Bovada Casino Review
Bovada is a gambling site offering online sports betting, Las Vegas-style casino games and online poker with great betting odds and fantastic customer service. This review concerns only the casino portion of the vast Bodog operation, founded in 1994 by Calvin Ayre. Like many online gaming sites, Bovada is based in Antigua, where the government of Antigua and Barbuda has welcomed online gambling as a national revenue producer.
According to its About Us section, Bovada signed an exclusive licensing agreement in 2007 with Morris Mohawk Gaming Group (MMGG) of the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake, Quebec, Canada. The agreement made MMGG the sole operator of the Bovada online gaming brand in North America, which opened the Bovada site to North American players.
Bovada has gotten kudos from other site reviewers for giving gamblers good odds, so that players play longer and have a better chance of winning. According to other reviewers, Bovada has several games of poker, one roulette game and six video poker games in which the odds of winning are 99 percent. We tested Bovada’s Blackjack game and were pleasantly surprised by the number of wins. By the end of the play money test, we were up $23 on a $1,000 play-money pot, or a 2.3 percent win rate – much better than average for single-deck Blackjack, whose loss-win ratio normally ranks between -6 percent and +1.5 percent.
From this example, it’s clear that Bovada’s operators have learned that players won’t come back unless they can win, and that repeat customers are far more cost-effective business-wise than having to woo new customers all the time. This is a solid indication that the people running Bovada know what they’re doing, so that players can be much more assured that the site won’t go under and take their online deposit accounts with it.
Another example of how well Bovada treats players is the Casino School. Whatever game a player fancies, there are online tutorials to teach game play, rules and winning strategies.
Finally, Bovada runs a blog-cum-newsite that’s as slick and informative as anything the traditional sports news outlets have published. Anything related to sports betting or online gaming gets its turn in the spotlight on the Bovada Beat page. The page is conveniently subdivided into sections of interest to Bovada players: Sports Betting, Casino, Poker, Horses and Entertainment, plus a calendar to check coming events. Talk about a total entertainment experience!
Bovada Casino Website
This is a flat-out beautiful site. No screaming background audio, no odd color combinations, and some of the fastest instant play we’ve encountered on many gambling websites. In fact, Bovada’s Flash games run so fast that a couple of Blackjack games were completed before we could assess our cards.
Bovada’s customer-centric design really puts other sites to shame. It’s almost as if the site has an artificial intelligence behind it that anticipates a player’s every need. However, what’s really behind it is a set of website designers and technical specialists who really know their stuff. Unfortunately, try as we might, we couldn’t find out which gaming software Bovada uses beyond a rating from TST Systems Certified Software.
There’s only one problem: Bovada is PC-maximized. Mac users are probably familiar with this dilemma, but the downloadable casino program is Windows-only. What’s more, Bovada recommends the site be used with Internet Explorer 5.5 or higher, warning that it may not function properly, display properly, or even display at all with any other browser. This may be true with older Mac versions, but Bovada worked just fine on our iMac with Intel Core 2 Duo processor, running OS X (Leopard 10.5.8) with the Firefox 3.5.5 browser. This good performance probably resulted from the fact that the Intel processor crosses platforms from PC to Mac.
For players on the go, Bovada now has mobile gaming software available via download for standard cell phones, BlackBerry, PDA or SmartPhone.
Bovada Casino Games
Bovada Casino offers some 100 table games, slots and video poker that can be played for fun or for real money. On our visit, more than US$ 1,276,376 was waiting to be won in progressive casino jackpots for table, slots and video games such as Caribbean Stud, Crazy Dragon, I.R.I.S. 3000, It’s Good to be Bad, Let ‘Em Ride, Mid-Life Crisis, Shopping Spree and The Shark.
Top table games included Baccarat, Blackjack, Caribbean Hold ‘Em, Caribbean Stud, Craps, Let ‘Em Ride, Pai Gow Poker, Roulette and Tri-Card Poker.
Bovada’s top 20 Line Slots included Aztec’s Treasure, Caesar’s Empire, Cleopatra’s Gold, Diamond Dozen, Fruit Frenzy, Goldbeard, Prince of Sherwood, Red Sands and Viking’s Voyage. Favorites among the site’s 5- and 7-reel slots are Diamond Mine Deluxe, Super Diamond Mine, Food Fight, Jazz Time, 7’s & Stripes, Lucky Lightning and Triple 7 Inferno.
Video Poker at Bovada Casino is topped by all of the genre’s most popular games: Aces and Eights, All American, Deuces Wild, Jacks or Better, Joker Poker, Loose Deuces, Mystery Bonus, Pick’em Poker and Sevens Wild.
Bovada Casino Promotions and Bonuses
Because its odds of winning are so good, Bovada Casino may not have the wide variety of bonuses and promotions that other sites have, but that also can benefit players. With fewer, better bonuses and promotions, it’s easier for players to keep track of their perks.
Bovada acknowledges that theirs are the simplest bonuses in the online gaming industry. At the same time, however, the site boasts the lowest possible rollover requirements, quick deposits, fast payouts and competitive cash bonuses. Besides promotions such as the recent “Blackjack Stack,” in which players got one point for each Blackjack, whether theirs or the dealers, these are among the current bonuses at Bovada Casino:
10% Signup Bonus: New players earn a 10% cash online betting bonus on your first deposit.
20% Refer-A-Friend Bonus: Players earn up to $100 cash for each friend referred to the website.
110% Poker Sign-Up Bonus: Poker players earn a 10% upfront cash bonus and up to an additional 100% bonus based on your play in your first 30 days.
Double Points Bonus: Players earning 2,000 or more points in one month can double their cash rewards.
Bovada also emails Casino Coupons to redeem with a specific code. They either automatically trigger the bonus, which is added to a player’s casino balance, or they stay embedded in the player’s account until he or she purchases the amount of chips required to activate the bonus.
Bovada Casino Deposit Options
There’s a $20 minimum – $500 maximum deposit available. Bovada takes Visa/MasterCard, eWalletXpress and Click2Pay.
Bovada Casino Support
As with its superior winning odds, Bovada takes excellent care of its players, who are within a toll-free phone call or a mouse click of support 24/7/365.
In addition, Bovada stresses online safety with high-level privacy and security software. The site offers people with gambling problems links to gambling help organizations. Bovada puts special emphasis on keeping underage gamblers off its site, offering not one but three family protection links: Net Nanny (www.netnanny.com), Cybersitter (www.solidoak.com) and Websense (www.websense.com).