U.S. online poker players who patronize Bodog/Bovada may have noticed considerably more action on the cash tables as of late.
Player traffic has jumped a whopping 35% since January 1, making Bovada the fourth most popular online poker room in the industry. Ring games currently average 1,900 players after beginning 2015 with 1,400.
Bovada Poker caters to recreational players, perhaps more so than any other poker site. Its fully anonymous tables where players are identified by seat numbers as opposed to screen names has eliminated bum-hunting, a practice where the skilled players lie in wait for known rookies.
Also ineffective at Bovada are heads-up displays (HUDs), poker-tracking software that gives the sharks another edge against the less-informed. Bovada’s success has made many wonder why other poker rooms don’t fully copy the Recreational Player Model, because the concept is obviously working per the latest player traffic numbers.
If there are drawbacks to playing at Bovada, the main one is the lack of rakeback in a player loyalty program. Players earn points that can be used to purchase tickets to tournaments, but you won’t find any cashback rewards.
While this veers from industry standards, it also serves the purpose of keeping online grinders away. The negative can actually be seen as a positive as far as recreational players are concerned. The tables are filled with other casual players, not the pros who are grinding mega tables in order to earn rakeback.
Bovada allows only four tables to be open simultaneously, another deterrent to the multi-tablers who can somehow juggle between a dozen tables or more at a time. Bovada is designed for players who want to have fun.
That fun does include a generous 100% up to $1,000 first-time deposit bonus. A full 60 days are permitted in which to clear the Welcome Bonus.
Other rewards available include Royal Flush and Bad Beat bonuses. If you’re dealt a Royal Flush at a Texas Hold’em cash game in which both of your hole cards are used and three or more players are seated and playing, a bonus of 50 times the big blind up to $200 will be credited to your account.
If you happen to lose with at least Aces full of Kings or better to four-of-a-kind or better, the Bad Beat bonus heading your way is 100x the big blind up to $1,000. That bonus is also restricted to Texas Hold’em ring games, but unlike the Royal Flush bonus, the hand must go to the showdown stage.
If you’re a U.S. recreational player and haven’t yet tried Bovada, take a look at our Bovada Review for more information. It’s the most popular site available to American players, and the best poker room for those who want to have fun and avoid the pros.