Best VPNs for online poker in 2023
If you know a thing or two about gambling, you might be aware that online poker (together with a myriad of other real money games) is banned in a lot of countries around the world. The laws surrounding online poker can even vary in different regions of the same country – take the US, for example.
Luckily, a VPN for online poker can make things much, much easier.
With a VPN, you can simply pick a country where online gambling is legal, and you’ll be playing at PokerStars, 888Poker, and GGPoker in no time. There’s more to it – a VPN will unblock poker sites when travelling and let you access your account from almost anywhere. It will also protect your data and identity, making it safer to play with real money. In this article, you’ll find the 5 best VPNs for online poker that will help you unblock various poker sites.
Top 5 best VPNs for online poker:
- NordVPN – the best VPN for online poker
- Surfshark VPN – unlimited simultaneous connections
- IPVanish – extra features for playing poker
- ExpressVPN – VPN with excellent connection speeds
- CyberGhost – poker VPN with the largest server fleet
How to play poker online with a VPN in 2023
- Download a quality VPN – we recommend using NordVPN.
- Download the VPN app and log into your account.
- Connect to a server that allows you to play poker (like Canada).
- Login to your online poker site account.
- Enjoy your games with a VPN!
Best VPNs for playing online poker – our detailed list
Take a look at these short reviews of the VPNs that work with PokerStars and other online poker services, and pick the one that truly fits your needs.
1. NordVPN – the best VPN for online poker
|Servers/countries:||5500+ servers in 60 countries|
|Current deal:||🔥 Get NordVPN with 63% OFF + 3 months FREE!🔥|
NordVPN is an excellent VPN for online poker because it offers plenty of locations that are suitable for unblocking PokerStars and other poker websites. For example, you can connect to Canada, Mexico, Germany, Italy, Portugal, France, and other countries.
However, unblocking websites is not the only thing NordVPN is good at. It’s also extremely secure, which is important when playing real money games unavailable in your country.
For example, the VPN uses advanced encryption, offers a bunch of secure tunneling protocols, and even allows you to connect to obfuscated servers or Onion over VPN servers.
The tool is also really fast. You’ll get pretty high speeds thanks to NordLynx, a proprietary protocol created by NordVPN themselves.
Aside from online poker, NordVPN has lots of other uses. It unblocks a myriad of streaming platforms, has the split tunneling feature, and even blocks online ads.
NordVPN's prices start at $3.29/month and you get a 30-day money-back guarantee.
2. Surfshark – play poker on multiple devices
|Based in:||The Netherlands|
|Servers/countries:||3200+ servers in 100 countries|
|Current deal:||🔥 Get 82% OFF Surfshark + 2 months FREE🔥|
Offering 3200 servers in 100 countries, Surfshark gives you plenty of choices when it comes to unblocking online poker platforms. For example, you can pick Canada, France, or the UK.
You’ll also be able to enjoy your Texas Hold’em, Omaha Hold’em, and other poker games completely glitch-free. All of this is thanks to WireGuard, one of the speediest tunneling protocols available today.
And when you’re having a break from playing, you can make use of Surfshark’s ability to unblock virtually any streaming platform in existence. Netflix, BBC iPlayer, HBO Now – you name it.
It’s also nice that Surfshark offers unlimited simultaneous connections, which means that you’ll be able to play online poker on a mobile phone, tablet, PC, and any other device you own.
Surfshark's prices start from $2.30/month. Finally, you can make use of Surfshark’s 30-day money-back guarantee if, for some reason, you’re not satisfied with the product.
3. IPVanish – huge number of features
|Based in:||United States|
|Servers/countries:||2000+ servers in 50 countries|
|Current deal:||Get 75% OFF IPVanish!|
IPVanish will help you play online poker from anywhere in the world. It not only offers servers in multiple Canadian cities, but also quite a few different European locations where online gambling is legal.
However, a good selection of VPN regions is not the only thing that makes it one of the best VPNs for online poker. You also get a lot of features that will enhance your online security.
For example, there’s an integrated SOCKS5 proxy, auto-connection options, traffic obfuscation, and split tunneling.
As for tunneling protocols, even though IPVanish doesn’t offer WireGuard, it has something just as good – both versions of OpenVPN. This protocol is not only fast, but also extremely secure – perfect for playing at PokerStars, 888Poker, and other sites.
There’s also an option to pay a bit extra and get 500 GB of encrypted storage, which can be extremely useful if you have lots of files on your device. You can get IPVanish premium plan for $2.96/month.
4. ExpressVPN – online poker VPN for fast connection speeds
|Based in:||British Virgin Islands|
|Servers/countries:||3000+ servers in 94 countries|
|Current deal:||Get ExpressVPN, now 49% OFF the 1-year plan!|
ExpressVPN can be your go-to VPN for online poker due to its lightning-fast speeds and a good selection of 3000 servers in 94 countries. And servers in Canada, Mexico, France, and more, you will quickly and effectively access your preferred poker sites.
This VPN has excellent content-unblocking capabilities. So, first and foremost, you will be able to access poker sites like PokerStars, 888Poker, and more. Plus, bypass streaming sites’ geo-restrictions and enjoy various Netflix libraries, Hulu, HBO Max, and so much more.
But bypassing geo-blocks is not all that ExpressVPN can do. It is also great for enhancing online security, as it uses market-leading encryption, has a fully functional kill switch feature, and a no-logs policy. Its Threat Manager will protect you from malicious websites (as there are numerous infected poker sites), and obfuscated servers will help those who live in highly-censored areas where a VPN connection is banned.
You can have 5 simultaneous connections on all popular devices using a user-friendly application.
On the downside, ExpressVPN is on the pricier side compared to other market-leading VPNs. Its starting price is $6.67/month, but a 30-day money-back guarantee guarantees you a risk-free month.
5. CyberGhost – many servers for unblocking poker websites
|Servers/countries:||9700+ servers in 91 countries|
|Current deal:||Get CyberGhost VPN, now 83% OFF + 2 months FREE|
With over 9700 servers in 91 countries, CyberGhost is a strong candidate for unblocking poker sites. You will easily find servers in Canada, the UK, or any other place outside Europe to enjoy poker online.
PokerStars, BetOnline, GGPoker, and many more come along with using CyberGhost VPN. However, that’s not the only content-unblocking area that this VPN excels in. With it, you can also enjoy all popular streaming services, including our beloved Netflix.
Security is also very important to this VPN provider. Therefore, it uses AES-256 encryption, offers the kill switch feature to protect your IP at all times, and even includes an ad blocker that blocks adware, malware, and more. Not to mention specialized servers for streaming, torrenting, or even gaming.
With this VPN, you can have up to 7 simultaneous connections and protect devices like Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, and more.
But the price is another thing that makes this VPN to stand out, as its starting price is as little as $2.19 per month! Plus, you can benefit from a free trial: 1 day for desktop users, 3 days for Android, and 7 days for iOS users.
6. PrivateVPN – play poker 100% anonymously
|Servers/countries:||200 servers in 63 countries|
|Current deal:||Get PrivateVPN, now 85% OFF!|
PrivateVPN is a well-known tool among VPN enthusiasts. That’s because it’s capable of virtually anything, from unblocking online poker and streaming services, to working with all major torrenting clients.
You’ll be able to play online poker while connected to servers in Canada, France, Portugal, and Italy. However, you can use any of its other servers to unblock a variety of streaming platforms like Netflix and BBC iPlayer.
Also, PrivateVPN is extremely secure. It uses AES-256 encryption (but also lets you choose AES-128 if you want to), offers a good kill switch, and has no DNS leaks. In addition, the VPN has a feature called Stealth VPN that obscures your traffic.
The tool offers 10 simultaneous connections, so your Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Linux devices will be protected at all times.
In terms of price, PrivateVPN premium plans start at $2.00/month and you can try the service with a 7-day free trial.
7. PureVPN – frequent security audits
|Based in:||British Virgin Islands|
|Servers/countries:||6500+ servers in 78+ countries|
|Current deal:||🔥 Get PureVPN, now 81% OFF + 3 months FREE! 🔥|
PureVPN has a wonderful server selection – you can choose from 6500 servers in 78 countries. If you’re located in the US, you’ll like the fact that you can connect to New Jersey – one of the states that allow online gambling, including poker.
It’s also good to know that PureVPN is the first VPN ever to have an Always-On Audit for its no-logs policy. This means that it can be audited anytime without notice. Not every VPN would be confident enough for this.
Security aside, PureVPN is great at unblocking streaming websites, too. For an extra price, it also supports port forwarding and offers DDoS protection. PureVPN's prices start at $2.08/month. And in case you change your mind, feel free to use its 31-day money-back guarantee.
How we selected and tested these VPNs
Unfortunately, you can’t just use any VPN to unblock online poker. There are a lot of aspects to take into consideration:
- The right locations. Online poker sites block players from a wide range of countries. Thus, you need to know precisely which locations to connect to. We looked for countries like Canada, Germany, and Italy.
- Dedicated IP option. If the poker site keeps detecting your VPN, you might need to purchase a dedicated IP address so that you would be the only person using it.
- Security. All the best VPNs for online poker offer military-grade AES-256 encryption that will make your connection 100% secure.
- Speed. A VPN that’s suitable for online games must offer really good speeds. We performed speed tests on tens of VPNs and selected the tools that won’t make your poker game lag.
- Money-back guarantee. When choosing a VPN for a particular purpose, it’s essential to have the possibility to get all your money back. All of the tools on this list offer a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Can online poker sites detect VPNs?
Yes, it’s possible for poker sites to detect VPN usage. Just like Netflix and other online platforms, poker pages might see a surge of identical IP addresses, which happens when lots of people use the same VPN server to play at the same time.
It’s also possible for a website to recognize an IP address that is known to belong to a certain VPN provider. Sometimes, a page might ban all the IP addresses associated with a single VPN. This often happens with free VPNs that are used by a lot of people.
Luckily, you can lessen your chances of being caught using a VPN.
Safety tips for playing online poker
Here are a few safety tips that will increase your chance of not getting your account banned at PokerStars or any other online poker venue:
- Turn on the VPN first. It is essential that you connect to a VPN location before opening PokerStars or any other online poker app or website. In this way, the site won’t detect an IP change.
- Use a dedicated IP. If possible, you can purchase a dedicated IP option from a VPN provider. In this way, you’ll be the only one using it, and the online gambling venue won’t ban you.
- Withdraw often. It’s better to not keep lots of funds in your account in case it gets frozen. Withdraw your money as often as possible so that you’d receive it before the site notices any suspicious activity.
- Enable the kill switch. It’s dangerous to accidentally expose your real location while playing poker online. That’s why I advise you to use a VPN with a good kill switch that would shut down your internet connection in case the VPN malfunctions.
- Use anonymous payment methods. When it comes to faking your real location, it’s a good idea to use payment methods that don’t reveal any personal information. Consider such methods as PayPal or even cryptocurrencies.
Why is online poker blocked in certain countries?
Whether you can (legally) play online poker in your country depends on its laws. And unfortunately, even though online gambling can bring a lot of money in taxes, some countries have completely (or partially) banned real money games due to a variety of reasons.
These can vary from religious beliefs (like in the UAE) to the inability to ensure fair gambling regulations.
So, you won’t be able to play at PokerStars or other online poker sites if you have an IP address of countries like Australia, Bangladesh, Colombia, Egypt, Nigeria, Pakistan, Serbia, United Arab Emirates, and most of the US states.
Luckily, a VPN will solve this problem in seconds by giving you a foreign IP address. However, I strongly suggest that you thoroughly check out your country’s stance on gambling – an evening of fun is not worth a prison sentence.
Is poker banned in the US?
No, poker is not banned in the US. At least, not completely. You see, even though the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) put a tight leash on online poker, sports betting, and other forms of online gambling back in 2006, some states still retained the right to offer real money games at licensed casinos.
So, these are the US states where online poker is legal:
- New Jersey
- West Virginia
A few other states (like Tennessee, Ohio, and Colorado) are currently considering allowing online gambling, but there are no definite decisions as of yet. In other words, the residents living outside the states where online gambling is completely legal should use a VPN in order to access a safe and regulated online poker room or online casino.
Is it safe to play poker online with a VPN?
Yes, it’s safe to use a VPN to play at PokerStars, 888poker, GGPoker, and other online poker websites. Yet, you should still be aware of the possible outcomes.
Sometimes, it so happens that a user’s account gets banned (together with all its precious funds) if a VPN activity is detected. Thus, I recommend using VPNs that have no known IP leaks, like NordVPN or Surfshark.
In addition, an online casino might ask you for proof of identity, which, unfortunately, includes your real location. For this reason, I’d begin with small withdrawals to see whether the site actually requires any documentation. Also, it’s better to withdraw fairly often, not leaving huge amounts of money in your account.
Finally, take your country’s stance on gambling and VPNs into consideration, as some regions are stricter than others regarding these things.
Safest online poker sites
When looking for a truly safe and reliable online poker site, you can never be too careful. We picked out some of the safest sites to use. These include GGPoker, 888Poker, and PokerStars. Even though some of these sites are not accessible in the US, you can simply bypass the geo-blocks with a VPN.
Originally launched in Asia, GGPoker platform has expanded to the European region and is a popular online poker room site with cash games and various tournaments.
Unfortunately, GGPoker is currently not available for the US players. You can freely access and play GGPoker in European countries like Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Romania, UK, and more. Outside Europe, it’s accessible in New Zealand, South America, South Africa, and other locations.
How to play GGPoker in the US
Even though GGPoker is not available to play in the US, you can still access it from there. The best and most simple way to do it is to change your location with a VPN. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do that:
- Subscribe to a reputable VPN, we recommend NordVPN.
- Download and install the VPN.
- Pick a server in a location where GGPoker is available.
- Go to GGPoker and enjoy the fun!
888Poker is one of the biggest online poker networks in the poker business. It has an excellent array of popular forms of poker, such as Texas Holdem, Omaha, 7 Card Stud, and more.
After the recent law changes, 888Poker no longer accepts players from the United States. However, it’s still available in other regions, such as South America (Argentina, Guatemala, Uruguay, Venezuela, and more), Europe (Moldova, Norway, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and more), New Zealand, and other locations.
PokerStars is one of the most popular online gambling platforms that offers online poker, casino games, and sports betting. It’s blocked in a lot of regions. Luckily, PokerStars operate in some states: New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Michigan. It’s also available in most European countries too.
You can take a look at our guide with the best VPNs for PokerStars to find more detailed information.
Can I unblock poker with a free VPN?
I don’t advise you to use a free VPN to unblock online poker. That’s because a free VPN can be quite dangerous – it might steal your personal information or bombard you with viruses and malware.
On the other hand, freemium VPNs are completely safe. Unfortunately, they usually offer only a few countries, which might not unblock PokerStars and other platforms. For example, ProtonVPN has a wonderful free version, but you can connect only to the Netherlands, the US, and Japan. And none of these countries allow PokerStars.
Some freemium VPNs, like Windscribe, offer servers in countries where online poker is legal. However, Windcsribe limits you with 10GB/month, which might not be enough for your gambling needs.
It is definitely possible to play online poker even if the site is blocked in your country. All you need is a good VPN with a kill switch and servers in at least one country where online poker is legal.
In my experience, the best VPN for online poker is NordVPN. That’s because it allows you to connect to multiple countries that allow PokerStars and other poker websites. Not only that – the VPN is also extremely fast and secure, so you won’t need to worry about connection drops and safety.
More VPN guides from Cybernews:
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Best VPNs for crypto trading: access crypto exchanges in your location
Play Rollbit in the USA: enjoy crypto casino from anywhere you are
Best VPN for Betway: unblock Betway with a VPN from anywhere
Can I use a VPN to play online poker?
What is the best VPN for online poker?
NordVPN is the best VPN for online poker because it offers plenty of locations that are suitable for unblocking online poker websites. Aside from online poker, NordVPN has lots of other uses like unblocking a myriad of streaming platforms, has the split tunnelling feature, and even blocks online ads.
How can I play online poker in Australia with a VPN?
You can simply play online poker in Australia with a VPN by changing your location to a server where online poker sites are legal. We recommend using NordVPN – it offers one of the biggest server fleets around the world, so you’ll be sure to connect to a server that’s not overcrowded and will mask your real IP address.
Is it legal to use a VPN to play online poker?
Yes and no. It’s generally legal to use for privacy and security reasons. However, using a VPN to change your location or to play in a country or state, where online poker is restricted, is illegal. Usually, using a VPN is also against poker website's Terms of Service. If the poker site finds out that you are using a VPN to unblock the site from a restricted location, it can ban your account and refuse to pay out any winnings.
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