Bovada is a name that comes up quite often in any discussion of online casinos that serve the US market. In fact, Bovada reached the top of many casino rankings lists within months of its launch in 2011. The speed of Bovada’s rise to the top ran contrary to tradition, which generally requires new casino sites to prove themselves over a course of years before becoming widely accepted.
Bovada Casino is a firmly established name today, but what was the secret behind its rapid rise and how does it stand against the competition today? Our Bovada Casino review will explain that and much more as we look at Bovada’s history, reputation, games, payout speeds and much more. Just read on for the full story and all the information you need to decide if this is the right casino site for you.
Bovada Casino is one of the most consistently recommended casino sites for players in the USA. A strong reputation backed by fast payouts and sleek games makes this an easy pick for anyone in need of a new gambling home.
- Large selection of high quality slots
- Deposit bonuses give more bang for your buck than most
- Established and trusted operator in the USA for years
- High quality browser-based software
- No interesting recurring bonuses
- No dedicated mobile app
- The FAQ/Help section could be more extensive
The reason Bovada was able to achieve mainstream prominence so quickly is because the brand was created as a spin-off of the long-established gambling site Bodog. Prior to the creation of Bovada, Bodog operated in the United States as one of the main gambling, poker and sports betting sites for players in the USA.
A US-led crackdown on offshore gambling sites prompted the people at Bodog to distance themselves from the US market and spin off Bovada as a separate entity to focus exclusively on customers residing in the USA.
Fast forward to today and Bovada is still running strong. Over its years in operation, Bovada Casino has proven to be a reliable place to play online, win money and receive prompt payouts. As far as security and safety are concerned, there are no issues there. Bovada has operated in an ethical manner since opening for business. Now, let’s move on to the nitty-gritty.
Bovada Casino Bonus
You have your choice of two Bovada Casino bonuses when you sign up for an account and fund your account for the first time. Customers depositing via any method except Bitcoin get 100% up to $1,000. If you fund your account with Bitcoin, the maximum bonus bumps up to $1,500.
100% Deposit Match up to $1,000 x 3
Bonus Code: NEWWELCOME
Bovada will match your first deposit 100% for up to $1,000 in bonus money. This means if you deposit $100, they will match that with an additional $100. Likewise, a $500 deposit will get you $500 extra. You can max out the bonus by depositing $1,000 or more to get the full $1,000 bonus.
This bonus has a 25x play-through requirement and you are given six months to release as much of the bonus as possible. Any uncleared bonus money will be forfeited after six months, but you will still be able to keep everything you managed to clear to date. You may claim this bonus up to three times for a total of $3,000 in bonus cash.
150% Bitcoin Deposit Match up to $1,500 x 3
Bonus Code: BVCBITCOIN150
Bitcoin is easily the most convenient deposit method and Bovada offers a significantly larger bonus to encourage new players to give Bitcoin a try. Setting up a Bitcoin account and purchasing your first few Bitcoins does take a little time, but it is by far the fastest method for moving money to and from USA casino sites.
If you fund your account with Bitcoin, Bovada will give you an extra 150% in bonus funds for up to $1,500 on each of your first three deposits. In total, that is $4,500 in potential bonus cash on offer. This bonus also comes with a 25x rollover with six months to clear it each time you claim it.
Game Contributions Towards Bonus Clearing
Different casino games contribute differently towards meeting the play-through requirements of both bonuses. This is a standard practice in the industry and Bovada is no exception, but it is important to note.
Here is how each game-type contributes towards meeting the bonus rollover:
- Slots and specialty games: 100%
- Table games, unless specified otherwise: 20%
- Video poker: 10%
- Single deck/double deck blackjack, roulette and baccarat: 5%
- Craps: 0%
What this all means is only wagers placed on slots and specialty games count 100% towards meeting your wagering requirements which must be met before withdrawing the bonus. Let’s use a $100 bonus as an example to explain how this works.
A $100 deposit at Bovada under the standard bonus would give you $100 in bonus funds for a total starting bankroll of $200. This means your total wagering requirements would be $5,000 ($200 x 25) before you would be permitted to withdraw.
Now, let’s say you place $1,000 worth of wagers on slots and $1,000 worth of wagers on table games. Your slots wagers would count 100% so those wagers would reduce your wagering requirements by $1,000. Your table game wagers would only count 20%, so that means those wagers would reduce your remaining wagering requirements by $200.
Realistically, slots are your best bet for clearing this bonus. Other games do contribute, but it will require much more wagering activity to get there.
It is also worth noting that all other bonuses for returning customers (i.e. all bonus other than welcome bonuses) have slightly better wagering contribution numbers:
- Slots and specialty games: 100%
- Table games, unless specified otherwise: 60%
- Video poker: 10%
- Single deck/double deck blackjack, roulette and baccarat: 5%
- Craps: 0%
Casino Desktop Software
Bovada Casino is entirely browser-based, which means there is no need to download and install any software. All you need is a browser such as Google Chrome, Firefox or Safari and you should be good to go. Casino also offers play-money mode that you can play online at the website without signing up for an account so you can settle any technical issues in advance.
All games are neatly grouped into categories, such as Blackjack, Table Games, Slots, Video Poker, and Specialty Games. The search function allows you to quickly jump to your favorite titles. The most popular games are listed at the top of every category.
Slots can be primarily filtered by reel count, progressive jackpot availability, and developer. The following filters are also available: Rival, i-Slots, Progressives, Real Series, Five Reels, Three Reels, 3D Slots, and Video Slots. The filtering system isn’t perfect, as you’re limited to using only one filter per query, but it gets the job done.
From a technical standpoint, Bovada offers a smooth and modern experience. Games load quickly regardless of complexity as long as your internet connection is in working condition. The cashier menu is readily accessible from the main casino screen, so you won’t have to go through countless menus in order to commission a deposit or withdrawal.
Casino Mobile Software
Bovada does offer a real money mobile experience, but it does not offer a standalone app due to the Apple App Store and Google Play Store both having internal regulations that prohibit apps released by US-friendly casino sites.
All Bovada Casino games are instead browser-based and can still be accessed on the go as long as you have a somewhat modern smartphone or tablet. We tested the casino on an iPhone 5c and had no issues accessing the lobby or loading games.
However, a stable internet connection is a must because each game must be loaded in its entirely each time you access it. This is not as fast of an experience as a dedicated mobile app would offer, but Bovada has done a good job keeping up to date with mobile-friendly web design.
Bovada Casino Games Reviewed
Bovada and its parent company are both very well established in online gambling and the game selection reflects that. At last count, the casino consisted of 261 games of all different types. These include:
- 202 online slots
- 20 table games, including 8 blackjack variations
- 17 video poker games
- 22 specialty games
Let’s take a closer look at each of these categories.
Bovada spreads a plethora of slot games from well-known manufacturers. Most of them are standard five-reel video slots with the usual features, such as wilds, bonus rounds, and a huge variety of paying combinations.
These games range from penny machines to dedicated high-roller games and progressive jackpot machines. The biggest advantage Bovada has over other online casinos is the fact that it offers most of the popular Rival 3D slots and i-Slots on a single platform and with a single loyalty program.
Some Bovada slots worth checking out include the following.
Rival classic slots
- Cleopatra’s Coins: 15 pay lines, classic historical theme, 94.78% RTP
- Wacky Wedding: 25 pay lines, a comical wedding theme, 94.82% RTP
Rival 3D slots
- Mystic Wolf: Based on the IGT smash hit, Wolf Run. 50 pay lines, 94.6% RTP
- Scary Rich 3: Spooky atmosphere. 50 pay lines, RTP of 93.85%
- i-Slots: Games that combine classic slot gameplay with some narrative elements. The two slots below are classic i-Slots titles.
- Reel Crime 2: Crime story theme. 5×3 layout, 15 pay lines, 97.03% RTP
- Sherwood Forest Fortunes: Based on the classic tale of Robin Hood. 20 pay lines, return to player is 92.28%
- A Night With Cleo: Another Cleopatra-themed slot. Mature content. RTP of 92.5%
- Major Moolah: Classic fruit machine with a 3×3 layout, 95% RTP
Unfortunately, you won’t find any slots from IGT or Microgaming at Bovada. When it comes to the American iGaming market, games from those specific developers are available exclusively on websites that have a land-based partner in the United States.
Bovada blackjack games are available in eight varieties.
- Multi-hand and Classic Blackjack Variations: Six decks. Dealer hits on soft 17, player Blackjack pays 3 to 2, insurance pays 2 to 1, you can split up to three hands. Surrender available, split aces receive only one card. No re-splitting of ace and a split ace can’t result in a blackjack.
- Single Deck Blackjack and Classic Single Deck Blackjack: Only one deck. Dealer hits on soft 17. Player Blackjack pays 3 to 2, insurance pays 2 to 1. No surrender, no re-splitting of aces. A split ace and a ten-value card don’t result in a Blackjack.
- Double Deck Blackjack: Plays like Single Deck Blackjack, but two decks are used instead of one.
- European Blackjack: Six decks. Dealer stands on soft 17. Double on hard totals of 9 to 11. Split up to three hands. Split aces receive only one card, no re-splitting of aces allowed.
- Perfect Pairs: Six decks. Dealer hits on soft 17. Split up to three hands. Surrender available on any first two cards. No re-splitting of aces, split aces receive only one card. A split ace can’t result in a Blackjack. Perfect Pair bonus bet available, with payouts as high as 25 to 1.
- Zappit Blackjack: Six decks. Dealer hits on soft 17. You can split up to three hands. No re-splitting of aces and split aces receive only one card. Split ace can’t result in a Blackjack. If you hit a hard total of 15, 16, or 17, you can press the ZAP button to reset your hand and receive two new cards.
Aside from Blackjack, Bovada gives you access to numerous classic table games, such as Tri-Card Poker, Pai Gow Poker, Baccarat, and Craps. Roulette is available in both European and American variations. If you care for the return on your investment, we definitely recommend sticking with European Roulette, as the odds of winning are slightly higher due to lack of the double zero, or 00, which appears exclusively in the American version of the game.
Table Game Screenshots
With 17 Video Poker varieties to choose from, you might have some trouble deciding which one to pick. When in doubt, always consider the RTP, or Return to Player rate: Jacks or Better, Bonus Poker, Double Bonus Poker, and Double Double Bonus Poker will pay back at least 99% of your bets. Joker Poker on the other hand is considerably more expensive to play, as its RTP is only 96.12%.
Video Poker Screenshots
Available specialty games range from multiple variants of Bingo and Keno to really atypical titles, such as Penguin Payday, Pirates Pillage, and Sudoku Box Game.
Specialty Game Screenshots
Bovada Casino Loyalty Program
Bovada Casino’s loyalty program is called Bovada Rewards. You earn Tier Points (TPs) and Reward Points (RPs) for placing real money casino wagers. Both TPs and RPs are earned simultaneously and at the same rate.
Tier Points allow you to level up your account, which gives you access to better cashback bonuses and increases your redemption rate. There are 13 tier levels in total:
- Starter: Redemption Rate is 2,500/$1; Daily cashback on net losses: 5%
- Rookie 1-3: Redemption Rate is 2,500/$1; Daily cashback on net losses: 5.5%-6.5%
- Pro 1-3: Redemption Rate is 1,666/$1; Daily cashback on net losses: 7%-8%
- All-Star 1-3: Redemption Rate is 1,250/$1; Daily cashback on net losses: 8.5%-9.5
- Legend 1-3: Redemption Rate is 1,000/$1; Daily cashback on net losses: 10%-12%
- Hall of Fame: Redemption Rate is 1,000/$1; Daily cashback on net losses: 15%
You receive points at the following rates:
- Video poker: 1 point per $1 wagered
- Table games, including Blackjack: 1 point per $1 wagered
- Slot games: 5 points per $1 wagered
- Specialty games: 15 points per $1 wagered
Reaching Pro Level 3 requires 60,000 points in total, so you’re going to get there reasonably fast. However, reaching Legend 1 and beyond is a bit of a grind, as you’ll have to accumulate a whopping 1,000,000 TP. Once you’ve reached a specific tier level, you’ll never lose it. If you manage to reach the Hall of Fame and you continue playing, the casino might invite you to its Red Room, giving you access to exclusive promotions and offers that are available only to VIPs.
Reward Points do not contribute towards reaching higher tier levels, but they can be used to purchase casino bonuses. All you need to do is head to your Rewards Portal and click “get my bonus.” You’ll be allowed to choose whether you want to spend all your RP, or just a portion. Obviously, the redemption rate tied to your tier level applies here. All bonuses purchased with your RP have a play-through requirement of 10x.
Confused? Here’s an example of Bovada’s loyalty system in action:
Let’s say you’re already Rookie 3 with exactly 10,000 TPs and you wager $3,000 on slots over the next few weeks. As a result, you add 3,000 x 5 = 15,000 TPs to your account, reaching a total of 25,000 and elevating you to Pro 1 tier.
In addition to the Tier Points, you will also have earned 15,000 RPs. You decide to spend those points on a new bonus, since you’ve just reached a rank that improves your redemption rate. You navigate to the Rewards Portal, click “redeem” and receive a 15,000 / 1,666 = $9 bonus. This bonus has a 10x play-through requirement, so you now have to wager at least $90 (game-dependent) in order to withdraw it. Please note that the modified wagering contributions table for returning customers that was mentioned in one of the paragraphs above applies here.
This translates to a 0.3% cashback, which isn’t bad by industry standards. Unfortunately, the 10x wagering requirement eliminates a big chunk of this bonus. For instance, to release the $9 bonus above, you’d have to wager $90 playing the slots. Since most slots have an RTP of around 94%, you can expect to receive back around $84.5 of your wagers. This means you will have paid $5.5 to release the $9 bonus, effectively netting you $3.5, or put another way – 0.12% cashback.
Unused Reward Points expire in 12 months.
Daily Cashback on Losses
Bovada’s daily cashback program is designed to help return players recover from unlucky gaming sessions. Every day at midnight, the casino checks if your account balance is below $10. If this is the case and you’re eligible for cashback, you receive it in the form of a cash bonus with a 1x play-through requirement.
The wagering contributions table for returning customers that we detailed previously applies to this bonus as well. Cashback percentage is tied to your tier level, also as discussed above.
The following formula is used to calculate whether you’re eligible for cashback or not:
(total deposits) – (total withdrawals) – (ending balance)
If the number resulting from this formula is positive, you are eligible for a cashback bonus. Keep in mind that all deposits and withdrawals are counted from the last time you received a cashback bonus or from the day you’ve made your first deposit. Here’s an example of how this works:
Let’s say you’re a Legend 1 member who recently withdrew $30, clearing your balance. You then deposit $100 and lose $91, so you’re left with only $9 in your bankroll. 100 – 30 – 9 = 61. The number is positive, so you’re eligible for a cashback bonus.
All cashback bonuses are issued daily, before 5 PM ET.
Bovada Casino Banking Options
Like most casinos that target the US market from abroad, Bovada is limited in the types of deposit options it can offer. The methods available to players currently include credit card, Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash.
Supported credit cards include Visa and MasterCard. Some Visa Gift Cards are also accepted. Between the two options, Bitcoin is your best bet due to the bigger bonus for Bitcoin deposits and the speed of depositing.
Furthermore, Bitcoin is 100% reliable while credit card transactions related to online gambling tend to suffer from high rejection rates. If you take a little time to understand Bitcoin and get a Bitcoin wallet, you will save yourself much more time in the long run.
The minimum deposit size is $20 regardless of payment method. The maximum deposit per transaction is $1,000 for credit cards, $5,000 for Bitcoin and $5,000 for Bitcoin Cash.
If you’re having trouble making a deposit, feel free to contact the Bovada Deposit Assistance team, which is available around the clock at 1-866-950-3500.
You may request a withdrawal via Bitcoin or check by courier. Bitcoin withdrawals can be requested once every three days while check withdrawals may only be requested once every seven days.
- Minimum Bitcoin withdrawal per transaction: $10
- Maximum Bitcoin withdrawal per transaction: $9,500
- Minimum check withdrawal per transaction: $100
- Maximum check withdrawal per transaction: $3,000
Of these two, Bitcoin is by far the fastest with payout speeds reported by users as quickly as less than 24 hours for withdrawals as high as $9,500. By comparison, checks by mail can take as long as two weeks before delivery.
Who Can Play / Restricted Countries
Bovada targets strictly American players. The casino is open to most US residents except for those residing in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and Nevada. We should note that Bovada is very serious about its state restrictions. Even if you are only planning on visiting one of those restricted states, you should notify the casino staff.
If you do visit Bovada while visiting a restricted state, it is likely your account will be either temporarily blocked or closed altogether. If your account is closed entirely, they will return your balance. However, if you take purposely steps in an attempt to circumvent state restrictions, you may end up losing your entire account balance.
Bovada takes underage gambling seriously. All customers must be at least 18 or 21 years old, depending on location. The casino staff actively monitors for underage accounts and Bovada does not target minors in its advertising.
Accounts opened by underage individuals are immediately closed and their winnings are forfeited. Parents are provided with a list of links to parental control software packages to help them prevent their children from accessing Bovada.
Bovada addresses problem gambling with a voluntary self-exclusion program. If you feel you need to take a break, you may contact Bovada to suspend your account for a predetermined amount of time or even ask them to disable your account permanently. Such requests cannot be reversed at a later point.
Bovada provides a large article database on topics such as proper strategies, game rules, and the online gambling world in general. You do not need a player’s account to access this resource.
Sadly, the FAQ/Help section isn’t nearly as comprehensive and the answers provided there often feel generic. On a brighter note, the support team is very competent and can be reached via the following channels:
- E-mail: Available via an on-site form or at [email protected] Expect an answer to simple questions in 12 to 24 hours. However, for more complicated issues, you might need to wait two or three days for a reply.
- Live Chat: 24/7 chat support is available in English, Portuguese, and Spanish. We’ve tested the English support team several times with positive results. The average connection time was less than seven minutes.
- Phone: 24/7 phone support, available at 1-888-263-0000. Toll-free.