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.
All you need to do is to pick a country where online gambling is legal, and you’ll be playing at PokerStars, 888Poker, and GGPoker in no time. But there’s more to it than meets the eye - a VPN 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
- PrivateVPN - emphasis on anonymity
- PureVPN - extremely secure VPN for poker
How to unblock any poker site in 2022
It’s easy to unblock any online poker site you want if you have a good VPN. Here’s how you do it:
- Subscribe to a quality VPN (NordVPN, for example)
- Download the VPN app and log into your account
- Connect to a server that allows you to play poker (like Canada)
- Sign up to an online poker site (you might also need to download its app)
- Enjoy your games!
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 59 countries|
|Current deal:||🔥 Get NordVPN with 68% 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.
- Lots of servers for poker
- Audited no-logs policy
- Good pricing
- Anonymous payment options
- Dedicated IP option
- Obfuscated servers
- No free trial on desktop devices
- Email required on sign-up
2. Surfshark - play poker on multiple devices
|Based in:||The Netherlands|
|Servers/countries:||3200+ servers in 99 countries|
|Current deal:||🔥 Get 82% OFF Surfshark + 2 months FREE🔥|
Offering 3200 servers in 99 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.
Finally, you can make use of Surfshark’s 30-day money-back guarantee if, for some reason, you’re not satisfied with the product.
- Great speeds
- Independently audited
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Supports torrenting
- Anonymous payment options
- No free trial
- Expensive short-term plan
3. IPVanish - huge number of features
|Based in:||United States|
|Servers/countries:||2000+ servers in 50 countries|
|Current deal:||Get up to 69% OFF IPVanish + Antivirus|
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.
- Good connection speeds
- Free SOCKS5 proxy
- DNS leak protection
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Encrypted storage
- No Linux app
- Price increases after a year
4. 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.
- Customizable encryption
- Traffic obfuscation
- 7-day free trial
- 10 simultaneous connections
- Good for torrenting
- Small server count
- No split tunneling
5. PureVPN - frequent security audits
|Based in:||British Virgin Islands|
|Servers/countries:||6500+ servers in 78+ countries|
|Current deal:||🔥 Get PureVPN 82% 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. And in case you change your mind, feel free to use its 31-day money-back guarantee.
- No DNS leaks
- Always-On Audit
- Split tunneling
- Port forwarding
- 31-day money-back guarantee
- Limited Linux app
- No WireGuard protocol
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.
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
What is the best VPN for online poker?
The best VPN for online poker is NordVPN. It offers military-grade encryption, the super-fast NordLynx tunneling protocol, and a lot of server locations that you can use to play at PokerStars and other poker venues.
Can I use PokerStars with a VPN?
Yes, you can use a PokerStars VPN to play at PokerStars. However, keep in mind that this goes against the company’s ToS. Thus, your account might get banned together with all the funds.
Can you use a VPN to play online poker in Australia?
Yes, Australians can use a VPN to play online poker and other real money games. Just make sure to choose a reputable VPN service provider.