5 Best VPNs for PokerStars (How to Play it With VPN)
PokerStars is by far the most popular platform to play poker online. Unfortunately, it’s not available in a number of markets, including most US states. To access it, you’ll need to use an additional tool, like a reliable VPN service. But, you should also know that there are some risks that come with this. So, can you use a VPN for PokerStars (and other poker sites)?
Connecting to VPN servers and getting a dedicated IP address to play on PokerStars is the most effective way to play poker on this popular online gaming platform. With a reliable VPN, you can access poker sites from anywhere and enjoy your favorite poker variations without any worries. Of course, there’s a lot more to know about this, and we’re here to share everything with you.
- NordVPN – The best VPN for PokerStars overall.
- Surfshark – Feature-rich and affordable choice for accessing online poker sites.
- AtlasVPN – Great budget choice with unlimited connections.
- PrivateVPN – Simple PokerStars VPN with superb privacy features.
- ExpressVPN – The most technically advanced VPN for playing poker online.
How to Use a VPN for PokerStars
Want to play PokerStars in your location, but it’s unavailable? You can go around the issue in just six easy-to-follow steps!
- Sign up with one of the best VPN services (mentioned in this article).
- Download the appropriate VPN app for your device.
- Connect to a server in a country where playing PokerStars is possible.
- Download their app (Available on Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS).
- Create a PokerStars account and deposit money into it (in the same way as in most online casinos).
- Join a table and start playing PokerStars!
Tips on Playing Online Poker with the Best VPN
Even though VPN usage is not allowed on PokerStars, it is still possible to use it to access this poker site in this way. To limit the risk of losing all your funds and getting your account banned, here are the best tips on how to access PokerStars and play poker with a VPN:
Quick tips on playing PokerStars with a VPN:
- Use a VPN with a dedicated IP for private internet access
- Deposit only the amount you need to play online poker games
- Cash out as often as you can
- Consider playing on a crypto poker site
- Use a premium VPN that disables IPv6
- Use a premium VPN with a kill switch
Use a VPN with a Dedicated IP for Accessing Online Casinos
In many cases where it is needed to mask a VPN connection with maximum reliability, a dedicated IP is used. Using a static IP address will ensure that you are the only one connecting to your favorite poker sites from the same IP address all the time.
Having a residential type of IP masks unusual traffic that most websites detect when a regular VPN server is used. Having this type of IP would make you look like you are based in a country to which you are connected and prevent popular poker sites from detecting the fact that a VPN is used. With this type of IP address, the websites have no idea that a VPN is used.
There are some really good VPNs for accessing poker sites (like NordVPN) that offer dedicated IP addresses and help in such cases where you need to mask your location. With most providers, dedicated IP options usually come with a small added price, but this is entirely worth it if you plan on playing casino games regularly and with larger amounts of money.
Deposit Only the Amount You Need for Online Gambling at the Moment
Since there is a risk that your account might be canceled, it is best to deposit only the amount of money you are planning to use for online gambling in the near future. You should also use an international transfer service, such as PayPal, that would not expose your real details about where your bank is located.
Some online poker companies allow depositing money in cryptocurrency as well. By using these methods, you aren’t revealing any identifiable details in terms of your real location.
Cash Out as Often as You Can
Due to the same risks that your account might be canceled, it’s best to withdraw the money from online gaming sites as often as possible. You never know when PokerStars can detect the usage of a VPN and block you not only from playing the game but also from withdrawing funds. So, to stay safe in case of a “worst case scenario” and avoid headaches, don’t keep large amounts of money in your PokerStars account.
Consider Playing on Crypto Poker Sites
Some gambling sites, such as Coinpoker or Roobet, allow you to deposit and withdraw using cryptocurrencies exclusively. Of course, playing crypto poker comes with different risks involving cryptocurrency volatility. However, there are usually no restrictions on VPN usage when playing, and depositing or withdrawing funds usually does not require any identity verification as well.
Use a VPN That Disables IPv6
Many poker players are unaware that your internet connection, even with a VPN, has another type of IP address that can be used to identify you. It’s called IPv6. Just like your regular IPv4, this type of IPv6 address can expose your true location to the websites as well. It is essential to use a VPN that handles IPv6 addresses as well and prevents them from leaking.
Use a VPN With a Kill Switch
Speaking of IP leaks, a VPN kill switch is a feature that is a must-have when playing online poker. Any unexpected disconnect from a VPN server would leak your real IP address and reveal your location.
Due to these unforeseen VPN connection drops, your account might end up locked. A VPN kill switch will protect you from any unexpected location and IP address leaks if you disconnect from the VPN server. It does so by cutting off your entire connection immediately if you lose the connection to the VPN server.
The Best VPNs for PokerStars
If you are looking for the best VPN for PokerStars or other online games, here are a few to choose from. Many of them offer a dedicated IP service, protect from IP leaks and have a VPN kill switch. Here are the five best ones to play PokerStars or other online poker games:
NordVPN can unblock any site out there, no matter how stringent it is. Considering that, it can access PokerStars servers any time you need it to. It does this thanks to features such as CyberSec, next-gen encryption, and in-house NordLynx protocol.
Performance aside, NordVPN also does a great job keeping you safe and providing private internet access when playing on PokerStars. It offers over 5,500 servers in 59 countries, with all of its servers being RAM-based. Moreover, the service is based in Panama, doesn’t log any user activity data, and has proven safe and reliable by independent audits.
NordVPN apps are available for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Linux and are filled with great tools. Some of the most notable security features include obfuscation, Threat Protection, and a Double VPN feature.
It’s backed up by a very budget-friendly subscription, starting at only a couple of bucks per month. NordVPN isn’t only the best VPN provider around, but one that offers the best value for your money. Plus, there’s no risk when trying out NordVPN. They offer a 30-day money-back guarantee to all of their customers, no questions asked.
- Thousands of lightning-fast and well-optimized servers
- Unblocks all the major streaming sites
- Fully supports Torrenting and P2P
- Strict no-logs policy and RAM-disk servers
- Ad blocker and malware protection features
- Robust security features and military-grade encryption to protect you from DDoS attacks and other online threats
- 24/7 live chat support
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Only 6 simultaneous connections
- No free trial
Surfshark is one of the most reliable and best-performing VPNs for PokerStars you can opt for. It offers intuitive apps, so you can easily set up a VPN on any device where you want to play poker with the PokerStars app. Surfshark is independently-audited and is owned by Nord Security, a trusted company that also owns NordVPN.
It supports above-average and very stable network speeds and great in-app features. These include a MultiHop feature, kill-switch, and Camouflage Mode. The latter is particularly important, as it’s Surfshark’s take on VPN obfuscation. It allows you to mask your VPN traffic as regular traffic. What’s more, with Surfshark, you have unlimited simultaneous connections.
On top of all of these characteristics, Surfshark stands out for its proprietary NoBorders Mode. This feature allows you to bypass severe network restrictions and minimizes the chance of getting banned for VPN usage. NoBorders is an excellent tool to have on gambling sites like PokerStars. It’s available on Surfshark’s Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS apps.
- A very affordable VPN provider
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Ad-blocking feature
- Unblocks streaming platforms
- A fast and light WireGuard protocol
- Allows split-tunneling and has a multi-hop VPN feature
- No-log policy and robust security features
- GPS spoofing on Android devices
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- No free version
- Does not allow P2P seeding
There’s no doubt that a VPN can significantly improve your online poker experience. AtlasVPN is a perfect choice and one of the best VPNs for poker, especially when it comes to joining one of the best online poker gaming websites – Pokerstars.
More than 750 servers worldwide will ensure that you can access this website wherever you are located. This variety of servers is crucial for those who live in the United States of America, as the PokerStars website is unavailable in nearly all US states (apart from Pennsylvania, Michigan, and New Jersey).
The network kill switch will make sure your IP/DNS won’t get exposed. There’s also a tracker blocker and AES-256 encryption that will make sure your connection is highly secure. What is more, Atlas VPN protects both IPv4 and IPv6 connections, as well as prevents your IP from leaking.
You can get these great features by choosing the best payment plan out of the currently available ones and with no risks because of its 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Very affordable plans and it has a free version
- Fast Speeds
- Helpful against an ISP throttling your connection
- Unlimited device support
- WireGuard protocol, DNS leak protection, and strong security features
- Unblocks streaming services
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Limited Linux app
- Based in the US
- Not so many servers
If you’re a casual poker player just looking for a practical and convenient VPN to play PokerStars sometimes, PrivateVPN is hard to beat. It offers a well-balanced set of features in easy-to-use app clients, all at a very affordable price.
Plus, the service provides you with more than 200 VPN locations in 63 countries. So, no matter where you want to play PokerStars from, you can rest assured that PrivateVPN has you covered.
Looking into the service’s characteristics, you can find a good mix of privacy, security, and performance features. It allows you to choose between five different connection types and four OpenVPN encryption levels.
Moreover, you can take advantage of useful features like port forwarding and an advanced kill switch. To top this off, there’s both IPv6 and DNS leak protection. All of this firmly places the service among the top five VPNs for PokerStars.
- Supports P2P traffic and allows port forwarding
- Unlimited bandwidth and great speeds
- Unblocks most streaming platforms
- Zero-logging policy
- Free Static IP servers
- 10 simultaneous connections
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Not as many servers as other VPN providers
- No split-tunneling
ExpressVPN has a proven track record of being one of the premier VPN services. It excels at accessing all major gaming sites, and the situation is no different when it comes to PokerStars. This VPN service has a first-rate and well-distributed VPN network of RAM-based servers in 94 countries across the globe.
Like a few other top-rated VPNs, ExpressVPN has also developed its proprietary protocol called Lightway. This super-light protocol uses only around a thousand lines of code, making it light and very functional.
All of these ExpressVPN make it a superb choice for many other online activities, not only playing on PokerStars. ExpressVPN is also one of the best VPNs for streaming, torrenting, and accessing geo-blocked content. Given this, it’s also one of the most expensive services, even if you opt for a more extended subscription plan.
- Works with streaming
- Supports torrenting
- No-logs policy
- TrustedServer technology with RAM-only servers
- Premium security features
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Expensive subscription plans
- Only 5 simultaneous connections
Where is PokerStars Blocked?
As a poker platform that controls over two-thirds of the overall online poker market, PokerStars is very well-regulated. This means that it explicitly lists the countries and locations it does and doesn’t operate. Focusing on the latter, here’s a list of the countries and territories that PokerStars blocks from real money activities:
- USA (Except where locally licensed)
- North Macedonia
- New Caledonia
- French Polynesia
- Indian States (Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Assam, Odisha, Sikkim, and Gujarat)
Focusing on major markets like the US and Australia, online poker through PokerStars is unavailable mainly because this platform hasn’t managed to obtain the license to operate or because poker is illegal anyway.
In Australia, the recently passed 2017 amendment to the country’s 2001 Gambling Act significantly tightened this regulation. Although this amendment doesn’t criminalize players for playing online poker, it makes it nearly impossible for most poker platforms to operate in the country.
That said, when it comes to the US specifically, PokerStars isn’t blocked in the entire country. The vast majority of US states block PokerStars and have made online poker illegal altogether. However, you can still access and enjoy the PokerStars app and website in New Jersey, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and hopefully other US states in the near future as well.
What Is the PokerStars VPN Policy?
VPN use aimed at playing on PokerStars is not forbidden until you play it without real money. However, they warn that you should not use it since some website functionalities, such as the game itself, might not work (which is rarely the case).
Still, when it comes to playing with real money and playing from a jurisdiction where it is prohibited, the PokerStars VPN policy states that: “Customers who attempt real money gaming activity from inside a prohibited jurisdiction with the aid of VPNs or other technical workarounds will lose their privileges and/or funds in their account”.
So, in short, if you want to play real money, you are risking getting banned and losing all the funds in case they detect you using a VPN. But can it really detect it? This leads us to the next key topic.
Can PokerStars Detect a VPN?
Playing on PokerStars with a VPN comes with a certain risk, but many people do it anyway. It is indeed possible not only for PokerStars but for other online poker websites to detect a VPN connection.
When you use a VPN to play poker, you can be detected in a few ways:
- The website might know that the IP address belongs to a VPN provider
- Seeing multiple connections coming from the same VPN server IP address
- Many different IP addresses are used to connect to your account (switching servers)
PokerStars might have a monitoring system that detects the IP addresses used to connect to the website. By knowing the IP address, they know your actual location and, this way, block access to the website.
Using a VPN to play poker for sure hides your real IP address, making you appear from the place where it is legal to play it. But, some IPs that belong to a VPN provider might be blacklisted.
When you are using a VPN, there is a chance that other people use the same server to connect to PokerStars. It raises a red flag – multiple connections made from the same IP to log in to different accounts look very suspicious, therefore, they can tell that a VPN might be used.
Many websites monitor and log the IP addresses from which you are connecting to your account in order to prevent fraud or your account from being stolen. Each time you connect from a different VPN server means you are connecting from a different IP. Frequently switching IP addresses might indicate that you are using a VPN. For this reason, it is advised to choose one of the best VPN providers that offer dedicated IP addresses.
Playing on PokerStars with a VPN is a risky endeavor and one that very well may end up with you getting banned. That said, to minimize the chance of this happening, you need to pick a trusted VPN with the right set of features and quality servers. As tempting as it is, don’t opt for a free VPN app – it can be too risky to access online poker sites without all the advanced security features the premium VPN providers offer.
Each of the five VPNs we’ve discussed on this page is able to unblock PokerStars from anywhere in the world and is equipped with solid privacy and security traits. That said, NordVPN is our top pick for PokerStars, and we recommend signing up with this service if you want the best PokerStars VPN.
PokerStars VPN FAQs
Is it legal to use a VPN for PokerStars?
Yes, using a VPN to play on PokerStars is entirely legal, provided VPN use is legal in your country. So, you can enjoy poker without worrying about getting into legal trouble. However, this doesn’t mean that PokerStars won’t ban your account if it notices VPN use or that you’re accessing from a restricted region.
Additionally, if you live in a country where VPN use is legal but gambling isn’t, be wary of using a VPN to play poker on PokerStars. Just because you’re using a VPN, it doesn’t justify the fact that you’re engaging in illegal activities according to your country’s laws.
Why do I need a VPN to play PokerStars?
The main reason why you might need a VPN for PokerStars is that the site is blocked in your region, whether for legal or licensing reasons. Apart from this, even if PokerStars is available in your location, you might want to use it for added privacy and security or to prevent your internet service provider from throttling your bandwidth.
Can I use a free VPN to unblock PokerStars?
We discourage you from using a free PokerStars VPN. Not many premium VPNs can deliver reliable services for PokerStars, let alone free ones. Free VPNs have a small selection of slower servers, so you’re more likely to be detected and blocked. Moreover, many free VPNs are not safe to use and can’t protect your privacy.
If you want to try out a VPN for PokerStars without spending any money, we recommend signing up with a premium VPN with a money-back guarantee. That way, you can usually enjoy 30 days of risk-free service and get your money back if you don’t want to continue using the service.
Can I get banned for using a VPN on PokerStars?
Yes, you will get banned from PokerStars if the platform detects that you’re using a VPN. There are numerous examples of this happening to players all over the globe. A few years back, a famous poker player called Sorel Mizzi was banned because he was using a VPN to access the platform from the US.
Is PokerStars blocked somewhere in the US?
PokerStars is blocked in the majority of US states. The only US states where you can legally play on PokerStars are New Jersey, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. While other US states are also looking to offer this option in the future, these three states are currently the only ones where PokerStars is available.