Online poker games are a popular pastime for millions of people. Unfortunately, many different countries and states ban poker sites, making registration and gameplay impossible for citizens or visitors. Even if you’re from a region where online poker is available and already have an account, you might not be able to play poker online if you travel outside of it.
Luckily, there’s an easy fix for both issues: the trick is to use a VPN for online poker. With a VPN, you can unblock any poker sites no matter where you are by changing your virtual location to a country where they’re available. In addition, VPNs secure your activity as you play.
In this article, we’ll share and compare the 5 best VPNs for online poker. We’ll also explain how to play poker online with a VPN, discuss why you need a VPN, show you where online poker is legal, and so much more.
Best Online Poker VPNs - Our Shortlist
- ExpressVPN – Our #1-Rated VPN for Online Poker
- NordVPN – Best VPN for Online Poker with Excellent Privacy
- CyberGhost VPN – VPN to Unblock Online Poker with Optimized Servers
- Surfshark – Easy-To-Use VPN That Works for Online Poker
- Private Internet Access – Online Poker VPN Ideal for Advanced Users
How to Play Poker Online with a VPN
To play poker online with a VPN, you must find a service that can unblock poker sites easily. Then, you’ll need to get a subscription and connect to a server. Here’s how to do it:
- Sign up for a VPN that unblocks online poker sites (we recommend ExpressVPN).
- Download and install the VPN app on the device(s) you’ll use to play poker.
- Open the VPN app and log in to activate it.
- Connect to a VPN server in a location where your favorite poker site is available.
- That’s it! Now you can play poker online with no restrictions.
For better connection and performance, ensure that you connect to a VPN server closest to the game server you’re playing poker on. This will ensure the lowest latency and ping.
The Best VPNs for Online Poker in 2023
Choosing the best VPN for online poker can be tricky, but by sticking to the criteria from our best gambling VPN guide, you’ll find one in no time. The first thing to look for is the ability to unblock online poker sites from anywhere. To do so, the VPN will need a wide network with servers in countries that allow online poker, like Germany, Australia, and the Philippines.
In addition, the VPN you choose should have obfuscated servers that hide the fact that you’re using a VPN. Some other security and privacy features you should look out for include a kill switch, a no-logs policy, VPN protocols, and encryption.
Also, your VPN must allow a few simultaneous connections and should be compatible with many devices. Performance and speed are also essential factors, along with a money-back guarantee and 24/7 customer support.
Based on the criteria mentioned above, here are the 5 best VPNs for online poker in 2023:
|Try Risk-Free|| |
ExpressVPN is the best VPN for online poker that you can get, as it can unblock popular poker sites from anywhere, including platforms like GGPoker, PokerStars, and 888Poker. The provider has a wide server network of 3,000+ servers in 94 countries, including Germany, Australia, and the Philippines—where many online poker games are available.
The VPN also comes with obfuscated servers, a no-logs policy, secure VPN protocols, and military-grade encryption. Also, you’ll get a capable kill switch that will disconnect your Internet connection if your VPN drops.
With ExpressVPN, you won’t have to worry about speed or performance since the provider comes with blazing-fast Internet connections and reliable performance on all its servers. You’ll get to use up 5 devices simultaneously, including phones, laptops, PCs, routers, tablets, and more.
Moreover, the provider offers reliable 24/7 customer support, available via live chat. Lastly, you’ll get a 30-day money-back guarantee, which you can use as a risk-free trial.
- Easily unblocks online poker sites
- Super-fast connections and performance
- Military-grade encryption
- Excellent security
- Round-the-clock expert support
- Limited simultaneous connections
It’s no surprise that NordVPN comes in second place on our list, as the well-known provider has the ability to unblock many different online poker sites, like GGPoker, PokerStars, and 888Poker, and will protect your finances while doing so. It has a vast server network of over 5,700 servers in 60 countries, including 240+ in Germany and 190+ in Australia.
In addition, you’ll get top-notch security and privacy features, including obfuscated servers, a kill switch, a no-logs policy, secure VPN protocols, AES 256-bit encryption, Double VPN, split tunneling, and more.
This VPN offers medium-fast Internet connection speeds and reliable performance, so you can play online poker games with little to no lag. However, your speed will slow down if you use more remote servers.
With NordVPN, you can connect up to 6 devices simultaneously, which is more than what ExpressVPN allows. NordVPN is also compatible with many different devices, allowing you to access online poker sites via your phone, tablet, laptop, PC, and more.
The provider comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee and a no-questions-asked refund policy. In addition, it has 24/7 customer support which you can access via its website.
- Access to different poker sites
- Easy to use for beginners
- Compatible with many devices
- Top-notch privacy and security
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Slow on remote servers
CyberGhost is another excellent online poker VPN with the ability to unblock many popular poker platforms, including GGPoker, PokerStars, and 888Poker. It has a super large server network, spanning 9,500+ servers in 91 countries. With this VPN, you can connect to one of the 1,549 servers in Germany, 213 in Australia, or 70 in the Philippines to play online poker.
It comes with all the privacy and security features needed to safely play with real money in online poker games. Some of those include a kill switch, AES encryption, secure VPN protocols, and a no-logs policy.
Unfortunately, CyberGhost doesn’t have any obfuscated servers, but it does have NoSpy servers that offer an additional layer of security and privacy. However, you should keep in mind that they cost extra and aren’t available everywhere.
With one CyberGhost subscription, you can connect up to 7 devices simultaneously. It supports phones, laptops, tablets, routers, PCs, and more. Similar to NordVPN, CyberGhost also comes with medium-fast connection speeds and reliable performance. However, unlike NordVPN, it offers better performance on more remote servers.
Lastly, with this VPN for online poker, you’ll get 24/7 customer support via live chat and a 45-day money-back guarantee for longer-term plans. If you opt for the monthly plan, you’ll be covered by a 14-day money-back guarantee.
- 1,000+ servers for online poker
- Reliable performance
- Large server network
- 45-day money-back guarantee
- No obfuscated servers
Surfshark is a beginner-friendly online poker VPN that can unblock a wide range of poker sites, such as GGPoker, PokerStars, and 888Poker. It covers 100 countries worldwide with its 3,200+ server infrastructure. The provider has servers in Germany, Australia, and the Philippines—all great locations for accessing online poker games.
With Surfshark, you’ll get obfuscation no matter which server you use via its Camouflage Mode. Also, you’ll get a capable kill switch, secure VPN protocols, a no-logs policy, military-grade encryption, a MultiHop feature, and many other robust security and privacy features.
This VPN for online poker is among the fastest ones available today, offering fast Internet connection speeds and reliable performance. Surfshark allows you to have unlimited simultaneous connections and is compatible with a vast array of devices, including phones, tablets, laptops, PCs, routers, and more.
In addition, it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee that you can use to try out its services risk-free. Lastly, you’ll get reliable 24/7 customer support via live chat, available on Surfshark’s website.
- Fast Internet connection speeds
- Ability to access poker sites
- Obfuscation on all servers
- Excellent for new VPN users
- Top-notch services and performance
- Takes a while to connect
Private Internet Access (PIA) is a customizable VPN provider that can give you access to multiple online poker sites, including GGPoker, PokerStars, and 888Poker. It has the largest server fleet available on the market, sporting thousands of servers in 84 countries. Out of those, you can use PIA to connect to multiple servers in Germany, Australia, and the Philippines.
PIA is excellent for more advanced users, as it allows them to customize their settings. For instance, you can decrease or increase your encryption levels, change your VPN protocol, and optimize your speed. Without optimization, you’ll get average Internet connections and reliable performance. So, it’s not the fastest VPN out there, but you can tweak it a bit.
This provider also comes with obfuscated servers, a kill switch, secure VPN protocols, a no-logs policy, and military-grade encryption. In addition, you’ll get a Multi-Hop feature, data leak protection, dedicated IPs, and state-of-the-art antivirus software.
You can connect unlimited devices simultaneously with PIA and use it on phones, tablets, laptops, PCs, routers, and more. Also, you’ll get 24/7 customer support via live chat and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Great content-unblocking capabilities
- Can easily bypass geo-restrictions
- Reliable 24/7 customer support
- Obfuscated servers
- Many customization options
- Slower than other VPNs
Why Do You Need a VPN for Playing Poker Online?
You need a VPN for playing poker online so that you can access gambling sites that aren’t available in your country or state. Without a VPN, you’ll get a message similar to the following example: "Sorry, this version of PokerStars isn’t available in your country."
Other reasons why you need a VPN for playing poker online include the following:
- Bypass Geo-Blocks – Almost all online poker sites are geo-blocked in certain countries. However, with a VPN for online poker, you can bypass the restrictions by connecting to a server in a location where the site you want to use is available.
- Avoid Licensing Issues – Even if the poker site you want to access is available in your country, many branded games might not be. To gamble with no restrictions, you can get a VPN and connect to a server located in a region that offers all branded and non-branded games.
- Play Online Poker While Traveling – If you’re traveling to a country where the online poker site you usually use is restricted, you won’t be able to access it. However, with a VPN, you can connect to a server in your home country and play without restrictions.
- Unblock a Wide Range of Poker Sites – Countries like Germany, Japan, and the Philippines allow online poker sites and don’t regulate them at all. By connecting to a VPN server in one of them, you can easily access a vast array of poker sites, along with the largest selection of branded games.
- Protect Your Privacy and Money – Playing poker games online can be risky, as you’re using real money to play. A VPN can protect your money and personal information by encrypting your Internet connection and hiding your online activity.
Popular Online Poker Sites
The Internet is full of online poker sites, so choosing the best ones to play on can be confusing. However, as long as you use a VPN with strong content-unblocking capabilities, you’ll have access to every poker site with one VPN subscription. To make things easier for you, we compiled a list of the 10 best online poker sites:
- WPT Global
- PokerStars Europe
- Svenska Spel
Why is Online Poker Banned in Some Countries?
Online poker is banned in some countries due to religious beliefs that deem gambling a sin. Sometimes online poker bans are imposed as a way of protecting youth from gambling. Then there are the moral implications of potentially supporting gambling addictions, which can result in the loss of human lives.
Other governments have declared online poker banned because they’re unable to ensure fair gambling regulations. Moreover, some authorities have money laundering concerns.
Online poker sites can either be completely banned or partially restricted. Countries like China, South Korea, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, North Korea, and Israel strongly enforce an online poker ban and now consider the activity illegal. On the other hand, the US and Europe have more complex regulations—it’s not completely banned, but not fully legal, either.
Where is Online Poker Legal?
There are quite a few locations where it’s legal to play poker online. Choose your VPN server based on the location of the site you want to use for legal online poker—and how close you are to its servers. Below is a list of the countries, along with a few US states, where online poker is legal:
- Delaware (USA)
- Michigan (USA)
- Nevada (USA)
- New Jersey (USA)
- New Zealand
- Pennsylvania (USA)
- United Kingdom
- West Virginia (USA)
Can You Use a Free VPN to Unblock Online Poker?
Yes, you can use a free VPN to unblock online poker, but we don’t recommend it for a number of reasons.
Free VPNs are risky and can expose your personal information. In fact, they likely won’t protect your money at all. You might not even be able to get sites for online poker unblocked, as free VPNs have poor content-unblocking capabilities.
In addition, free providers have small server networks, slow speeds, and limited data caps. So, they probably won’t deliver a smooth online poker experience if they’re able to unblock the service at all.
Thus, if you want to get poker unblocked and play with no restrictions, we recommend you use premium VPNs. Only the best VPN providers can give you access to restricted sites, properly encrypt your connection, and ensure that your finances are safe.
Online poker games are usually highly regulated. Some countries ban them altogether, and others impose certain rules and restrictions, but many deem them completely legal. If you’re located in a place where online poker games are illegal, you won’t be able to play unless you use a VPN for online poker.
We recommend ExpressVPN for all online poker players because it can easily give you access to a wide range of the most popular online poker sites. It will also protect your money and sensitive personal information while you’re playing. With ExpressVPN, you’ll enjoy a smooth and safe gambling experience.
Is It Legal to Use a VPN to Play Poker?
Yes, it’s legal to use a VPN to play poker. Of course, it’s always best to check if VPNs themselves are legal in your country before you use one.
Can You Use a VPN to Play Online Poker?
Yes, you can use a VPN to play online poker. It’s even recommended that you do, as VPNs will protect you while you’re playing and ensure that no one steals your money or personal information.
Is Online Poker Legal in the US?
Yes, online poker is legal in the US, but in specific states only: Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware.
Is It Legal to Play Poker Online for Real Money?
Yes, it’s legal to play poker online for real money in many locations. However, some countries and states prohibit online poker altogether, so playing it for real money is illegal in those regions.
Can Online Poker Sites Detect VPNs?
Yes, some online poker sites can detect VPNs, especially if you use an IP address that is known to belong to a certain VPN provider. However, you won’t encounter such issues with a strong VPN for online poker.
Can US Citizens Play on PokerStars?
Yes, US citizens can play on PokerStars, but in certain states only. PokerStars is only available in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and New Jersey.
That’s all for our guide to choosing a VPN for online poker. Don’t hesitate to share your questions and remarks via the comments section below should you have any. Thanks for reading!