Poker has been around for many years in the real world and has boomed in many corners around the globe online over the past 10+ years.
One of the most memorable moments and the catalyst which sparked the online poker revolution was back in 2003 when Chris Moneymaker qualified at the online poker site PokerStars for the 2003 World Series of Poker and went on to take first prize totalling a huge US$2.5 million.
Since then many of you have tried your hand at online poker at sites such as Pokerstars, FullTiltPoker, Party Poker, William Hill plus others and in many cases won good sums of money, for the rest of us who haven't we continue to enjoy the game itself.
Unfortunately, the way the online Poker world works is it is very restrictive to regions and specific locations.
There's also the issue of online security, privacy and the threat of underhand tactics like DDOS. If you're looking for a VPN for playing Poker, below we've rounded up the top 5 options.
ExpressVPN is one of the largest and most popular VPN services around the globe.
The company offers the best security and privacy features currently available, such as the most robust encryption and security protocols, as well as a server network that covered over 94 countries, with over 3,000 servers in total.
With these and other features, it allows users to bypass censorship and geo-restrictions and play Poker online pretty much anywhere.
Online casinos will no longer be inaccessible, regardless of whether you play via PC or on the go via your mobile. ExpressVPN has dedicated apps for both, as well as many other devices.
Our #1 Recommended VPN for Poker
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Next up, we have Surfshark, a VPN whose server network covers 63 different countries, with 1,700 servers in total. However, this service stands out when it comes to the number of devices that you can use at the same time with a single license.
There is no limit there, meaning that you can protect every single device that you and your family own, and even use them all simultaneously if need be.
This VPN is also great for bypassing resistance and censorship if you wish to play Poker in areas where your usual haunts aren't available. You will also be fully secure while doing it, as long as your VPN remains active.
In the third spot, we have CyberGhost, which is an excellent service for Poker, mainly due to its massive server network, which will allow you to access most online Poker games on the planet.
CyberGhost offers over 6,300 servers located in 89 different countries. It also provides excellent speeds and unlimited bandwidth.
That way, you can make sure that your internet speed will remain high, and that you won't miss any part of the game due to lag or similar problems.
Then, there is NordVPN, another of the top-ranking VPN services that have always supported the users' right to access any content they desire, including online games. NordVPN offers a rather extensive network that connects 59 different countries and offers over 5,000 servers in total.
It can protect your data traffic, including your payments. Of course, if you use a credit card, your bank will still be able to see where the money came from, and where it went to, The same thing is true about PayPal and similar services.
But, at least your payments will be hidden from any outsiders who might be spying on your traffic.
Lastly, we have IPVanish, a service that also offers fast speeds, online freedom, and private connections. IPVanish is a great choice of a VPN, due to its affordable prices, 30-day money-back guarantee, and excellent Trustpilot rating.
The service has over 1,400 servers, which is less than some of the others but it has a presence in over 75 different locations.
In total, it features more than 40,000 IPs, which are shared, and that will make you safe whenever you use it. You can also use the service on an unlimited number of devices allowing you to game on a wide variety of systems.
How to play Poker overseas
For those of you who have done a bit of reading it is entirely possible to play on “foreign” Poker websites from the comfort of your own home, regardless of where that is in the world.
So let's say you've relocated to Asia for work but wanted to continue to play on a European Poker site?
Well, firstly the site itself can basically see what country you're accessing from. If it was, for example, a site only open to European residents then by your internet connection, it would know that you're connecting from Asia.
Each internet connection is assigned what is known as an IP Address and from this information, it is quite easy for any website to work out your location, or at least work out what location you aren't in.
The solution to this is to make use of a VPN service. Part of what a VPN does is masks your actual location and replaces it with the location of the VPN server.
So in this example, if you wanted to play on a UK site, you would connect to a UK server thus fooling the Poker site into thinking you were currently in the UK and continue to play as usual before you moved.
It's worth remembering that just because a VPN can unlock Poker sites, you should be mindful of local laws. If online gambling or Poker is illegal in the country you're in then even by using a VPN you would still be breaking the law so should not do it under any circumstances.
Is using a VPN for poker illegal?
Using a VPN for Poker games and sites is NOT illegal.
Of course, it could be frowned upon by the Poker sites themselves. However, just because it may go against their wishes or even their terms does not make it illegal to access them in this way in the eyes of the law.
Still, these websites might try to block your account if they suspect that you might be using VPN and similar technologies, but that is pretty much the worst it can get.
It's worth considering the legalities which I explain below.
Why a VPN doesn't make poker legal
As you probably know, rules for what is allowed and available in terms of online gambling changes from country to country. As a result, online gambling could be entirely restricted in some countries.
Many of the US states, for example, do not allow online gambling.
As a result, if you live in one of them and you connect to a different area, that will not make it legal in your state. You should be very cautious here, as accessing Poker games, even with a VPN, is illegal if your state law does not permit it.
The same can be said for many countries. Ensure the country or even state you're accessing from allows online gambling, even when using a VPN.
Will the poker site detect a VPN?
Online gambling sites usually work with quite large amounts of money.
As such, they have a lot to earn, and a lot to lose, if the authorities decide to stop them due to problematic visitors, such as VPN users who shouldn't have access.
To prevent this, these sites often do not spare costs when it comes to advanced tech that can detect abnormal traffic.
In other words, yes, they can detect VPNs. They can identify VPN services' IP addresses, especially if multiple users come to the site and use the same address.
If you're playing for big money, then it's not worth risking. However, if you're a small stakes player, you may wish to continue for the fun of it.
Why you need a Kill Switch
Lastly, let's talk about the importance of Kill Switches. These are VPN features that are there to prevent your traffic from getting exposed.
Basically, if your VPN malfunctions, the kill switch will instantly interrupt your connection to the internet.
That way, you won't be able to access the site without protection, and your data will not leak.
In fact, no one will even know that you ever visited the site. And, as soon as your VPN is back to normal, your connection will continue.
Professional poker players
For those who are considered professional poker players or who like to stake significant amounts of money the lengths which you should go to need to be increased vastly to secure your investments.
Poker sites regularly block proxies, so these are a huge no-no, even for small time players, public VPN providers have too many IP addresses that could be used by others at the same time, a Poker site would find it odd if two different players both appear as if they're connecting from exactly the same connection.
So for this situation, you need to look to a company who can provide a custom tailored solution for your needs. Each poker player is different and what you want to achieve based on your location and the location of the sites you wish to play will vary.
For this, you will need to do further research and is outside of the scope of this guide.
Using a VPN for playing Poker can be risky.
If online gambling or Poker are banned where you are then do not do it, even when using a VPN.
It's also worth remembering that online gambling sites frown on VPN use as they suspect you're outside their dedicated playing jurisdiction. This could lead to problems extracting winnings or even forfeiting any wins you made.
If you still wish to use a VPN for online poker then we recommend ExpressVPN. They offer one of the best all round services and they're super-reliable so you'll rarely experience a connection drop, if any.
Once signed up if you find they're not for you then you can take advantage of their 30-day money back guarantee.
I would love to hear your online Poker + VPN experiences and suggestions. Please drop me a comment in the box below.