal dedicated to answering your questions. There are dozens of different topics and subtopics full of answers to commonly—and not so commonly—asked questions.
As is the case with just about every aspect of their total offering, customer service at Bovada is the envy of the industry.