Best VPNs for PokerStars in 2023
PokerStars is an extremely popular gambling platform that offers online poker, casino games, and sports betting. Unfortunately, it is blocked in a huge number of regions, such as Australia, Austria, Germany and some US states, which might include your own region.
Luckily, you can unblock and play PokerStars with the help of a VPN. Not only that –- a good VPN will also make your online activity much more secure, hiding your search history from your ISP and protecting your traffic when you use public Wi-Fi.
To help you make an informed decision, we researched and tested the best VPNs for PokerStars that allow you to access the platform from the US or any other region where it’s unavailable.
Best VPNs to play Pokerstars in 2023
- NordVPN – the overall best PokerStars VPN in 2023
- Surfshark – PokerStars VPN for unlimited devices
- IPVanish – solid choice for unblocking the PokerStars app
- ExpressVPN – security-focused VPN for PokerStars
- CyberGhost – reliable VPN to play Pokerstars
How to play PokerStars with a VPN
When accessing PokerStars from a restricted country, make sure you connect to the server that is nearest to you and don’t switch it often. This way, you’ll ensure lag-free online gambling without the site detecting suspicious activity. Here’s how to use a VPN to play PokerStars:
- Subscribe to a VPN that unblocks PokerStars, like NordVPN, now 69% OFF
- Download the tool, install it, and pick the right server (like Canada or Italy)
- Then, download and install the PokerStars client
- Create an account and make a deposit
- Start playing!
The best VPNs for PokerStars – our detailed list
To gather a list of the best PokerStars VPNs, we researched and tested 32 reputable VPNs and their server fleets, speed, security features, and more.
1. NordVPN – the best VPN for PokerStars
|Servers/countries:||5,900+ servers in 60 countries|
|Current deal:||🔥Holiday Deal! Get NordVPN with 69% OFF + 3 months FREE!🔥|
NordVPN is the best VPN for PokerStars due to its effortless unblocking capabilities. Thanks to a massive server fleet and excellent speed, our research team accessed PokerStars without issues.
Servers. NordVPN offers plenty of servers to unblock PokerStars – over 5,900 in 60 countries. During our examination, we managed to unblock PokerStars using servers in Canada, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, the UK, and more.
Speed. According to our tests, this VPN is the fastest VPN on the market. Its custom tunneling protocol, NordLynx, is based on the super-fast WireGuard, which retained an average of 90% initial connection speed during our tests.
Features. NordVPN includes plenty of useful features like server obfuscation to hide the fact that you’re using a VPN. When we tried out the kill switch, it also worked as intended, disconnecting from the internet until the VPN connection was restored. For ultimate security and control, you can even get a dedicated IP address for $70/year.
Price. All of this won’t cost a fortune – for only $2.99 a month, you’ll get to use the service on 6 devices simultaneously. And the best thing – there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee that you can use to try the service out.
Read more in our NordVPN review.
2. Surfshark – cheap PokerStars VPN for unlimited devices
|Based in:||The Netherlands|
|Servers/countries:||3,200+ servers in 100 countries|
|Current deal:||🔥 Holiday deal! Get 82% OFF Surfshark + 4 months FREE🔥|
Surfshark is a leading VPN for PokerStars that, unlike NordVPN, permits unlimited simultaneous connections. It offers a massive network of servers and continuously unblocks the majority of online poker and gambling platforms, including PokerStars.
Servers. Surfshark has more than 3,200 servers distributed in 100 countries. When tested with PokerStars, this VPN managed to unblock the platform using servers in Canada, Italy, and the UK.
Speed. This VPN comes with the WireGuard protocol, ensuring fast performance. Our research team’s test results show that on average, it managed to retain 88% of initial connection speeds. This means that you’ll be able to play poker without interruption.
Features. Surfshark comes with Camouflage Mode, or traffic obfuscation, which hides your VPN traffic. And because of the RAM-only servers, your data is in safe hands – it’s wiped out with each reboot.
Price. You can get Surfshark’s excellent VPN service for only $1.99/month and test it without worry using the 30-day money-back guarantee.
3. IPVanish – low-cost and fast VPN for PokerStars
|Based in:||United States|
|Servers/countries:||2,200+ servers in 52 countries|
|Current deal:||🔥 Holiday deal! Get 81% OFF IPVanish + 3 months free! 🔥|
IPVanish will help you access PokerStars if it’s blocked in your country, thanks to a huge server selection scattered throughout the globe. You’ll be able to play while being secured with advanced security and privacy measures.
Servers. IPVanish has servers in 52 countries, many of which allow playing PokerStars. After examining various servers from different locations, we found that this VPN unblocks the gambling site in Canada, Italy, Poland, and Sweden.
Speed. With the WireGuard protocol, IPVanish retained 80% of initial connection speeds on average. So, while playing PokerStars, no buffering was noticeable.
Features. IPVanish makes it difficult to detect VPN usage thanks to the Scramble OpenVPN obfuscation feature. You can even use the On Demand feature so that the VPN would automatically connect whenever you turn on PokerStars.
Price. The cheapest IPVanish plan is the 2-year option – coming at $2.49/month. If you’re on a budget, take a look at Surfshark as it’s cheaper than IPVanish. A standard 30-day money-back guarantee is also applicable.
To learn more, read our IPVanish review.
4. ExpressVPN – security-focused VPN for playing PokerStars
|Based in:||British Virgin Islands|
|Servers/countries:||Servers in 105 countries|
|Current deal:||🔥Holiday deal! Get ExpressVPN, now 49% OFF + 3 months FREE!🔥|
ExpressVPN is one of the best VPNs for PokerStars due to its powerful security features as well as a big server fleet and intuitive apps. Plus, this VPN accessed PokerStars almost instantly.
Servers. With hundreds of servers in 105 countries, you can access PokerStars from many different locations. During our investigation, the VPN unblocked PokerStars with servers in Italy, Canada, Poland, and the UK.
Speed. ExpressVPN uses its proprietary Lightway protocol to ensure swift and secure connections for its customers. Our final speed test result was 77% average speed retention rate, which isn’t ideal but still stable. So if you need a faster provider, take a look at Surfshark or NordVPN instead.
Features. With ExpressVPN, you get Stealth servers, or obfuscated servers. They hide the fact that you’re using a VPN, so that PokerStars wouldn’t detect your activities. Plus, there’s a Threat Manager for ensuring no third-party tracking.
Price. ExpressVPN is on the expensive side, starting at $6.67/month. If you want a cheaper VPN, opt for NordVPN. However, if anything, ExpressVPN comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
5. CyberGhost – cost-effective PokerStars VPN with loads of IPs
|Servers/countries:||10,200+ servers in 100 countries|
|Current deal:||🔥Holiday deal! Get CyberGhost VPN, now 84% + 4 months FREE!🔥|
CyberGhost is the most budget-friendly VPN for unblocking PokerStars abroad. It has servers in loads of countries and ensures excellent performance – everything you need for playing poker anywhere.
Servers. This VPN offers 10,200+ servers in 100 countries. Our inspection showed that it unblocks PokerStars in Canada, Italy, the UK, and more.
Speed. You won’t have trouble accessing PokerStars and gaming without interruptions with CyberGhost. It comes with the powerful WireGuard protocol that retains 86% of the baseline speed according to our tests.
Features. With CyberGhost, you can get a dedicated IP to ensure you get all the security there is (from $2.50/month to $5.00/month). However, one thing it lacks is the traffic obfuscation feature. If you find it a deal-breaker and want to hide your VPN connection, ExpressVPN or IPVanish would be a better choice.
Price. For $2.04/month, this VPN is an excellent choice for an enjoyable and safe PokerStars experience. With a 45-day money-back guarantee included!
To find out more, visit our CyberGhost review.
How we selected and tested PokerStars VPNs
We tested 32 reputable providers using Virtualbox VM with Windows 11 Pro installed on Lenovo ThinkPad T14s Gen 2 device with AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 5650U processor, 16 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD. Our rankings vastly depended on whether (and how well) the gambling VPNs unblocked PokerStars. Other criteria, however, such as speed and security features, were taken into consideration as well.
Here’s exactly how we selected and tested these VPNs:
- PokerStars unblocking capabilities. First and foremost, we tested which VPNs can unblock PokerStars and let you play uninterrupted.
- Server network. We looked at providers with the largest server fleets, so you’d be able to find locations to connect to where PokerStars is available. This includes servers in Canada, the Czech Republic, Australia, and other regions.
- Speed. We used the fastest protocols, such as WireGuard and its modern variations, to test each provider's performance. Our list only includes fast VPNs that retain at least 77% of baseline download speed and ensure a lag-free PokerStars experience.
- Security. When you use a VPN to play PokerStars, it’s extremely important that the VPN is secure enough to not reveal you. This means it should include the AES or XChaCha20 encryption and a strict no-logs policy.
- Features. Some VPN features can be of great help when playing at PokerStars. For example, obfuscated servers will make sure your VPN is virtually undetectable. Meanwhile, split tunneling will allow you to decide which apps or websites use the VPN traffic.
- Price. Even cheap VPNs can provide you with just as good of security levels as more expensive ones. That’s why we evaluated what each provider offers for the money you have to pay and provided options for every budget.
Why do I need a VPN for PokerStars?
There are a lot of benefits to using a VPN to play PokerStars and other poker services. Naturally, the primary perk is circumventing the error message displayed below.
Let’s take a look at those benefits in more detail:
- Site access. If you live in a country where online gambling is illegal (or simply falls into a grey area), then using a PokerStars VPN is the only way to play some online poker games. On another note, gambling might not even be illegal in your area but the site may be blocked due to licensing issues.
- Security. It’s good to use a VPN for PokerStars if you simply want your connection to be secured, especially if you use public wifi for that. Also, it can be a good idea to simply hide your activity from your ISP (Internet Service Provider).
- Speed throttling. Your ISP might throttle, or slow down, your internet connection speed when certain activities are detected. In these rare cases, a VPN will actually speed things up, not vice versa.
Why is PokerStars restricted in certain countries?
Unfortunately, like all the other gambling sites, PokerStars is blocked in many countries of the world.
Most of the PokerStars blocks are related not to the site itself or its licensing, but the general situation of real money games in certain locations.
For example, you won’t be able to access the page (or claim the bonuses, for that matter) in virtually any Muslim country due to religious reasons. In other words, gambling may be considered a crime where you live, and it’s smart to check all the laws around it before accessing sites like PokerStars.
However, even non-Muslim countries can ban PokerStars or any other poker site. For example, some countries may require gambling sites to have specific licenses. And in some cases, the laws surrounding gambling are downright confusing, like in the USA - there, only certain states (like New Jersey or Delaware) allow real money games in the first place.
Where is PokerStars blocked?
There are many countries where you won’t be able to play PokerStars unless you use a VPN to bypass the geo-restrictions. Here are some of the countries where PokerStars is blocked:
|Continent||State or country|
|Europe||North Macedonia, Serbia, Vatican City, Cyprus, Netherlands, Germany, Ukraine|
|Americas||Colombia, USA (with the exception of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, West Virginia, and Michigan)|
|Africa||Egypt, Nigeria, Central African Republic, Chad, Kenya|
|Asia and Oceania||Australia, Bangladesh, China, French Polynesia, Jordan, Malaysia, New Caledonia, Pakistan, United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Russia, North Korea, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, India|
However, keep in mind that this is just a small part of the countries where you won’t be able to access PokerStars. You can check out the full list on the official website of this online poker giant.
Certain locations might punish gambling by a fine or even imprisonment, so stay vigilant about your actions.
How to play PokerStars in the USA
PokerStars is completely unavailable in America with the exception of states like New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, West Virginia, and Michigan. That means the majority of American players will need to enable a VPN to play PokerStars without limits. Here’s how to do that.
- Purchase a top-shelf VPN for PokerStars. We recommend betting on NordVPN, the #1 VPN for online gambling
- Install the VPN app on your gaming device
- Connect to a nearby country where PokerStars is available, such as Canada or Brazil
- Open PokerStars and play it anywhere!
How to play PokerStars in Australia
The Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill released in 2023 by the Australian government makes it practically impossible to play PokerStars with real money in the country. As such, you’ll have to follow our guide if you want to enjoy PokerStars in Australia.
- Choose a reliable PokerStars VPN. Our top choice is NordVPN with its worldwide server fleet
- Download the VPN to your device
- Boot up the software and connect to a country that permits PokerStars, such as New Zealand
- Open the PokerStars app and play without limits!
Safety tips for playing PokerStars with a VPN
Nobody wants their PokerStars account frozen or downright banned for using a VPN. Luckily, there are a few tips that will help you to minimize your chances of being detected or losing your funds:
- Turn on the VPN on time. It’s really important that you connect to the desired VPN server before you open your PokerStars client. In this way, the service won’t detect an IP change.
- Withdraw your winnings often. As there’s always a chance to get your account frozen, don’t let your winnings accumulate. Withdraw your money as often as possible. This also helps to not trigger KYC (your identity verification), which would expose your real location.
- Enable the kill switch. Before playing, check whether the VPN’s kill switch is turned on. Even though usually it’s enabled by default, some VPNs leave it to the user to decide. The feature will prevent your real IP from being exposed if the VPN malfunctions.
- Use obfuscated servers. These kinds of servers will hide your VPN traffic as regular traffic, making it harder for PokerStars to detect that you’re tricking them. You can find server obfuscation on such VPNs as NordVPN and Surfshark.
In case your VPN can’t seemingly unblock PokerStars, try changing the tunneling protocol first, as the poker client might only block a certain protocol. Also, try your luck with different countries and servers.
Is it legal to use a VPN with PokerStars?
Yes, it is legal to use a VPN to play at PokerStars if online poker is allowed in your country. However, keep in mind that VPN usage doesn’t make an illegal activity into a legal one. So, if you live in a region where gambling is extremely frowned upon, you might still get into trouble.
Also, PokerStars might freeze or ban your account if it catches you using a VPN, especially if it decides to ask for documents to confirm your identity.
Can I use a free VPN for PokerStars?
Yes, it’s possible to play at PokerStars with a free VPN, but you should be careful about it. If you simply pick a random free VPN, you might get your personal information stolen and sold to third parties. Also, your browser might start getting annoying and dangerous ads that contain malware and viruses.
Luckily, there are a few trustworthy freemium VPNs. But not all of them are suitable for PokerStars specifically. For example, even though Proton VPN has a great free version with an unlimited amount of data, none of its servers unblock PokerStars.
On a similar note, the free version of Windscribe might bypass the geo-restrictions of this poker site, but it has a monthly limit of 10MB, which isn’t that much.
That’s why your best bet to unblock PokerStars would be using a VPN with a free trial and a money-back guarantee on top of it.
- NordVPN – enjoy PokerStars without interruptions using the 7-day free trial for Android devices (can be used on other devices after setup) on top of a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Surfshark – make use of the 7-day free trial for macOS, iOS, and Android devices as well as a 30-day money-back guarantee to effortlessly get into PokerStars.
PokerStars is a popular gambling site that isn’t available in lots of countries. Users from certain US states, Australia, Germany, Serbia, or any other country where PokerStars isn’t available will have to use a VPN to access the site.
Our top recommendation is NordVPN. Our tests showed that it effortlessly unblocks the platform in loads of countries using servers in Canada, Italy, the UK, and more. Plus, it doesn’t compromise on speed, ensuring buffering-free gambling.
However, be wary of your country’s stance on gambling. Try to access PokerStars only if there are no heavy penalties for doing so, as online poker should be a fun and lighthearted activity, not a cause of headache.
More VPN Guides from Cybernews
Can I use VPN for PokerStars?
Yes, you can use a VPN to unblock PokerStars. Just keep in mind that if gambling is illegal in your country, using a VPN won’t make this activity legal.
Can PokerStars detect I am using a VPN?
Yes, there’s a slight chance that PokerStars will detect your VPN activity. In this case, your account might get frozen or banned.
Can I play PokerStars in Australia with VPN?
Yes, you can use a VPN for accessing PokerStars in Australia. However, keep in mind that Australian laws don’t allow playing with real money, only play money.
What's the best VPN for online poker?
Can I play PokerStars in the USA?
Yes, you can play PokerStars in a few US states, including Connecticut, Delaware, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. If you want to play in other states, you can use a VPN that’s fast and capable of bypassing geo-restrictions, such as NordVPN.
Can you play PokerStars with a VPN?
Yes, you’ll have no trouble playing PokerStars with a VPN if you’re using a top-quality provider. It will ensure your home IP address and location remain entirely hidden while maintaining fast connection speeds. And don’t forget to enable the kill switch to prevent data leaks.
Can I play PokerStars from another country?
Yes, you can play PokerStars from any country you want if you have a reliable VPN with thousands of worldwide servers. It allows you to redirect your traffic through countries where PokerStars isn’t restricted, thus granting access to the gambling site anywhere.