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5 Best VPNs for Online Poker | Unblock PokerStars, GGPoker & more with a VPN

If poker sites are blocked in the country where you live (or are visiting) you can use a VPN to bypass those restrictions! We'll show you five of the very best VPNs for online poker in this guide, as well as how to use them, and everything else you need to know before you play your first hand.

The Best VPNs for poker online at a glance

In a hurry? Not a problem! Check out our top poker VPNs in the table below. Each service has been tested, reviewed, and hand-picked by our team of experts, who have hands-on experience with more VPNs than you can shake a stick at. For a more detailed look at each provider, scroll down to our in-depth summaries.

  1. ExpressVPN - The best VPN for online poker. Quick, offers static IPs and protection against DDoS attacks, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
  2. TIP

    In our testing we checked that all ExpressVPN plans work for Netflix. The one year plan is the best value: three months free and a 30 day risk-free trial.

  3. NordVPN - The best value VPN for online poker. It offers reliable speeds and comes with intuitive, highly customizable apps for all platforms.
  4. Surfshark - The best budget VPN for online poker. From a little over $2 a month you get a wide choice of servers and unlimited connections.
  5. Private Internet Access - The best secure VPN for online poker. A zero-logs service with tons of security features and an impressive server network.
  6. PrivateVPN - The best user-friendly VPN for online poker. Stacked with security features, like a kill-switch, and offers 24/7 customer support.

See in-depth analysis

Using a VPN for poker will allow you to sign up to betting sites and online casinos like PokerStars, 888 Poker, or PartyPoker, to name a few! Sites like these may be unavailable in your country, however, if online gambling is illegal – but a VPN can bypass these blocks. As a result, you'll be able to play online poker from anywhere in the world, at any time.

Even in the US, some poker sites are hard to access or outright banned, and players in poker tournaments may need to rely on a VPN to access their accounts.

Before we recommend any VPN for online poker, we make sure that it offers the following key benefits:

Now that you know what makes a good VPN for online poker, let's take a closer look at which providers we'd recommend.

The best VPNs for playing online poker in 2022

Below, you'll find an in-depth look at each of our top VPN picks for online poker. These services boast excellent value for money, easy-to-use apps, and servers across the globe – so you can access any online casino, regardless of your actual location! 

1. ExpressVPN
Editor's Choice | February 2024

ExpressVPN is the best VPN for online poker. With a huge network of servers, access to popular poker sites, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

  • Pricing

    • 12 months + 3 months FREE + Backblaze backup: $6.67/mth
      49% OFF
    • 6 months: $9.99/mth
    • 1 month: $12.95/mth
  • Pros

    • Servers in 94 countries
    • Outstanding 24/7 live chat support
    • Lightning-fast connection speeds ideal for poker
    • Strong OpenVPN encryption
    • Audited zero-logs policy
  • Cons

    • A bit pricey – but worth it!
    • Only allows 5 connections per subscription
    • Streaming servers aren't labelled
  • Available for

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Server locations

    • 160
  • Unblocks

    • Pokerstars
    • 888Poker
    • GGPoker
    • PartyPoker
  • Is torrenting allowed?

    • Torrenting allowed
  • Website

ExpressVPN Demo

ExpressVPN Demo ExpressVPN Demo

If you want to try the best of the best, you'll want to try ExpressVPN – an industry-leading service that combines impressive unblocking power with robust security features. Admittedly, it's one of the pricier providers in our top five, but you're getting a reliable, premium product in return.

Speedy servers around the world

ExpressVPN has servers in 104 countries s across the globe, including all the key locations you'll need access to in order to play online poker. Not only is the provider lightning-fast, but it also runs on Tier-1 servers that are perfectly suited for absorbing the influx of high sudden bursts of requests during DDoS attacks.

In addition to unblocking all of your favorite poker sites, ExpressVPN can reliably access in-demand streaming services like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime. So, if you're looking to catch up on international content, or just want to kill time between games, ExpressVPN has you covered.

Stay secure on the go

If you play a lot of poker on the go, I've found that ExpressVPN is one of the best VPNs to count on when it comes to security. Its AES-256 encryption will ensure that your identifiable details stay safe if you connect to public Wi-Fi hotspots for a game or two – which comes in handy if you're like me and get bored waiting in drive-thru lines or during your commute!

To top things off, ExpressVPN also comes with an automatically enabled kill-switch (called Network Lock) that will keep your original IP address out of the hands of your ISP in the event of a VPN dropout, so they won't be able to figure out that you've been playing poker. ExpressVPN is also a no-logs provider based in the British Virgin Islands, which is a major privacy win, as the jurisdiction has no mandatory data retention laws! So, you can rest assured that with ExpressVPN, your browsing habits stay well and truly private.

Quality service

ExpressVPN has incredibly stylish apps available for all devices, so it doesn't matter how and when you prefer to play your poker! The apps are easy to install and navigate, even for VPN newbies, and 5 simultaneous connections are permitted. I particularly like that ExpressVPN also comes with a split tunneling feature, so you can pick and choose which apps and devices use your regular internet connection and which are routed through the VPN server, giving you access to regional sites as well as geo-restricted content.

In the rare event that you run into an issue, or if you have any burning questions about which servers are best suited to you, you can get in touch with the ExpressVPN customer service team, available 24/7 via live chat and email. And, don't forget to take advantage of the provider's 30-day money-back guarantee!

NordVPN is a great value VPN for online poker. It comes packed with features including dedicated IPs which are great for unblocking poker sites, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

  • Pricing

    • 24 months + 3 months FREE: $3.69/mth
      70% OFF
    • 12 months: $4.99/mth
      59% OFF
    • 1 month: $11.99/mth
  • Pros

    • Strong encryption and security features
    • A huge network of speedy servers
    • P2P activity supported
    • Audited zero-logs policy
  • Cons

    • Can get a bit slow if you use double encryption
    • You can select cities, but not specific servers
    • A 'love it or hate it' user interface
  • Available for

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Server locations

    • 84
  • Unblocks

    • Pokerstars
    • 888Poker
    • GGPoker
    • PartyPoker
  • Is torrenting allowed?

    • Torrenting allowed
  • Website

Nord Demo

Nord Demo Nord Demo

NordVPN is an excellent choice for poker players who want a full suite of security features to boost their digital privacy – and all without breaking the bank! NordVPN boasts robust encryption, leak protection, and a kill-switch, as well as dedicated IP addresses. Plus, because it also provides multiple simultaneous connections, you can even run the VPN on a virtual machine to create a complete poker solution!

Keep your sessions secure

You might've heard your favorite YouTubers talking about NordVPN, and there's a good reason for the provider's popularity. It's incredibly secure, thanks to AES 256-bit encryption and a number of tried and tested protocols. OpenVPN, my personal preference, removes the risk of snoopers checking out your browsing sessions, and keeps your traffic private – not even your ISP will be able to figure out which sites you've been frequenting. This is especially important for folks who want to play online poker in regions where it might be banned!

To that end, NordVPN also comes with its very own obfuscated servers that can disguise your VPN usage entirely, and a kill-switch to keep you safe if any dropouts occur. I particularly like that NordVPN is one of a few services to have invited independent auditors to comb through its no-logs policy. This policy further reiterates the VPN's impressive stance on privacy by making it crystal clear that no user logs, timestamps, or IP addresses are stored.

Unlock a wealth of content

I've found that NordVPN can unblock a wide variety of betting sites that would otherwise be blocked due to geo-restrictions. As you can imagine, considering the wealth of top-class security features mentioned above, I felt totally safe whilst using the service and didn't worry about completing betting transactions whilst connected to the VPN. NordVPN can also unblock a long list of streaming services, which is good news for Netflix fans who want to check out international libraries!

NordVPN makes it incredibly easy to hop from server to server, and there are servers in 61 countries to choose from. These servers are lightning-fast and constantly being upgraded, so sluggish loading times shouldn't be an issue, regardless of where you are in the world. These blazing speeds will also be appreciated by any torrenters out there, who'll be glad to learn that P2P activity is supported by the VPN, too.

Get set up in a flash

NordVPN is one of a handful of services that I routinely recommend to VPN newbies. It's easy to set up and easy to use, and apps are available for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS devices, so you can really take your games with you wherever you go. You can even check out the NordVPN proxy extensions for Chrome and Firefox. Ideally, I'd like to see the service offer more than 6 simultaneous connections, someday, but that's still more than enough to keep a whole household of devices secure.

All in all, I'd recommend using NordVPN's 30-day money-back guarantee to trial the service's features in your own time. If you need help at any point, simply reach out to the NordVPN customer service team, available via live chat and email.

Surfshark is the best budget VPN for online poker. Offering inexpensive subscriptions and unlimited simultaneous connections, as well as a 30-day money-back guarantee.

  • Pricing

    • 24 months + 2 months FREE: $2.3/mth
      83% OFF
    • 12 months: $3.99/mth
      70% OFF
    • 1 month: $12.95/mth
  • Pros

    • Unlimited simultaneous connections
    • Unblocks all major streaming services
    • A kill-switch and leak protection keeps your games secure
  • Cons

    • Limited P2P servers
    • Monthly subscriptions aren't the cheapest
    • Decent, but not amazing, speeds
  • Available for

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Server locations

    • 100
  • Unblocks

    • Pokerstars
    • 888Poker
    • GGPoker
    • PartyPoker
  • Is torrenting allowed?

    • Torrenting allowed
  • Website

Surfshark Demo

Surfshark Demo Surfshark Demo

Based in the British Virgin Islands, Surfshark is a no-logs VPN service with great technical security and a bunch of useful features for playing poker online. The service has a huge network of servers scattered across the globe, including a vast number of static IPs that ensure your poker provider always registers the same IP address when you log in to your account.

Stress-free gaming

When I was trying out Surfshark for myself, I didn't have any issues accessing poker sites – or other gambling sites for that matter. The VPN worked like a charm with PokerStars and Bet365. Unblocking content is, well and truly, one of Surfshark's strongest selling points. Thanks to more than 3,200 servers in 100 countries , you'll be able to hop geo-restricted and check out streaming services, blogs, and gambling sites from just about any corner of the globe. Surfshark also comes with its very own Smart DNS service, which makes it simple to unblock and stream content directly to your smart TV.

Just like our other top poker VPN picks, Surfshark is more than capable with keeping up with HD streams, VoIP calls, or online gaming, and you can even make good use of the split tunneling feature to decide which apps and websites get routed through the VPN server.

A safe strategy

Distractions are a disaster waiting to happen when you're in a high-stakes poker game – and you certainly won't want to be worrying about whether your online privacy is in jeopardy. Surfshark offers peace of mind with a well-rounded suite of security tools. Your subscription will include DNS leak protection and robust encryption, as well as a number of VPN protocols. I'd suggest using OpenVPN if you're serious about safeguarding your privacy, but WireGuard is a great alternative for those folks who want the speediest connection possible.

Regardless of the protocol you pick, you can rest assured that your traffic will be kept secure and made unreadable to any malicious actors. The Surfshark kill-switch is another invaluable tool – especially for poker players. It'll keep identifiable information from leaking in the event of a VPN dropout, and whilst you'll need to head into the VPN settings and enable it yourself, you can enjoy poker games (and even P2P activity) without worrying about who's keeping tabs on you.

Additionally, Surfshark is an audited no-logs provider based in the British Virgin Islands. The VPN simply isn't interested in keeping hold of your logs, which is exactly the attitude we like to see from all the VPNs we test, and a huge part of why Surfshark bags a place in our top five.

Support when you need it

It's hard to find fault with Surfshark's customer service team! They're available 24/7 via live chat, so don't hesitate to ping them a message if you'd like advice on which server is best for online poker. The customer service team also answered my more technical queries quickly. One of Surfshark's main selling points is its unlimited simultaneous connections – meaning you'll be able to share your subscription with friends and family, secure all of the devices in your house, and really get your money's worth!

Surfshark does not sell dedicated IPs, sadly. However, if used responsibly, this VPN can allow you to play poker online without issues. I'd recommend trying it for yourself with its 30-day money-back guarantee – or, alternatively, checking out the free 7-day trial available to Android, iOS, and Mac users.

Private Internet Access is the best secure VPN for online poker. With servers in the US and strong OpenVPN encryption, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

  • Pricing

    • 24 months + 2 months FREE: $2.19/mth
      82% OFF
    • 6 months: $7.5/mth
      38% OFF
    • 1 month: $11.95/mth
  • Pros

    • Cheaper than most similar VPNs
    • Lots of encryption options (including OpenVPN, our recommended protocol)
    • Stuffed with security features
  • Cons

    • Not the best VPN for beginners who need hands-on support
    • IPs blocked by some streaming services
    • Based in the USA
  • Available for

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Server locations

    • 84
  • Unblocks

    • Pokerstars
    • 888Poker
    • GGPoker
    • PartyPoker
  • Is torrenting allowed?

    • Torrenting allowed
  • Website

PIA Demo

PIA Demo PIA Demo

Private Internet Access (PIA) is a US-based provider that has proven its zero-logs claims in court on multiple occasions – which is just the sort of transparency we like to see in our recommended VPNs. PIA is a well-rounded service that's proven incredibly popular on Reddit, thanks to a vast server network ideal for unblocking a variety of poker services and online casinos.

Hop restrictions in a few clicks

I used PIA to play a few games on PokerStars, and I'm happy to report that I didn't run into any issues! Whilst we don't have any hardcore poker players on the ProPrivacy team, I'm certain that PIA could keep up with more lengthy sessions, seeing as it's incredibly stable. I was able to use the service for data-intensive tasks like streaming in HD, for example, and still didn't encounter any speed or connection hiccups.

PIA routinely impresses us with its speeds, in fact, and unlimited data and optimized servers keep the provider at the top of our regular tests. The provider has thousands of servers in 84 countries worldwide, too, so you'll have no trouble accessing geo-restricted poker sites or in-demand streaming services, like Netflix US!

Tailor your security

I was also happy to see that PIA provides strong OpenVPN encryption by default. This means that there's no need to mess around in advanced settings unless you want to. That being said, I can certainly see the advantage of adjusting your OpenVPN encryption settings if you're looking to improve your speeds and stability, and you'll be able to do so with PIA without putting your privacy in danger. You could also check out WireGuard. I'm happy to see that PIA offers this up-and-coming protocol, seeing as it's secure, stable, and more lightweight than the alternatives.

And thanks to a kill-switch and dedicated static IPs, PIA is well suited for use with poker sites, and can protect against DDoS attacks thanks to its Tier-1 servers. Plus, you don't have to worry about your connection logs being stored at any point – PIA is an audited no-logs provider, though some users may be concerned about the fact that it is based in the United States, home to the NSA and CIA.

Try before you buy

PIA comes stuffed with features that'll make your time browsing the web a lot smoother and more secure. I particularly like the ad-blocker, PIA MACE, which banishes annoying pop ups and trackers. This feature is also pretty nifty if you share a device, like a desktop PC or laptop, with family members who may be less technically savvy. PIA is compatible with most devices, in fact, and supports a generous Unlimited simultaneous connections! That's a huge plus, as is the fact that the service has 24/7 customer support available if and when you should need it.

You can try PIA with your favorite poker services to ensure that it works well without risking a single cent, thanks to a 30-day money-back guarantee. Or, if you're an iOS or Android user, check out the service for free with a 7-day free trial.

PrivateVPN is the best user-friendly VPN for online poker. It has simple apps for all platforms and installs in a blink, with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

  • Pricing

    • 36 months: $2/mth
      84% OFF
    • 3 months: $6/mth
      50% OFF
    • 1 month: $9.99/mth
      17% OFF
  • Pros

    • Speeds comparible with other premium providers
    • 7-day free trial
    • A great selection of security tools and VPN protocols
  • Cons

    • Based in Sweden
    • Fewer servers than other services
    • Lacks obfuscation measures
  • Available for

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Server locations

    • 200
  • Is torrenting allowed?

    • Torrenting allowed
  • Website

PrivateVPN Demo

PrivateVPN Demo PrivateVPN Demo

PrivateVPN lives up to its name with an impressive array of security features. The service has just about everything you'd need to play poker securely – including dynamic dedicated IPs in the United Kingdom, United States, and Switzerland, amongst other locations.

The name of the game

Don't be fooled by the fact that PrivateVPN doesn't have the same reputation as some of the other services in our list – it's a hugely impressive service that keeps your browsing sessions secure by utilizing AES 256-bit encryption, alongside a number of protocols. OpenVPN is available to the security-conscious, as well as IKEv2, which may be more useful to those folks prioritizing speed. I like that PrivateVPN boasts its own kill-switch (and auto-connect feature that'll get you back up and connected if you do encounter a dropout), as well as a selection of stealth servers, ideal for anyone living in areas with restricted internet access where poker sites may be banned.

PrivateVPN makes its home in Sweden, which isn't totally ideal, seeing as the country has some worrying data retention laws. However, the provider works hard to allay concerns by abiding by a zero-logs policy and protecting its users from IPv6 and DNS leaks.

Your key to global content

Admittedly, PrivateVPN has a smaller pool of servers than some of its competitors, but it's a case of quality over quantity. These servers are seriously quick and located in key locations across the globe, meaning that you'll have no trouble unblocking some of the world's most popular poker sites. Connecting to any of these servers in 63 countries is a breeze, too, making PrivateVPN ideal for VPN newcomers who don't want to be bogged down with an overly techy service.

If you're looking to check out the latest international content, or want a show or movie on in the background during your games, you'll be happy to learn that PrivateVPN can unblock in-demand streaming services with ease. You can comb through Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime without geo-restrictions holding you back, and even enjoy YouTube videos that might have otherwise been unavailable in your location.

No risks, all rewards

PrivateVPN is a joy to use, thanks to one-click-setup and sleek apps for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Linux devices. Subscribers get access to 10 simultaneous connections, which isn't a lot to play with, but will surely allow you to take your security with you on the go. For any questions that arise, get in touch with the PrivateVPN customer service team, available 24/7 via email and live chat, and manned by in-house developers happy to tackle even the most techy questions.

And, as always, you can take PrivateVPN for a spin without risking your hard-earned cash by making use of its 30-day money-back guarantee. An excellent 7-day free trial is also available for folks who really don't want to spend a penny.

Can I use a VPN to play online poker?

Of course! It's easy to fool poker websites into thinking that you're living elsewhere, and it's a technique used by poker players across the globe. A VPN does this by concealing your real original address from the poker sites you visit. 

To use a VPN to play poker, all you need to do is connect to a VPN server in the country where the poker site is based. The VPN will update your IP address, the poker site will assume that you're located in the same geographical location, and you'll be able to make an account and join games.

Anyone can use this technique to access blocked or restricted poker sites, play in foreign poker tournaments, or use sites that would otherwise only be available overseas!

Our recommended VPNs for poker have fast server networks with servers throughout Europe, the US, Australia, Asia, and elsewhere. This means that you can easily unlock popular poker services such as Poker Stars, GG Poker, IDN Poker, etc.

Is it safe to play poker online with a VPN?

You'll just need to bear in mind that a lot of VPN services available in 2022 are insecure and a danger to your privacy. For example, free services are notorious liars, and often don't provide the level of encryption that they claim to. IP leaks are also common, and could allow poker websites to figure out where you really live.

To play online poker securely with a VPN, you'll need a service that encrypts your data to prevent your ISP and government from tracking your online whereabouts – and this is even more essential if you live in the Middle East. If you live in a country where poker sites are banned (for religious, political, or cultural reasons) it is imperative that you only use VPNs with the following features:

This will let you access poker sites without fear of being tracked. A truly secure VPN that provides military-grade encryption that lets you play poker online without having to worry about the possibility of prosecution.

What about my winnings, are they safe?

In addition to encryption, a VPN also conceals your IP address. This ensures that poker sites can't tell where you're actually located. Because of this, you can confidently use poker sites without the risk of the site slapping you with a ban or confiscating your winnings.

However, it is worth noting that if you play regularly and earn a lot of money, it might be worth investing in a VPN that provides a dedicated IP address. A dedicated IP address is only used by one person – you. This prevents the poker site from getting suspicious and realizing that a VPN server is being used to access its service.

We also recommend clearing out the money from a poker account regularly to ensure the poker website can't try to withhold them from you in a worst-case scenario.

Can a VPN protect against DDoS attacks?

Another useful byproduct of how a VPN works is that it can protect you from DDoS attacks. So, if you're in the middle of a game or tournament, hackers won't be able to boot you from it and prevent you from winning a hand (or potentially the entire tournament). Nobody wants to lose out on vast sums of money that they rightfully won, after all!

Will using a poker VPN get my account banned?

Some poker sites are known to ban users who log in using a VPN – particularly if it is confirmed that they are using the VPN to log in from overseas to enter games or competitions that they should not have ordinarily been able to access. Poker sites primarily enforce these bans because it allows them to confiscate any winnings that have been accrued. This is great for the poker companies themselves, who ultimately only care about money, but not so great for you!

A PokerStars VPN is an extremely popular, and potentially lucrative, tool if you're a decent poker player (or a particularly lucky individual). However, you must always remember that you could get locked out of an account. For this reason, it is vital to do your research and understand how to manage your funds in a VPN poker account, and how to use a VPN discreetly.

PokerStars states in its Terms of Service that any player found to be attempting to circumvent geographical restrictions or spoof their location faces disciplinary action that may include anything from the suspension of their account to the seizing of funds from their account. Similarly, PartyPoker states in its Terms and Conditions that users are prohibited from playing from certain jurisdictions and that violating the terms can end in disqualification, account closure, forfeiture of funds, and even legal action against the user.

How does Pokerstars (and other poker sites) detect VPNs?

It's not currently known exactly how Pokerstars, and other poker sites, detect VPN usage. It's likely to be one of the three following methods, however:

  1. Their website logs and stores known VPN server IPs, and when a connection is made from one of these IP addresses, the site knows that it's VPN traffic.
  2. They monitor IPs connecting to the site. If multiple connections are made from the same IP, there's a high chance it's a VPN server.
  3. They monitor IPs at an account level. If they notice a wide array of IPs connecting to the same account over a short period, it could indicate a VPN connection.

Fortunately, VPNs usually operate with thousands of IP addresses, so if one fails, you should be able to connect to another server and get a fresh IP to try again.

Why do you need a VPN for online poker?

Not every poker player is lucky enough to live in the US – the unofficial capital of Texas Hold 'em and home to hundreds of casinos. In some countries where gambling has been officially declared illegal, ISP blocks prevent people from accessing poker sites.

Even without government bans, there are sites that force players to compete against users from their own country, or restrict their service so that it's only available in a handful of locations.

If you prefer to play on international poker sites – to play against the best (or worst) poker players in the world – you will need to get around these irritating geo-restrictions. The solution to this problem, and any of the others stated above, is to use a poker VPN to pretend to be in a different country.

Distributed Denial of Service Attacks

Unfortunately, any online player can be targeted by a DDoS attack – a cyberattack that overloads your computer's network with hundreds of thousands of requests.

When your system is inundated with these requests, it prevents you from being able to download more data. Your connection to the poker site will drop, you won't be able to place bets, and you may even be booted from the table altogether. Regardless, your opponent will end up winning all the chips that could have been yours.

Every device connected to the internet has an IP address. This IP address is given to you by your Internet Service Provider (ISP), and it's what cybercriminals use to target their victims. When you connect to a VPN, however, your original IP address is hidden from any potential miscreants while the VPN servers can absorb the attack and keep you safe – and in the game.

Without a VPN, your internet connection will completely freeze up during a DDoS attack. When this happens, it'll appear as though you've gone offline – and this is why you'll be kicked from the table and lose the pot.

Nowadays it is even possible for a poker opponent to pay for a DDoS attack against you. A brief attack that lasts a few minutes can be purchased online for just $5. This DDoS on-demand service has led to a massive increase in people who play poker being attacked. In fact, Akamai reported that in Q2 2017, 82% of all DDoS attacks were aimed at online gaming sites and their customers. 

If you want to play poker without having to worry about DDoS attacks, a VPN is the best solution. A VPN acts as a buffer that can take the brunt of the attack, allowing you to keep on playing. 

Vital features of a VPN for Poker

Depending on where you live, and your level of play, your reason for using a VPN on Pokerstars, FullTilt, GGPoker, or 888Poker may differ. We take a look at some of the most common use cases below:

Unblocking safely and securely

You could get into hot water with law enforcement if you unblock a poker website in a country where gambling is illegal. Plus, unblocking a poker website from a location that's geo-restricted will usually be in breach of the site's Terms of Service. 

As a result, if you're caught using a VPN, the poker site could confiscate all the money you have accumulated in your account. Luckily, there are some things poker players can do to ensure that they won't be found out. 

First, consider creating a new account. Only put enough money in that account to play each day – and cash out your winnings regularly to keep your account as empty as possible. Playing with an account that has accumulated a lot of winnings is risky and suspicious, so don't do it.

In addition, always use a static VPN IP address. The providers we have recommended in this guide all offer static IPs, but it's still worth asking your provider about which servers have static IPs. And, to be sure, it is worth using our IP checking tool before you log in to your poker account. Simply make a note of the IP address and make sure that you are always using that IP address every time you play online poker.


If you're caught using a VPN, the poker website has the right to confiscate your winnings. This is a very real possibility, and honestly, we wouldn't recommend risking it!

Playing poker with a VPN is done at your own risk, and we hold no liability for any losses incurred by breaking the Terms of Service on any site you choose to play on. The information in this article is intended for educational purposes only.

DDoS protection

As we mentioned earlier, DDoS attacks are becoming an increasingly popular method of cheating players out of their winnings. The attack works by overloading your device's network card with requests, and because the network card simply doesn't have enough processing power to handle those requests, you get disconnected from the game. Luckily, VPN servers can handle a large volume of requests at once. This means that when you connect to a poker site via a VPN your actual IP address is concealed, and if somebody tries to attack you, they're just attacking the VPN server instead – rendering the attack completely futile.

The VPNs in this guide have robust Tier-1 servers that can cope with the vast majority of DDoS attacks. They use load balancing, as well as other techniques, to deal with an attack if and when it happens. As a result, a VPN has the capacity to absorb the DDoS attack and save you from being booted from the poker table.

Use a kill-switch

If you connect to a poker website using a VPN IP address, and, in the unlikely event that your connection drops out, you will leak your real IP address to the poker website. The site will then learn where you really are in the world, and this could lead to your account being blocked – and your winnings being lost.

A kill-switch blocks traffic from leaving your device unless the VPN is on, meaning that if the VPN connection drops out, the kill-switch will kick in. This stops you from leaking your actual location to the poker website. Check out our what is a kill-switch guide for more information about these handy features.

A reliable VPN with a firewall-based kill-switch is an absolute necessity if you're going to be playing online poker via a VPN. Some firewall-based VPNs can stop working if the app crashes, though, seeing as they only operate when the app is functioning.

You'll need to use a VPN that allows multiple connections to skirt this issue. Then, run the VPN with the kill-switch enabled on your real machine as well as your virtual one. That way, if one instance of the VPN happens to crash the VPN running on the other machine will still protect you!

Get a dedicated IP

The best thing you can do if you want to play poker using a VPN is to get a dedicated IP address. A dedicated VPN IP address is an IP address that only you use.

Few VPN services provide this, but it is by far the best way to play poker online without worrying about getting caught. Using a dedicated IP address in the country where you want to pretend to be in (and a kill-switch) is the most secure way to play online poker. In fact, many people would agree that it is the only absolutely secure (foolproof) way to play.

If you're a big-time poker player or a star that wins big (playing in important tournaments, for example), you should definitely get a dedicated IP address. We'd also recommend running two instances of a VPN with a firewall-based kill-switch on both a real and a virtual machine for optimal security.

The above link will point you in the direction of our recommended services that offer static and/or dedicated IPs. If you'd like to know how much a dedicated IP will cost, get in touch with the provider of your choice for a direct quote.

Will these VPNs work with all online poker sites?

Yes! Poker players in most countries have the freedom to choose from several poker sites. And, even in countries where online poker has been banned, you can still take your pick of sites with a VPN. As such, we've tested all of our recommended VPNs to confirm that they work with the world's most popular poker services, including:

Best poker site to access with a VPN?

In a recent podcast episode, GGPoker ambassador Daniel Negreanu stated bluntly that he "personally [doesn't] give a crap where you're playing from, as long as it's you." Meaning that it doesn't bother him if online poker players use VPNs to hide their location to play on geo-restricted poker sites. 

Although Negreanu has expressed his views clearly on online poker VPN use and how he doesn't have a problem with it, the company that sponsors him, GGPoker, makes it clear in its Security & Ecology Agreement that the company strictly prohibits the use of VPNs to mask users' locations and any user caught doing so risks suspension of their account. That said, even though GGPoker expressly forbids VPN use on its site, the fact that its star ambassador has stated that VPN users don't bother him indicates a rift between the views of the players and the views of the online poker companies on the subject. 

All things considered, however, GGPoker is one of the best poker sites to access with a VPN, even if doing so goes against the company's terms and conditions. Just be sure that you use a reputable and secure VPN provider like the ones we have listed in this guide.  

Can I use a free VPN for poker?

No. At least, we wouldn't recommend doing so, since free VPNs are generally lacking in all the privacy and security features you will need to keep you safe when playing online poker. Though there are some free VPNs that are suitable for general internet use, they really wouldn't suffice for online poker use.

The truth is that the vast majority of free VPN services simply don't do what it takes to protect your privacy online.

They lack adequate encryption and other vital security features, and some are even outright dangerous since they will sell user data to third parties or even contain malware. Your best bet will be to use one of the VPNs listed in this guide, as they are all more than capable of keeping you safe and secure while accessing online poker sites.

Alternatives to free VPNs

If you don't want to spend loads on a VPN, it is possible to get a cheap VPN for playing online poker. Generally, the longer you commit to a VPN subscription, the bigger the discounts that you can get. If you want to learn more, check out our best cheap VPNs to use.

If you're happy with a temporary VPN solution, it is possible to get a free trial VPN that you can use to play online poker with. All you need is an email address and you can gain access to a premium VPN service for a short period. If you want to know more, check out our list of free trial VPNs.

Why are poker sites blocked in some countries?

In some countries around the world, gambling is immoral, and therefore, illegal. In these countries, poker sites, online casinos, and bookies are considered inconsistent with local cultures, traditions, and religious beliefs. For this reason, the government has ordered poker sites to be blocked.

Even in countries where poker sites are legal, you may not be able to access all poker services. This is because some poker sites restrict their service to specific locations.

Poker sites enforce these kinds of blocks because they are required to comply with local gambling laws and regulations. These regulations can vary widely from country to country.

As a result, poker sites often choose to block access outside of their local jurisdiction to avoid any potential legal implications. By restricting their services to certain locations, poker sites can ensure they provide a safe and legal gaming experience for their users.

Below, we have included a list of countries where online poker is known to be illegal:

  1. United Arab Emirates
  2. North Korea
  3. China
  4. Saudi Arabia
  5. Kuwait
  6. Lebanon
  7. Iran
  8. Syria
  9. Pakistan
  10. Brunei
  11. Malaysia
  12. Indonesia
  13. Bangladesh

Even in the US, where gambling is allowed in most places, poker is illegal in some states. As a result, you may need to use a VPN to regain access to your poker account when you cross state lines. Below, we have included a list of US states where it is not currently possible to use online poker sites:

  1. Utah
  2. Hawaii
  3. Alabama
  4. Alaska
  5. Arkansas
  6. Georgia
  7. Nebraska
  8. South Carolina
  9. Tennessee

Please note that bypassing gambling blocks to play poker may be illegal in some countries and states. Nothing in this article should be taken as legal advice, and we recommend that you check local laws and regulations before engaging in any form of online poker.

How we pick the best VPNs for poker - VPN testing methodology

It'd be easy to add a VPN to our list and say it is suitable for poker when in reality, our testing process goes way beyond that. For example, some users may require a VPN that unlocks their favorite streaming platforms and lets them dabble in online poker when they want to, while others merely need a VPN that lets them play poker online from anywhere worldwide.

Regardless of your intent, our team of experts takes several factors into account before deciding they're the right fit:

  1. Does the VPN have servers that access poker sites from anywhere? Many poker sites use geo-restrictions to prevent players in certain countries from accessing their games. The best VPNs for poker have servers in a variety of locations so that you can access any site you want.
  2. Is the VPN fast enough for online poker? Many VPNs claim to offer "lightning-fast speeds," but in reality, only a handful can actually deliver on that promise. So we make sure to put each VPN through its paces with various speed tests so that you can be confident you're getting the best possible performance.
  3. Is the VPN secure and private? While online poker is technically legal in most countries, some ISPs may throttle or even block your connection if they detect you're using a VPN. To avoid unwanted attention, we only recommend VPNs that offer the highest levels of security and privacy, including military-grade encryption and a strict no-logs policy.
  4. Is the VPN easy to use? If you're new to VPNs, you should be able to get started without jumping through hoops. We search for VPNs that are intuitive and easy to set up so that you can start playing poker as quickly as possible.
  5. Does the VPN offer value for money? No one wants to overpay for a VPN, so we only search the market for options that offer a balance of features and prices.

Of course, there's a little more to it than this, and you can find out more in our VPN testing methodology.


Below are some of the most common questions we see from visitors looking for a VPN for online poker. If you have any questions not mentioned here, feel free to drop us a message in the comments section at the end of this guide.

Best Online PokerStars VPNs: Conclusion

Online services such as PokerStars and 888 Poker are blocked in certain countries – but they don't fight national bans! As a result, you can get in on the action and bypass these blocks by using a VPN.

However, it is worth noting that some comparison websites falsely claim that VPNs like PureVPN are good picks for online poker. This is untrue because PureVPN does not have a reliable firewall-based kill-switch. Please don't use PureVPN for poker, and be very wary of websites that mistakenly claim to be the best! Without a reliable kill-switch, you could leak data about your actual IP address to the poker website and give away your location.

You'll need a reliable VPN with a system-wide firewall-based kill-switch in order to play poker securely. You'll also need to connect to the VPN with your real machine and virtual machine at the same time – just in case the VPN crashes. It's a good idea to talk to your VPN provider before subscribing, to find out whether it has a system-wide firewall-based kill-switch.

Finally, there really is no better way to protect yourself when playing online poker than with a dedicated IP address: if this is what you want to do, you will need to use a provider like CyberGhost. CyberGhost VPN is the one in this list that has absolutely everything you need to be completely secure while playing poker with a VPN (2 simultaneous connections for use on a virtual machine and your real machine, a firewall-based kill-switch, and a dedicated IP).

This post available in: English Russian

Written by: Ray Walsh

Digital privacy expert with 5 years experience testing and reviewing VPNs. He's been quoted in The Express, The Times, The Washington Post, The Register, CNET & many more. 


on August 22, 2020
Great article! Do I simply run the VPN on both machines or is there more to it than that? Should the poker client run on my virtual machine or real machine? Thanks again!
Greg replied to RM
on November 14, 2022
That’s actually false for WSOP online , they will detect a VPN before u even play

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