This U.S. poker room has the biggest list of tables online. The vast majority of the games are No Limit Hold’em, with 6-max poker tables the most popular. You will find full-ring and heads-up games on offer too. While many smaller sites are only busy at the micro limits, you will find action up to $5 / $10 blinds ($1,000 buy-in) regularly at Bovada. Pot Limit Omaha and Omaha Hi-Lo are also spread.
Zone Poker is an entertaining variation for cash game players. This is a ‘Fast-Fold’ format. You choose a buy-in and then play new opponents each hand. The second you fold, you’ll be combined with new players and start the next hand. This is at least 3x faster than a regular cash game – and entertaining too. You can play more than one table for even more action.
Zone Poker and regular cash games are both available on mobile phones. The format of Zone Poker in particular makes it perfect for a quick session on your phone.
If you enjoy lower to middle buy-in online poker tournaments, then the selection at Bovada is huge. While this site does not have many ‘high-roller’ events (outside of the Black Diamond Open), their lower-stakes games are busy throughout the week.
Other than the occasional PLO tournament, NL Hold’em is where all the action is. Turbo (fast blind) tournaments are popular here. You will also find re-buy events and satellite qualifiers. You can win tickets into bigger buy-in games, and even win packages to live tournament events.
The biggest event of the week is the $75k Guaranteed, held each Sunday. When the Black Diamond Open events run, you will find tournaments with guarantees many times this size.
Sit-N-Go’s are also available, with nine-handed single-table tournaments at $22 and under where you will find most of the action.
Recreational Player Model
When Bovada first introduced their ‘Recreational Player Model’ a few years ago, some eyebrows were raised in the poker community. These policies ensure that recreational and amateur players get a fair shot in the games. Poker tracking tools and data services which identify fish are often used by online pros – and give newer players little chance of growing a bankroll before their inexperience is taken advantage of.
Bovada has banned these tools. To make it impossible to track players beyond a single session, you are seated at anonymous tables. You’ll play as a seat number (or tournament entry number). You can start fresh each time you sit in a new game.
The restriction on multi-tabling also helps recreational poker players. Pros at other sites tend to sit in 10-plus games, playing a tight, difficult-to-exploit strategy. This kills the action.
The recreational player model has been a huge success. Bovada is many times bigger than their closest rivals, and their games are amateur-player friendly.