Bovada Online Poker Review
There are a number of online poker sites out there and if you live outside the United States you'll want to go with one of the larger ones, like PartyPoker. But if you're a Yankee looking to play online for real money your options are limited following “Black Friday” of April 15th of last year. Bovada (formerly Bodog) is one of the better known sites that accepts U.S. Players.
Bovada does not keep a running tally of how many players are online at any one time. But according to them they average 720 players at the cash tables on any given hour. This is a believable number and there are always games at all stakes, going all the way up to $10/$20 no limit games. However, full tables are rare. Most tables seem to have three or four players at a time and it is common for players to suddenly leave you alone at a table.
The tournaments are where Bovada really shines, however. There are all kinds of sit-and-gos and multi-table tournaments at all times. Bovada frequently hosts large tournaments and qualifiers to those tournaments and at any given time there are three to four hundred players in one of the bigger tournaments. You will probably find yourself playing a lot of sit-and-gos if you sign up at Bovada when the cash games slow down. If you prefer tournaments then this is the site for you.
Bovada also has a very attractive and highly customizable interface. The tables look very good and have large, easy to see cards as well as customizable colors and four color decks. It is easily the best looking of poker sites available to U.S. Players and blows the interface of sites like Lock Poker out of the water.
Like all sites that accept U.S. Players, the major issue with Bovada is being able to deposit money. While the site accepts credit and debit cards most banks will not allow the transfer. There are a number of other payment methods using Western Union or lesser known E-Wallet sites but even then you may have trouble getting your bank to allow the payment. But this cannot be held against Bovada as they all have this problem. Make sure you deposit enough the first time, you'll get the largest bonus and depositing funds is not something that you'll want to have to do again. As for getting money out, that seems to be much easier. You'll have to give them identification information such as a scan of your driver's license, but by all reports Bovada pays fairly and on time.
Ultimately, it's a wild world out there for an American who wants to play real money poker online. But Bovada is definitely one of the best choices. It has a solid reputation of payouts and software reliability. It has the most attractive and easy to use interface of any U.S. Poker site. Bovada's only real drawback is that it does not have the largest number of players, but unless you're looking to play online professionally (probably not a wise career path for a U.S. Citizen) it should have more than enough.
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