7 Best VPNs for Online Poker in 2023 (Unblock It Now)
Although online poker has made some massive leaps in the past two decades, it’s still a relatively new branch of the gambling industry and, as such, suffers from some inherent problems. Mainly, its legalization is left up to individual countries, which have ultimate power in deciding on the game’s legality.
This means that in some places, you can’t access sites that players in neighboring countries can enjoy. To resolve this, some online players resort to using VPN services to change their IP and gain access to poker websites. But, can you use a VPN to play online poker?
The answer is yes! You can take advantage of VPN servers to play on poker platforms that would otherwise be unavailable. However, to do so, you need to pick a reliable VPN. Moreover, you need to know additional tips so you don’t get banned. Luckily, we’ve prepared everything you should know, all in this detailed guide.
Want quick tips?
- NordVPN – Best VPN for online poker.
- Surfshark – Unlimited conenctions and above-average speeds.
- PrivateVPN – Beginner-friendly and reliable VPN.
- Atlas VPN – Great all-around VPN for online gambling.
- ExpressVPN – Secure and private premium service.
- Private Internet Access – Great alternative option
- CyberGhost – Has many servers to unblock poker sites
Top 7 VPNs to Play Poker Online
After comparing the top VPNs for online poker, we’ve determined that NordVPN is the best poker VPN you can get. It has over 5,500 servers in 60 countries worldwide. Some of these server locations also support dedicated IP options. After testing several servers, we’ve found that its DNS leak protection works faultlessly.
NordVPN has created an internal protocol called NordLynx, which tops all other VPN protocols in speed without compromising on other features. You can connect up to six devices on one subscription on any major OS platform or browser you prefer to use.
As the most impressive VPN service for poker, NordVPN doesn’t disappoint with its feature list. It has obfuscated servers, split tunneling, a kill switch, and blocks malware. Some of its most interesting advanced features include Onion Over VPN and Double VPN.
It’s also the safest VPN you can use to play on poker websites. It’s based in Panama and has a zero-logs policy. Over and above, it has been independently audited several times in the past and has always passed without any problems.
- 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’s network includes more than 3,200 servers in 95 countries. The entire network supports the excellent WireGuard protocol and runs only on RAM-based servers. Every server also has private DNS and allows you to use Camouflage Mode. The latter is very convenient on top sites like PokerStars, as it masks the fact that you’re using a VPN.
It’s one of the fastest VPNs in the industry, so you can play your favorite online poker variations without lag. Surfshark is very safe, seeing that it doesn’t keep any connection logs and is independently audited. It comes with a CleanWeb feature that blocks all trackers, malware, and ads.
Plus, it allows you to connect an unlimited number of devices. So, you can play poker on as many devices as you want and even share your subscription with your friends when playing this game. And, when it comes to supported devices, Surfshark covers all major software platforms and browsers.
- 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
If you want a simple VPN that will help you access PokerStars and other poker platforms and don’t want to mess around with any advanced features, PrivateVPN is the perfect fit for you. This VPN excellently combines customizability and simplicity to deliver a user-friendly service for every beginner VPN user.
It has over 200 server locations in 63 countries, covering many locations. Its capable network is great for unblocking not only poker sites but major streaming platforms. It even works in authoritarian countries like China and Russia, so you can play your favorite card game no matter where you are.
Also, PrivateVPN is an extremely stable VPN service. It has an uptime of 99.98% across its server network so that you can enjoy your gambling sessions without any connection drops. And, true to its name, PrivateVPN protects you against DNS leaks, has a kill switch, and has a server obfuscation feature.
- 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
4. Atlas VPN
Atlas VPN offers you 750 servers in 43 locations. This includes servers in popular locations like North America, the UK, France, and Germany, among others, so you’ll have no issues accessing major poker platforms like PokerStars. All of its servers also include private DNS, so you don’t have to worry about DNS leaks.
As this VPN service also includes a handful of advanced features, it’s an excellent choice for all types of online activities. For instance, all of its servers are P2P friendly, and some of its servers are optimized for streaming. It even has features like SafeSwap, which allows you to access the Internet from several IP addresses at a time.
This VPN allows you to connect an unlimited number of devices per one subscription plan. It also provides you the option of paying with cryptocurrencies. That way, you can maintain maximum privacy from the moment you purchase a VPN subscription to the moment you start playing online poker.
- 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
ExpressVPN provides blazing-fast servers in 94 countries. What’s more, it’s also one of the most powerful VPNs in terms of unblocking, as it can access every site you want. So, you can use it without a fault on the biggest platforms like PokerStars and GGPoker.
With ExpressVPN, you won’t have any disruptions that could break up your poker rhythm, as this service has flawless security features. It uses 256-encryption, a kill switch, and even has an in-house protocol called Lightway. To top this off, all of its servers have DDoS protection.
The only reason ExpressVPN isn’t higher on our list is that it could offer better value for money. It’s a bit on the pricey side and only supports five simultaneous connections. That said, if you want a robust and premium-priced VPN and don’t mind the connection limit, ExpressVPN is a prime choice.
- 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
6. Private Internet Access
With around 30,000 servers worldwide, Private Internet Access offers the most extensive server network out of all of our features VPNs. Its servers deliver fast connection speeds, which is very valuable for playing poker. Like most top-quality VPNs, PIA also offers you dedicated IP addresses.
PIA is the only VPN on our list that offers 100% open-source transparency when it comes to its apps. Everything is publicly available for anyone to check. It’s also a highly customizable service. You can configure custom DNS, port forwarding, proxies, and more. There are also standard VPN features like advanced split tunneling and a kill switch.
It’s also one of the most affordable VPNs if you get one of its long-term subscriptions. One potential drawback for some players is that this VPN is based in the US, known for its intrusive online privacy laws. That said, this shouldn’t concern you, as PIA doesn’t keep any logs of your online activities or identifiable data.
- Thousands of servers
- Great for torrenting and P2P
- Strong security and encryption
- Block ads, trackers, and malware
- 10 simultaneous device connections
- Anonymous payment methods
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Based in the US
- Not all streaming services can be unblocked
CyberGhost’s impressive network includes over 8,100 servers in 91 countries. So, you’re guaranteed smooth access to your favorite gambling site from anywhere in the world. Moreover, it also offers you the possibility of getting a US, Germany, France, UK, or Canada-based dedicated IP address, ideal for rigorous sites like PokerStars.
While it does offer virtual servers, most of its servers are physically located in the listed location. More importantly, CyberGhost lists this transparently, so you can only stick with physical servers if you prefer.
This VPN also has a strong commitment to keeping you safe and private. It uses 256-bit encryption and doesn’t log any of your personal information. To add to this, CyberGhost apps also come with a kill switch, offer DDoS protection, and keep your connection free of DNS and IP leaks. CyberGhost also has a 45-day money-back guarantee on its long-term subscriptions.
- Good for streaming and torrenting
- WireGuard protocol available
- No Logs
- Offers Dedicated IP option
- Free browser extension
- 45-day money-back guarantee
- No third-party audits
- Messy app’s interface
How We Tested the Best Poker VPNs
While many VPNs might claim that they have the best servers or are the most capable of unblocking poker sites, this isn’t true. Because of this, you need to pick a VPN service based on a specific set of criteria. Here’s how we tested the top poker VPNs:
A top-quality VPN for online poker should offer a rich network of servers covering most countries worldwide. Equally as important, it should have servers in the right locations, allowing you to connect to any major website you want to explore.
For example, PokerStars restricts players from dozens of countries, preventing them from enjoying its services. If you live in one of these restricted countries, you need a PokerStars VPN with servers in permitted countries like the US, the UK, Germany, and others.
Preferably, you should opt for a VPN service that offers you the option of getting a dedicated IP address in the location you want to connect to. This will reduce the chance of the platform detecting your VPN connection, as you’ll be the only player with that IP address.
Security and Privacy Features
In addition to ensuring problem-free access to the poker platform, you also want to be certain that your connection will remain private and secure. To deliver this, the VPN should also possess strong protection features.
More specifically, all of the VPNs we’ve recommended come with 256-bit encryption, which will guarantee your connection is secure. Additionally, other important traits include leak protection, a kill switch, different protocols, and even some advanced features like obfuscation and split tunneling.
A reliable VPN service for online poker should also provide fast and stable connection speeds. Online poker is a very fast-paced game, and the last thing you want when playing it is to have a laggy connection that impacts your performance and concentration.
Moreover, this becomes even more important if you prefer multi-tabling. A connection freeze or drop at the wrong moment when you’re playing multiple tables can lead to you losing a lot of money. Considering that, we’ve only recommended the fastest VPNs you can use to play.
Added Useful Characteristics
The three criteria above are unquestionably and objectively important to check when picking a trusted VPN service for online poker. But, there are also a few extra elements that you can personally decide on based on your preferences.
For instance, if you prefer playing online poker on a specific device, you should look for a VPN that offers quality apps for that type of device.
Additionally, if you value a reliable support service or appreciate a lengthy money-back guarantee, you should focus on VPNs that deliver this. Every player will have different preferences, so only you can decide on what suits you best in this regard.
Why You Need a VPN on Online Poker Sites
Some players are lucky to live in a jurisdiction that allows unrestricted online gambling. But, many gambling enthusiasts worldwide, unfortunately, aren’t in this position. Moreover, even if you don’t need a VPN to unblock poker platforms, there are still reasons why a VPN service is very valuable. Here are the three top reasons why you need a VPN for playing online poker:
Access Poker Websites
If you’ve come to this guide thinking, “can I use a VPN to play online poker?”, likely the main reason behind this is that you want to access a poker platform that’s restricted in your location. The good news is that unblocking gambling websites is the most common reason why most online gamblers use VPNs to play online. So, it’s a working tool you can rely on in this instance.
By connecting to one of the VPN’s servers in the area the site operates in, you can avoid your local regulation and trick the site into thinking you’re really accessing from a permitted location. This works identically as in cases when you’re connecting to servers to access streaming sites or other restricted services.
Stay Private Online
Other than helping you gain access to a poker platform, a VPN also allows you to use the Internet in great privacy. By routing your real IP address through one of the VPN’s servers, you can keep your private information to yourself.
No one will be able to see your real IP or track you as you play poker online or use the Internet for other entertainment purposes. To a certain extent, you can maintain anonymity in an online environment that increasingly sees less and less of it.
Protect Against DDoSing
When you’re playing gambling games online, the threat of getting DDoSed is bigger than you might think. In a competitive environment, some players can get carried away and try to pay someone to DDoS their opponents. Even when this isn’t the case, there’s always the threat of cyber attackers carrying out such an attack.
This isn’t only annoying but potentially financially damaging. You can get kicked from the table and lose all of the money you had in the pot. And there’s nothing that the poker website can really do to protect you from a DDoS attack.
If you want to protect yourself against such threats, using a VPN is a simple solution to a dangerous problem. A VPN with DDoS protection will ensure you don’t lose money because a malicious player DDoSed you.
Can Online Poker Websites Detect VPNs?
Yes, some online poker sites can detect that you’re using a VPN. More precisely, it primarily depends on the platform on which you’re playing online poker. Some sites will promptly ban you and confiscate your winnings if they discover you’re playing on a VPN IP address.
That said, this is why it’s crucial to pick a trusted VPN for online poker. We’ve tested each service thoroughly before recommending it to make sure it can keep you safe and allow you to play without getting banned.
How to Unblock Online Poker websites with a VPN
Unblocking online poker sites isn’t very different from unblocking a streaming site like Netflix or Hulu. Moreover, if you do it correctly, you can access poker sites from anywhere in the world.
- Sign up with one of our recommended VPNs for online poker
- Download the VPN app for your device
- Connect to a VPN server
- Open up your preferred online poker website (Download the app if necessary)
- Create a poker account
- Deposit money and start playing poker!
Keep in mind that you should always turn on your VPN first before opening the browser. This will prevent the site from detecting that you switched from your real IP address. This is particularly important if you want to unblock popular poker sites like PokerStars, GGPoker, or 888poker. All of these are big brand-name poker sites that pay greater attention to suspicious poker account activity.
Best Free VPNs for Online Poker
To be upfront, we don’t recommend using a free VPN for online gambling. When depositing your hard-earned money into a gambling site, it’s unwise to trust a free VPN to keep everything in check and keep you safe from getting banned.
Free VPNs are simply too limited in many aspects to be suitable for such an important task as unblocking a poker platform. They lack the security and privacy protection features of their premium counterparts. Moreover, many free VPNs are outright scams that will inject malware into your device or sell your data to the highest bidding third party.
Having said that, if you don’t want to spend money on a VPN for poker, there is a viable alternative that will help you avoid using sketchy free VPNs. This is to sign up for a free plan with a premium and trusted VPN service.
For instance, one of our top PokerStars VPN services, Atlas VPN, offers a free plan you can use for an unlimited period. It comes with many features available in the premium plans, but with some restricted features. Notably, you’ll only have three servers to pick from. Still, this is a great way to test your VPN experience before spending on a premium subscription.
Recommended Poker Sites to Unblock with a VPN
In the ever-expanding online gambling industry, there are more online poker sites than ever before. Because of this, it can sometimes be challenging to be certain you’ve picked a trusted online gambling platform, especially if you’re a beginner. That’s why we want to share a few recommended poker sites you can unblock with a VPN:
- PokerStars – it’s no secret that PokerStars is the best-known online poker site in the world. It controls over two-thirds of the online poker market, making it the best option for both beginners and expert online players.
- 888poker – 888 is one of the oldest online casinos, founded in 1997. As a brand under this name, 888poker is one of the safest and most reputable online poker platforms you can play at.
- GGPoker – GGPoker has been on the rise in recent years and is arguably the second-best online poker site where you can play various games for real money. It’s particularly popular for Asian poker players.
- Roobet – Roobet is one of the best crypto-casinos currently out there. It’s a great alternative for online gamblers that want to play online poker and other gambling games using cryptocurrencies.
- Stake – is one of the popular casinos not only for online poker but also for sports betting.
Other Safety Tips for Online Gamblers and Poker Players
Apart from knowing how to pick the right VPN for online poker and how to play poker with a VPN, you should also know a few additional things that will help you ensure a safe online gambling experience. With that in mind, here are a few other useful safety tips for playing online poker and online casino games:
Get a Dedicated IP Address
Some VPNs offer dedicated IP addresses you can get for an additional fee. If you want to be extra careful, consider spending a bit more to get this option. When you have a dedicated IP address, you can be certain that no other VPN user is connected to the same IP. That way, you’ll minimize the chances of the poker site banning you from its platform.
Always Have the Kill Switch On
Another practical tip every player should have in mind when playing poker online with a VPN is to have the kill switch enabled at all times. Exposing your real IP address because of a VPN network drop could lead to you getting banned. But, with a kill switch, the VPN will automatically cut off your network and prevent this from happening.
Make Anonymous Payments
If you use a payment method like a bank transfer or a credit/debit card, you might get restricted from playing. This is because these payment methods give away a lot of your personal data, including where you’re from. To avoid getting restricted from the poker website because of this, use a payment method that doesn’t reveal your personal information.
For example, you can deposit money using a prepaid card or a trusted e-wallet like PayPal, Neteller, or Skrill. Even better, if the poker site allows cryptocurrency transactions, you can deposit your money this way and remain anonymous.
Don’t Keep A Lot of Money in Your Poker Account
Lastly, this isn’t a tip for minimizing the chance of getting banned, but instead useful advice on how to reduce the damage if this happens. When playing online poker with a VPN, especially on an industry-leading site like PokerStars, there’s always a chance of them discovering players who use VPN servers.
Considering this, keep only enough money in your account to sustain your poker bankroll. Anything over that, withdraw it without delay. So, if a poker platform notices suspicious activity regarding using a VPN, you won’t have a lot of money frozen in your account.
Poker VPN FAQs
Will I get banned for using a VPN for online poker?
In some cases, you might get banned for using a VPN for online poker. This mainly happens to online poker players who pick unreliable VPNs or sign up with a free VPN service. This is why you shouldn’t risk using an unproved service and stick with one of our seven recommended VPNs for online poker.
Is it safe to play poker online with a VPN?
Yes, it’s generally safe to play poker online with a VPN service. However, there are several things you should always keep in mind when playing poker online for real money. The first and most important one is that sometimes, poker players do get banned for using a VPN to access poker sites.
Some reputable online poker sites like PokerStars, 888poker, or GGPoker might ask for proof of identity when you’re trying to deposit or withdraw money. This would put you in a tough spot, as any proof of identity you provide them will feature your real location.
Additionally, if you’re wondering if using a VPN to gamble is illegal, it primarily depends on your location. If you’re spoofing your location to gamble online from a country that deems it illegal, your activities are illegal. So, make sure to check your country’s regulations before using a VPN for online poker.
Lastly, even if using a VPN to access online poker sites isn’t illegal in your location, you might experience some unpleasantries. For example, the online gambling site reserves the right to ban you for using a VPN. If you get banned, all of your real money winnings will remain stuck, and you could never retrieve them.
Can I play online poker with a VPN in New Jersey?
Yes, using one of our recommended New Jersey VPNs for gambling is a great way to safely play poker for real money on trusted online poker sites. A New Jersey online gambling VPN is one of the most practical solutions, especially for US players, as New Jersey is one of a handful of US states where online poker is legal.
Can I use PokerStars with a VPN?
Yes, you can use a PokerStars VPN. This also goes for using a VPN for other popular sites like GGPoker or 888poker, but there’s one important thing to note. Using a VPN for poker might get you banned on some poker sites. For instance, PokerStars doesn’t approve VPN use, so you might get banned and lose your funds.
So, if you want to play on a reputable poker site like PokerStars more seriously, consider paying for a premium subscription. For more specific info on how to use a PokerStars VPN and additional things you should know, read our dedicated guide on the best VPNs for PokerStars.
Can I use a free VPN for poker?
We advise you to avoid using a free VPN to play poker. This is because many free online poker VPN services are unsafe. Some of them steal your personal information, while others might infect your device with malware. Plus, many free VPNs will just get you banned from the online poker platform.
If you know what you need to do to get a poker online site unblocked and how to stay safe when you do so, it’s possible to enjoy an issue-free experience. This applies even to the most reputable and stringent poker platforms like PokerStars.
At the end of the day, using a VPN to play online poker is not very complicated. With a trusted VPN and the right servers, you can play online poker on the best poker sites, no matter your actual location. Still, regardless of the VPN that you select, there’s always some risk that your account will get banned.
With that in mind, it’s fundamental to pick a premium VPN you can trust. The seven VPNs for online poker we’ve recommended in this guide are all reputable, offer excellent servers, and have world-class features. At the same time, NordVPN stands out as the best VPN for poker in 2023.