Best VPNs for online poker in 2024


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 or a state where online gambling is legal, and you’ll be playing at PokerStars, 888Poker, and other online sites in no time.

There’s more to it – a VPN will unblock poker sites when traveling 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 in 2024 that will help you unblock various poker sites.

Top 5 best VPNs for online poker in 2024

How to choose the best VPN for online poker

If you plan on purchasing a VPN for online poker, you should take a look at some key aspects beforehand:

Security features:Kill switch, traffic obfuscation
Privacy:No-logs policy, independent audit
Encryption:AES-256, ChaCha20
Speed:Fast tunneling protocols (WireGuard)
Servers: Obfuscated, RAM-only
Unblocks:Poker sites, Netflix, Hulu, Max, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube TV, and more
  • Security features. Prioritize VPNs with robust encryption, a no-logs policy, and advanced security features to safeguard your online poker transactions (kill switch, traffic obfuscation).
  • Jurisdiction and privacy. Ensure the VPN is based in a jurisdiction where online poker is legal, especially in the USA. Check if the VPN provider follows legal guidelines to protect your online poker activities and undergo regular independent audits.
  • Connection speed. Select a VPN with fast tunneling protocols and high-speed connections to avoid lags or disruptions during real money poker games.
  • Server locations. Choose a VPN with strong servers (RAM-only, obfuscated) strategically located for online poker in the USA, especially in states like New York. Opt for servers with low latency to ensure a seamless real-money poker experience.
  • Unblocking capabilities. A VPN for online poker needs to have exceptionally great unblocking capabilities. You should be able to access various poker sites, and streaming platforms like Netflix, Max, Hulu, and more.

Best VPNs to play online poker – detailed list

We reviewed 42 providers to find the best VPNs for playing online poker in 2024. We researched their features, security, server network, and tested their ability to unblock poker sites as well as average speeds. Keep reading to find our list of the best gambling VPNs:

1. NordVPN – the best VPN for online poker

NordVPN banner
Based in:Panama
Servers/countries:6300+ servers in 111 countries
Cryptocurrency payments:Yes
Current deal:Get NordVPN, now up to 69% OFF + 3 months FREE!

NordVPN is the best 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.

Security. NordVPN is extremely secure, which is important when playing real money games unavailable in your country. It uses advanced AES-256 encryption, offers a bunch of secure tunneling protocols, and even allows you to connect to obfuscated servers or Onion over VPN servers.

Privacy. NordVPN collects no information related to your online activities. And even for the data it does collect, including information related to crash errors and application diagnostics, you can opt out of it.

Speeds. The tool is also really fast. You’ll get pretty high speeds thanks to NordLynx, a proprietary protocol created by NordVPN themselves. During our tests for NordVPN review, it retained around 90% of initial connection speeds.

Price. NordVPN's prices start at $3.09/month and you get a 30-day money-back guarantee. You can also pay anonymously using cryptocurrency.

2. Surfshark – play poker on multiple devices

Surfshark banner
Based in:The Netherlands
Servers/countries:3200+ servers in 100 countries
Cryptocurrency payments:Yes
Current deal:Get 85% 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.

Security. With Surfshark, you get a reliable kill switch, an ad blocking feature called CleanWeb, and a full-fledged antivirus. For an extra price, you can get yourself a dedicated IP address.

Privacy. While testing Surfshark, we concluded that it collects no information related to your online activities. You can opt out of the collection of data that helps improve its services.

Speeds. You can 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. During our testing, Surfshark retained 86% of initial connection speeds.

Price. Surfshark's prices start from $2.29/month and you can pay for it with cryptocurrency to remain anonymous. Finally, you can make use of Surfshark’s 30-day money-back guarantee.

Want to know more? Do a Surfshark vs NordVPN comparison.

3. IPVanish – online poker VPN with a huge number of features

IPVanish banner
Based in:United States
Servers/countries:2200+ servers in 52 countries
Cryptocurrency payments:No
Current deal:Get 78% 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.

Security. You get features that enhance your online security. There are auto-connection options and split tunneling. Traffic obfuscation is also available, allowing you to hide the fact that you’re using a VPN from third parties.

Privacy. The privacy policy of IPVanish states that they collect your email address and billing information, and that’s all. What you do online is not logged.

Speeds. As for tunneling protocols, you’re getting the speedy WireGuard. It’s a great combination of speed and security. Our tests showed that IPVanish retained an average of 80% initial connection speeds.

Price. You can get the IPVanish premium plan for $2.75/month. The only downside is that you can’t pay using cryptocurrencies.

4. ExpressVPN – online poker VPN for fast connection speeds

ExpressVPN banner
Based in:British Virgin Islands
Servers/countries:3000+ servers in 105 countries
Cryptocurrency payments:Yes
Current deal:Get ExpressVPN, now 49% OFF + 3 months FREE!

ExpressVPN can be your go-to VPN for online poker due to its lightning-fast speeds and a good selection of 3000+ servers in 105 countries. And servers in Canada, Mexico, France, and more, you will quickly and effectively access your preferred poker sites.

Security. ExpressVPN is great for enhancing online security, as it uses market-leading encryption and has a functional kill switch feature. Its Threat Manager will protect you from malicious poker websites, while obfuscated servers will help conceal your VPN usage if you live in highly censored areas.

Privacy. We found that ExpressVPN doesn’t collect any of your online activities, meaning you can play poker from anywhere in peace.

Speeds. ExpressVPN uses a proprietary Lightway protocol which is a modern variation of WireGuard. With it, we managed to retain 77% of initial connection speeds on average.

Price. ExpressVPN is on the pricier side compared to other market-leading VPNs. Its starting price is $6.67/month, so if you need a cheaper VPN, opt for Surfshark. Plus, you can pay with cryptocurrency.

Compare NordVPN vs ExpressVPN for a thorough analysis.

5. CyberGhost – many servers for unblocking poker websites

CyberGhost VPN banner
Based in:Romania
Servers/countries:11500+ servers in 100 countries
Cryptocurrency payments:Yes
Current deal:Get CyberGhost VPN, now 84% + 4 months FREE!

With over 11500 servers in 100 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.

Security. CyberGhost 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. Not to mention specialized servers for streaming, torrenting, or even gaming.

Privacy. CyberGhost doesn’t collect any of the data related to your traffic. The service has been audited by an independent auditing firm called Deloitte.

Speeds. Like most high-quality VPNs, this service uses the WireGuard protocol. During our tests, it retained an average of 86% initial connection speeds during our tests for CyberGhost.

Price. CyberGhost's starting price is as little as $2.03 per month and it allows cryptocurrency payments. Plus, you can benefit from a free trial: 1 day for desktop users, 3 days for Android, and 7 days for iOS users.

How we selected and tested online poker VPNs

Unfortunately, you can’t just use any VPN to unblock online poker sites. There are a lot of aspects to take into consideration:

  • Poker site unblocking. We tested the VPNs with some poker sites to see if they could actually access the sites. We only included options that unblocked at least some of the poker websites. However, make sure VPN usage isn’t against a particular gambling site’s Terms of Service.
  • 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.
  • Privacy. It’s important to choose a VPN that doesn’t log your online activities, as it defeats the purpose of VPNs in the first place. Even better if the privacy policy is audited.
  • 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.
  • Price. VPNs shouldn’t be overpriced, so we looked for services that offer excellent value for your money.
  • 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.
The best VPN for online poker
NordVPN is the best VPN for playing poker online due to its massive server fleet, advanced security features, and competitive speeds.
cybernews® score
4.9 /5

Best online poker VPN comparison

BrandNordVPNSurfsharkIPVanishExpressVPNCyberGhost
Rating
4.9
4.7
4.5
4.3
4.2
Unblocks poker sites✅ Yes✅ Yes✅ Yes✅ Yes✅ Yes
Traffic obfuscation✅ Yes✅ Yes✅ Yes✅ Yes❌ No
LoggingNo logs, independently audited twice by PwCNo logs, independently audited by DeloitteNo logs, independently audited by LeviathanNo logs, independently audited by Cure53No logs, independently audited by Deloitte
Dedicated IP option (separately)✅ Yes✅ Yes❌ No❌ No✅ Yes
Servers6300+ servers in 111 countries3200+ servers in 100 countries2200+ servers in 52 countries3000+ servers in 105 countries11500+ servers in 100 countries
Simultaneous connections10UnlimitedUnlimited87
Cheapest monthly price$3.09/month$2.29/month$2.75/month$6.67/month$2.03/month
ReviewNordVPN reviewSurfshark VPN reviewIPVanish reviewExpressVPN reviewCyberGhost review

How to play poker online with a VPN in 2024

  1. Download a quality VPN – we recommend using NordVPN
  2. Once downloaded, log into your account
  3. Connect to a server that allows you to play poker (like Canada)
  4. Login to your online poker site account
  5. Enjoy your games with a VPN!

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 reliable and secure VPN like NordVPN.

PokerStars banned account message

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 in 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 online 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.

Here are the states where online poker is totally legal: New Jersey, Delaware, Nevada, Michigan, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Connecticut.

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.

States where online poker is illegal

In Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut (only regulated by the state's Lottery Commission, not available to the general public), Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada (only regulated by the state's Gaming Control Board), New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin, online poker is either illegal or the legality of it is undecided.

Can I use a free VPN for online poker?

Wr 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 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. The best alternative is opting for a premium VPN and making use of its money-back guarantee or free trial.

  1. NordVPN – play online poker for free with the 7-day trial on Android (can be set up on other devices after signup) and 30-day money-back guarantee.
  2. Surfshark – gamble without limits with a 7-day trial on macOS, Android, and iOS and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

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.

GGPoker

Originally launched in Asia, the GGPoker platform has expanded to the European region and is a popular online poker room site with cash games and various tournaments.

Unfortunately, it's 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.

888Poker

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

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, but being one of the most popular online poker sites for US players, it operates in some states: New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Michigan. It’s also available in most European countries.

You can take a look at our guide with the best VPNs for PokerStars to find more detailed information.

Conclusion

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.


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