If you’re a poker player who travels for work, you need a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to hide your IP address and location. A VPN sends your internet connection through its servers, concealing your data from websites like PokerStars and Internet Service Providers (ISPs). I tested over 30 VPNs, and ExpressVPN excelled due to its superfast speeds that allow you to play PokerStars without interruptions. You can even get ExpressVPN risk-free. With a 30-day money-back guarantee, you can get a full refund if you don’t like it. Play online poker with ExpressVPN

Quick Guide: Best VPNs for Online Poker in 2023

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The Best VPNs for Online Poker (Tested in January 2023)

1. ExpressVPN — Superfast Speeds Ensure Uninterrupted Poker Games From Anywhere

Key Features: ExpressVPN provides blazing-fast speeds for uninterrupted PokerStars games, allowing you to play your best hand without your connection cutting out or error messages popping up. I experienced speeds over 87 Mbps, meaning that you’ll be able to access online poker with zero lag or stuttering while using ExpressVPN from abroad. With ExpressVPN’s huge network of 3000+ servers in over 94 countries, you can be assured that you won’t struggle to access your favorite online poker sites no matter where you are in the world. While testing ExpressVPN, I experienced no error messages or random disconnections on its servers in the US, UK, France, and Germany. This means that you won’t need to switch servers while playing online poker or wait until you get home. ExpressVPN excels at accessing your favorite poker platforms. You can reliably access the following sites with ease (and many more!): You’ll remain anonymous and protected from DDoS attacks while using ExpressVPN to play PokerStars. It has AES 256-bit encryption to stop hackers from intercepting your data and DNS/IP leak protection, so your identity is never exposed. When I tested it, ExpressVPN had no leaks throughout my whole session. If you’re on unstable public WiFi networks while traveling, ExpressVPN’s Network Lock kill switch will block all unencrypted traffic if your internet connection drops — so your personal data stays hidden. Plus, with a strict no-logs policy and its headquarters in the British Virgin Islands, ExpressVPN will never hand over any user data to any authorities. I was disappointed that ExpressVPN doesn’t offer dedicated or static IPs since these can help you stay undetected when using VPNs on online poker sites. Thankfully, I didn’t have any trouble with ExpressVPN’s shared IPs — none of the sites I tested blocked my access. You can play online poker on up to 5 devices simultaneously using ExpressVPN, including your Android, iOS, Windows, and macOS devices. I was able to connect my Android smartphone, tablet, and Windows laptop to ExpressVPN’s servers and access PokerStars on all my devices at the same time. This means you’ll be able to switch seamlessly between your most used devices while on the move. ExpressVPN is a bit more expensive than other VPNs on this list. However, you’ll save 49% on a 1-year + 3 months subscription and pay just $6.67 a month to access PokerStars securely. You can download ExpressVPN risk-free to play online poker. It’s backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee, and if you’re not happy with the service then you can get a full refund. To make sure you can get your money back quickly and easily, I tested it by sending a direct message to its 24/7 live chat. Within minutes, my refund request was processed with no questions asked. I had my money back 7 days later. Play online poker with ExpressVPN

2. CyberGhost — Robust Security Measures to Keep You Safe From DDoS Attacks While Playing Online Poker

Key Features: CyberGhost has an impressive suite of security features and DDoS protection, reducing the chances of your game crashing halfway through or getting hacked. AES 256-bit military-grade encryption, DNS & IP Leak protection, and an automatic kill switch keep your personal data out of the hands of hackers while playing poker online. Although most VPNs require you to manually enable the kill switch, CyberGhost’s kill switch is automatically activated as soon as you connect to a server. This way, if your connection suddenly drops then you’ll be cut off from the internet, and poker sites won’t flag you for suspicious activity. In fact, as a Mac user, I can’t ever turn it off (only Windows users have this option). Personally, I don’t mind the “always-on” protection, but some users may find the lack of configuration options frustrating. Like ExpressVPN, CyberGhost has a strict no-logs policy and is headquartered in a country with no mandatory data-retention laws (Romania). This means you can play online poker from anywhere without worrying that your identity or location is ever being revealed. 9633+ servers in over 91 countries allow you to access popular poker sites worldwide, including the following: While testing CyberGhost, I found that each of its servers is ordered by ping rate, enabling you to connect to its fastest servers and play online poker in seconds without experiencing error messages. CyberGhost’s short-term plans are expensive and only come with a 14-day money-back guarantee. However, you can get one of CyberGhost’s long-term subscriptions for $2.19/month, which also comes with a 45-day money-back guarantee. Plus, for an extra $5/month, you can get a dedicated IP address that only you can use. This reduces the risk of a poker site detecting that you’re using a VPN and banning you from their site. If you take advantage of this generous guarantee period, you can try CyberGhost with PokerStars completely free. I tested the policy by messaging its customer support team through 24/7 live chat and requesting a refund. Less than 15 minutes later, my request was approved and processed. I received the money 2 days later. Play online poker with CyberGhost

3. Private Internet Access (PIA) — The Largest Server Network to Play Poker From Anywhere

Key Features: Private Internet Access (PIA) has the most servers on this list, allowing you to access your favorite poker sites no matter your location, including: With 35000+ servers in over 84 countries, you’ll have access to thousands of IPs to access poker sites, reducing the risk that PokerStars or GGPoker will recognize and ban that address. No matter which country you connect to, you can play your best hand without experiencing overcrowded servers or interruptions. I found that each of its servers provides its speed and ping rate so that you can choose its fastest server without hassle. Using PIA, you can play online poker without the risk of being hacked or your game crashing due to DDoS attacks. In addition to AES 256-bit military-grade encryption, DNS & IP leak protection, and a kill switch, it has a built-in MACE ad and malware blocker which stops malicious scripts from tracking your online activity. Unfortunately, PIA’s headquarters is within the US at the heart of the 5-Eyes Alliance — a knowledge-sharing network between countries like the US, UK, Canada, and Australia. However, its strict no-logs policy ensures your data is hidden and cannot be shared with third parties or governmental organizations. You can access your favorite poker sites for as little as $2.19/month with PIA on a 2-year + 2 months subscription. Like CyberGhost, you can add a dedicated IP to your plan for around $5/month. Before you commit, you can use its 30-day money-back guarantee to get PIA for free. To check that the guarantee works, I requested a refund via live chat on the website. Its customer support team took 30 minutes to respond but processed my refund within a few minutes. My money was returned 6 days later. Play online poker with PIA

4. PrivateVPN — Stealth VPN Disguises Your Traffic to Get Around Filters Without Detection

Key Features: PrivateVPN’s Stealth VPN will help you access poker sites from any country. It disguises your VPN connection as a regular internet connection, so you blend in with regular traffic. For apps like PokerStars and GGPoker, it’s more difficult to identify that you’re using a VPN or block you from their sites. It also has AES 256-bit encryption, perfect forward secrecy, and DNS & IP leak protection to protect you from prying eyes, ISPs, and potential hackers while using public WiFi to play online poker. For an extra layer of protection while you’re playing Texas Hold’em, PrivateVPN has a kill switch and Application Guard. These features stop your IP address and location from being revealed in the event of a power outage or unexpected disconnection. While PrivateVPN is based in privacy-friendly Sweden, where there are no data-retention laws, it is still part of the Fourteen Eyes Alliance. Thankfully, with a strict zero-logs policy, you can rest assured that your data is safe from high-surveillance governments. Despite its benefits, PrivateVPN has the smallest network of servers on this list (just 200+ servers in 63 countries), which can make it difficult to find a server close by. This can affect your speed, ping rate, and, most importantly, your poker game. If you want a provider with better coverage, I recommend PIA’s well-distributed network of 35000+ worldwide servers. Despite a smaller server network, I had zero issues accessing the following sites with PrivateVPN: At just $2.00/month for a 3-year period, PrivateVPN is one of the most affordable VPNs on the market. What’s more, it even offers dynamic dedicated IPs to all its users at no extra cost. You can simply choose one of 16 locations on the app and immediately get assigned an IP address that no one else can use while you’re connected. You can also try PrivateVPN with PokerStars for free using its 30-day money-back guarantee. When I tested it, I found customer support to be very helpful and responsive. After answering some questions on live chat, my refund was approved. The money was back in my account within the week. Play online poker with PrivateVPN

5. IPVanish — Play PokerStars and More on All of Your Devices Without Slowdowns

Key Features: IPVanish’s unlimited simultaneous connections allow you to play online poker on all of your devices. Even when I connected 6 devices (2 PCs, 3 phones, and a tablet), I didn’t experience any performance issues or slow speeds. With 2000+ servers in over 75 countries, IPVanish is well equipped to provide access to popular poker sites like: You’ll also be able to choose a server depending on the server’s speed and ping rate, allowing you to maximize your gaming experience and reduce the possibility of interruptions while playing. Aside from 256-bit encryption, DNS/IP leak protection, and an automatic kill switch, IPVanish also has LAN traffic blocking, timed IP switching, and split tunneling. With split tunneling, you can play online poker while you stream your favorite Netflix US show in the background. IPVanish’s best value plan is just $3.99 per month for a 1 year  term. I was disappointed that there was no option for crypto payments like every other VPN on this list offers — I could only pay with major credit cards or PayPal. Unfortunately, there’s also no option for dedicated IPs to use for online poker. You can get IPVanish free with its 30-day money-back guarantee on its annual plans. Getting a refund is easy and automated when you cancel your subscription. I tried it by canceling through my account settings, and the refund was approved immediately. My PayPal account was credited a few hours later. Play online poker with IPVanish

How to Play Poker With a VPN

Depending on your location, you won’t be able to access online poker games on websites like PokerStars or play with real money. A prime example of this is the US, where you can only play poker with real money in Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Delaware. This is why you must follow the following steps if you’d like to play with real money: Unblock online poker with ExpressVPN

Comparison Table: 2023’s Best VPNs for Poker

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Why You Need a VPN for Online Poker

Many countries have restrictions on online poker sites, making it difficult to access while traveling abroad. While some countries only restrict real money games, others ban online gambling entirely. Even in the United States, there are complicated restrictions on playing online casino games and betting. However, you can overcome these restrictions when traveling to countries that block your access to your favorite online poker sites by using VPN to change your visible location. The best VPNs will protect you from prying eyes, ISPs, and hackers who target you while using unsecured public WiFi to steal your information. A VPN will keep you safe from DDoS attacks by hiding your IP address and location. Many poker sites require a payment method to access their products and services, including your bank account details, ZIP Code, or PayPal account. To ensure your anonymity when subscribing, I suggest only using sites that accept cryptocurrency as payment. This will prevent your bank account or PayPal account from exposing your true geographic location and getting you blocked from the site.

Countries that Prohibit Online Poker

A variety of countries block real money, freemium, and play money activity, meaning that you won’t be able to access your favorite online poker sites without a VPN. Some countries even punish online poker players and gamblers with fines and imprisonment, so you need to be extremely careful and consider the laws and regulations of the country you’re in.

Here is a list of prohibited jurisdictions when it comes to real money, and play money activity: Every quality VPN on this list gives you direct access to the most popular poker sites, including PokerStars, 888poker, FullTilt, Sky Poker, PartyPoker, GGPoker, iPoker, Unibet, and Coral Poker. All you have to do is connect to a server and start playing. All online poker: Vatican City, The Netherlands, and Turkey All online poker: Anguilla, Cuba, Dominica, Guyana, Haiti, Puerto Rico, and US Virgin Islands All online poker: Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guinea, Libya, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe All online poker: Fiji, Hong Kong, Iraq, Israel, Kingdom of Bahrain, Kiribati, Kuwait, Marshall Islands, Myanmar, Nauru, Palestinian Territories, Qatar, Samoa, Singapore, and Tuvalu

DDoS Attacks

If you play online poker without a VPN, you’re much more likely to experience a DDoS attack that will freeze your internet connection. For the next few minutes, it will seem as if you’ve gone offline, and you’ll be kicked out of your poker game — potentially causing you to lose all your money. DDoS attacks are becoming more popular within the poker community, and it’s been found that 82% of all DDoS attacks were aimed at people playing online games. But not only that, the players you play against could be the culprit, paying for a short attack to make you lose the game and ensure their win. The best VPNs in 2023 can protect you from DDoS attacks with AES 256-bit military-grade encryption, ad & malware blockers, and automatic kill switches. You’ll also have access to the most secure protocols and dedicated IP addresses to ensure your anonymity and protect your devices while playing online poker games. Play online poker using ExpressVPN

Tips for Playing Online Poker With a VPN

Here are a few tips that will minimize the risk of getting your poker account blocked, banned, or otherwise deleted from the most popular poker sites like PokerStars:

Always connect to a VPN before trying to play online poker. Connecting to VPN servers before playing PokerStars ensures your IP address and location are hidden. Use a dedicated IP address. Some VPN providers allow you to purchase dedicated IPs that no one else can use. This reduces the chances of being banned by an online poker platform. Refrain from depositing large amounts. There’s always a risk your account may be canceled or banned for suspicious activity, so it’s best to only deposit the amount you need to play for each sitting. Withdraw your money as often as possible. Having little funds ensures that you don’t lose large amounts of money if you get blocked or hacked. Enable your kill switch. Most VPNs do this automatically, but it can help protect you if your VPN malfunctions and stops protecting you while playing poker online. Enable IPv6 leak protection. Some computers now support IPv6, meaning that your IP address could be exposed if you don’t actively hide it on top of the standard IPv4. Do not use obvious payment methods. Using your credit card, debit card, or PayPal account could expose your true location, but paying with cryptocurrency will maintain your anonymity. Try playing CryptoPoker. In doing so, all of your deposits, winnings, and withdrawals will be in cryptocurrency, making it almost impossible to identify you.

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How I Tested and Ranked the Best VPNs for Poker

I tested some of the best VPNs on the market to find the best options for online poker. I considered the following features to ensure your online gaming experience and protection:

Network size: This feature is particularly important as it allows you to connect to multiple servers within the same country if you run into error messages. It also gives you access to countries where you can win real money. Speed: The faster the VPN, the fewer interruptions you experience while playing online poker. Slow speeds can cause stuttered webpages, connectivity issues, and even kick you out of games and increase the chances of losing your funds. Security: Obfuscation technology, AES 256-bit encryption, ad & malware blockers, DDoS & WiFi protection, and kill switches are essential in reducing the risks of cyberattacks. Privacy: Without a strict no-logs policy, dedicated IPs, RAM-based servers, and IP, DNS & IPv6 leak protection, your identity and personal data could be exposed. Compatibility: The ability to play online poker on any device is essential, meaning that you need a VPN compatible with at least Android, iOS, Windows, and mac0S. Accessibility: You must be able to access popular poker sites, including PokerStars, GGPoker, iPoker, 888poker, FullTilt, Sky Poker, Coral Poker, PartyPoker, and more.

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Can I play online poker in Australia with a VPN?

Yes, you can play online poker in Australia using a quality VPN. However, the passing of the Interactive Gambling Bill in 2016 caused many popular poker sites like PokerStars and 888poker to stop offering their products and services to Australian citizens. While you can play online poker in Australia, you cannot win real money or exchange anything of real value. Despite being technically legal to play online poker in Australia, you can only play online poker on officially licensed outlets that operate within Australia’s borders — which isn’t many. If you use a VPN to play on unlicensed international outlets like PokerStars, there is a risk of punishment as the Australian government can determine where you played the game by using your IP address.

Is it safe to use a VPN to play PokerStars and GGPoker?

Yes, it is safe to use a VPN to play PokerStars and GGPoker. VPNs protect you in multiple ways, using advanced security features to conceal your IP address and location (dedicated IPs) and protect your devices from cyber attacks (no-logs policies, kill switches, and obfuscation technology) while playing online poker. Without a VPN, you’re more susceptible to hackers and prying eyes and may not be able to access PokerStars or GGPoker due to geo-blocks.

Yes, it is legal to use a VPN to play online poker. However, you must adhere to the terms and conditions of your favorite poker providers — as using a VPN to access geo-blocked services that you wouldn’t usually be able to access is against the law in some countries. Using a quality VPN while playing online poker to protect yourself from potential threats is perfectly fine, but using a VPN to access sites unavailable in your country can lead to legal ramifications which shouldn’t be ignored. In addition, you risk getting your poker account frozen or banned, potentially losing any money you have deposited or won.

Will my account get banned if I use a VPN for online poker?

It is certainly possible for your account to get banned if you use a VPN to play online poker. Popular platforms like PokerStars can suspend or terminate your account if they detect that you’re using software to change your location and access their services. However, you can minimize the possibility of detection by following our tips for using a VPN to play online poker. My team and I do not condone any illegal activity. Always check local laws to ensure you aren’t violating regulations in your country of residence.

Will a VPN protect me from DDoS attacks on poker sites?

Yes, the VPNs on this list will protect you from DDoS attacks while using poker sites. VPNs hide your real IP address making it virtually impossible for DDoS attacks to locate your network and target you. Additionally, the 256-bit encryption cipher creates a secure tunnel between your PC and network, hiding your activity from your ISP and hackers.

Yes, online poker is legal within the US, but you can only play for real money in a few states. Since online poker is prohibited in most states, you’ll need to connect to a VPN server in one of these states to play any real money games:

Delaware Michigan New Jersey Nevada Pennsylvania

You can play PokerStars in the above 5 states without breaking the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) due to it having a license to do so. It’s unclear whether other states will follow, but Tennessee, Ohio, and Colorado are currently considering whether or not to allow online gambling and poker.

Can PokerStars and other poker sites detect VPNs?

Yes, PokerStars and other poker sites like iPoker can detect VPNs. However, if you get a dedicated IP address to access online poker, the likelihood of this happening is significantly lower. Poker sites can identify the use of VPNs in multiple ways:

The same IP address is being used by multiple players at the same time Your account’s usual IP address and location change multiple times in a short period of time You use an IP address that has already been linked to a VPN server

Can I use a free VPN for poker?

No, I would not recommend using a free VPN to access online poker. Having tested many free VPNs in the past, I found that the lack of security features could expose you to hackers, DDoS attacks, and quick detection by poker sites. With fewer resources, even the safest free VPNs can’t offer the same protection as paid providers. While they may have 256-bit encryption, there’s usually no DNS leak protection, malware detection, or dedicated IPs. A small number of servers and IP addresses also makes it easier for poker sites to identify and blacklist them. To access online poker without committing to an expensive long-term subscription, you can get CyberGhost for free using its 45-day money-back guarantee. The benefit of using CyberGhost to access online poker is its DDoS protection, which you can’t get when using a free VPN. Access online poker with ExpressVPN


Due to strict regulations and outright bans on online poker worldwide, you won’t be able to access PokerStars or any other popular poker sites while traveling abroad. However, by spoofing your location, a VPN can overcome these restrictions and protect you from DDoS attacks while playing poker online. After testing 30+ VPNs, I found that ExpressVPN excelled at accessing PokerStars and GGPoker due to its superfast speeds and advanced security features. You can get ExpressVPN risk-free. All plans are backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can get a full refund if you’re not happy. When I tested the process myself, an agent responded to my request in under a minute via live chat. My refund was processed immediately, and I had the money back in my account in 7 days! Play online poker with ExpressVPN

Summary — Best VPNs for Poker in 2023