Bovada Poker Review

Launched back in 2004, Bovada Poker is probably one of the oldest and most established offshore gambling operators accepting players from the US. The poker room went on a short hiatus in 2006 and was briefly replaced by Ignition Poker, only to reopen to the US market once again in 2019.

Bovada offers not only poker games but also sports betting and casino gambling in form of slots and table games. While this operator enjoys a fairly decent reputation with the players in the States, it is important to note that they don’t have any licenses to provide their services and are, in fact, operating against the laws currently in place.

Is Bovada poker legal or not in the US?

Because of this good reputation with the users, many players are often confused about is Bovada Poker legal to play in the US. We’ll answer that question straight away with a very clear and loud “no.” Like other offshore online poker operators, Bovada Poker online isn’t regulated in the United States, and the services they provide for US players are, at the very least, circumventing the laws currently regulating the online gambling industry.

From the players’ point of view, those who do decide to play poker or even place a sports bet with Bovada don’t have to worry too much as far as legal consequences are concerned. Currently, US laws are focused on facilitators or providers of illegal gambling operations while players are left alone for the most part.

So, while not impossible in some states, it is highly unlikely that anyone who decides to play at an offshore poker site will have to deal with criminal persecution in any way, shape, or form and there have been no such cases thus far. However, even with that out of the way, there are many reasons to avoid these offshore poker sites, especially nowadays when the US market is moving towards regulation and more and more players have access to regulated and licensed online poker rooms.

Is Bovada Poker legit? This is why you shouldn’t play here

Looking at all the facts and player experiences at Bovada, players may still be tempted to give this poker room a try and perhaps take advantage of a nice-sounding Bovada Poker bonus offer. After all, it seems like the room is trying its best to pay the players despite all hardships and in most states, it isn’t technically illegal for the players to join. So, why not give it a shot?

While there is certainly some merit to the arguments listed above, you should always keep in mind that US players don’t have access to Bovada Poker’s legit services. The operator is constantly finding ways around US laws, which speaks a lot about their approach to business. While all businesses are trying to make money, it is quite important to see how far they’re willing to go in this pursuit.

  • Play games with a licensed operator
  • Secure deposits and withdrawals
  • Great fun and awesome winnings

All offshore operators are stretching the line very thin and if you decide to risk it playing here, there are many potential dangers you’ll be opening yourself up to. The first and the biggest one has to do with your money. If you deposit with Bovada Poker or a casino, there is always a realistic chance you’ll never see that money again, even if you use Bitcoin. The operator could go under at any time and shut its doors, leaving you and other players with no legal recourse to recoup their losses. Since they’re operating without a proper license, there is very little customers can do if things do go sideways.

This may be the biggest concern for most players but there are also other things on and off the table to keep in mind when doing business with offshore operators such as:

  • Risking your personal data being abused
  • Lower safety measures to guarantee fair play in the games
  • Your bank account could be closed for gambling-related transactions
  • Your transactions could be declined by the bank, creating new problems
  • These rooms actively support tax evasion

Is Bovada Poker scam: Operator in check

For all the reasons mentioned so far, you should avoid Bovada if you’re playing from the US and stick to legal poker, casino, and sports betting operators. That said, we’ll still make a short Bovada Poker review to see what it has to offer to players from other parts of the world and also compare its services to those offered by legit US rooms.

Game types & tournaments

The room features a solid selection of cash game table options across various stakes, with Pot Limit Omaha and No Limit Hold’em being the main game variations. There is also Zone poker for those who prefer playing without having to wait for the next hand and constantly being in action. When it comes to Bovada Poker tournaments, the room does offer a solid daily and weekly schedule but guaranteed prize pools are still somewhat limited, largely due to the fact that there aren’t enough people willing to take the chance and deposit their cash with an unregulated poker operator.

Bonus & VIP Program

New players have access to a fairly generous welcome bonus at Bovada, which is one of the main reasons why US customers decide to take the chance. However, while the bonus is quite nice on paper, keep in mind that there are absolutely no guarantees you’ll be paid your cash winnings when playing on an offshore site, be it poker, placing a sports bet, or casino games. So, take these offers with a big grain of salt and rather stay on the safe side.

Payment methods

The room accepts several Bovada Poker deposit methods, including some debit and credit cards. However, players from the US often have problems with declined transactions exactly because gambling-related purchases are often stopped by the banks. Using bitcoin is an alternative, of course, but bitcoin transactions come with a different set of problems and complications, so it is hard to have a safe and hassle-free gaming experience here. Keep in mind also that the cash value of bitcoin is quite susceptible to fluctuations.


The Bovada Poker client isn’t too bad overall although there are certain aspects where some improvements are required. This is especially true for Bovada Poker mobile, where their mobile solution is simply not in the same class as those provided by regulated US operators. The Bovada Poker app features some basic functionalities but still needs a lot of work to really provide a seamless experience for play on the go.

Player pool & poker network

The player traffic at Bovada is better than with most offshore sites, which does speak somewhat of their overall standing. However, numbers tend to fluctuate and there are periods where there just aren’t many active players on the tables starting new cash game tables or sit-and-go games.


Bovada Poker illegal or legal: Frequently asked questions

Is Bovada Poker legal in the US?

While Bovada has been catering to players from the US for a long time now, they don’t have any licenses to operate in the country. So, although the name is well-known in the poker players’ circles, the fact is that Bovada Poker is not legal or regulated.

Is Bovada Poker safe?

The room does feature some of the safety measures you’d expect from a modern poker or casino operator. However, the level of safety just isn’t the same as with licensed US sites because of the Bovada Poker illegal status and the fact the operator doesn’t have to go through the same kind of control.

Is Bovada Poker rigged?

Like with all online poker sites, there have been many rumors about Bovada being rigged in one way or another. To this date, there is no evidence to support any of these claims. While the company does operate against the laws, there is no proof they’re trying to cheat their players at the tables.

Can I trust Bovada Poker?

Bovada has earned a solid reputation with the players over the years so based on their previous behavior, they can be trusted to some extent. However, given the nature of their illicit operation, a great degree of caution is required although we suggest avoiding offshore operators altogether.

Does Bovada Poker have bots?

Unlike some other offshore operators, Bovada has never been in a big scandal involving bots. While there is some botting happening at almost every room, this doesn’t seem to be a serious issue, at least according to players’ reports. Of course, it is still possible there is some Bovada Poker scam happening behind the scenes.


Play with regulated operators

While it may be easy to get tempted by big bonus offers or large guaranteed tournaments promised by some of these offshore operators, the fact of the matter remains that it is just not worth it for the players from the US. With so many potential problems and issues along the way, many of which have been described here, it’s just not the bet worth taking.

Instead of taking this risk, check out our selection of regulated poker sites where you can play your favorite games online in a safe and completely legal environment. Pick out the one you like best, deposit, and start playing on your PC or mobile phone with no fear or worry that something could go wrong before you know what hit you!

6.9 Total Score

Game types & tournaments
Bonus & VIP Program
Payment methods
Software / usability
Player pool & poker network
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Meet Cosmin, a seasoned expert in the gambling industry. With over 4 years of experience in casino operations and a deep understanding of the inner workings of the industry, Cosmin is a leading authority on all things gambling. He specializes in strategy development, risk management, and maximizing profits. He is a regular speaker at industry events and has a reputation for delivering valuable insights and actionable advice to both operators and players. Whether you're a seasoned gambler or new to the game, Cosmin's knowledge and experience can help you increase your chances of success.

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