Disclaimer: Affiliate links help us produce good content. Learn more.
PokerStars is a leading online gambling platform. Like many other online gambling games, PokerStars is geographically restricted in many countries worldwide, including the land of the free – the United States of America.
Thankfully, no obstacle is too difficult to cross for the eager poker player. This is where a VPN for PokerStars comes into play. It allows players to change their location to a place that does not impose any restrictions on online gambling. But is there a VPN good enough to keep you out of harm’s way? Read on and find out!
5 Best VPNs for PokerStars shortlist
Eager to jump into a lobby and start a match? Here’s a brief overview of our recommended PokerStars VPN services.
- NordVPN – the best VPN for PokerStars
- Surfshark – great, well-rounded option
- IPVanish – a VPN with added unique features
- PrivateVPN – small but efficient PokerStars VPN
- VyprVPN – cheap and security-focused VPN
How to play PokerStars with a VPN:
- Subscribe to a secure and private VPN. We recommend NordVPN, available for 72% off
- Download the VPN app on your device
- Log in and connect to a country that doesn’t restrict PokerStars, such as Canada
- Download the PokerStars software
- Log in and hop into a Cash Game lobby
Why do you need a VPN to play PokerStars
Online poker sites primarily restrict people from playing their games by blocking IP addresses from restricted countries. That means that using a VPN to change your IP is a straightforward and easy solution. However, there are a few nuances to keep in mind when using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to play online poker.
First off, it’s very likely that the service keeps track of what locations you are logging in from. So if it’s constantly changing, it’s fair to assume that you’re using a VPN. Furthermore, if many users connect from the same IP address, it’s also quite apparent that they are using a VPN.
This is why it’s paramount that you choose a VPN with a dedicated IP feature. It will give you exclusive access to an IP address in a remote location, making it your best asset when playing poker online.
Of course, that’s just scratching the surface. You also need a VPN with a kill switch feature to guarantee that your real IP address does not leak in case of a connection drop.
Furthermore, you need to make sure that your VPN service comes with strong AES-256 encryption. This will protect your internet connection and guarantee that no one will know what you’re doing online.
Finally, you need a service that can guarantee fast connection speeds, which are essential for online games. You wouldn’t want to deal with lags and stuttering while real cash is on the line.
Best VPN services to play PokerStars
Here’s a list of VPNs that you should choose from if you want the perfect online poker experience.
By far, the best VPN option for PokerStars is NordVPN. This VPN comes packed with essential security features, such as a kill switch and AES-256 encryption, and is based in privacy-respecting Panama. Furthermore, it’s insanely fast with its proprietary NordLynx tunneling protocol, which is based on WireGuard.
NordVPN has over 5500 servers in 59 countries, meaning you’ll have no shortage of server choices to hide your true location. Plus, you can also get a dedicated IP to secure yourself even further. Besides that, you can also utilize Obfuscated servers and Onion over VPN in other situations.
A single NordVPN subscription allows you to connect up to six devices simultaneously. You can also take advantage of the 7-day free trial available on Android. Once claimed, you can use the service on any other device as well. After that, subscription costs start at $3.30/month and come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
To find out more about NordVPN, read our NordVPN review.
Another great choice for potential poker stars is Surfshark. This service is located in the British Virgin Islands, protecting you with a kill switch, military-grade encryption, and the ultra-fast WireGuard tunneling protocol. With over 3200 servers in 65 countries, Surfshark won’t leave you without access to poker sites.
A stand-out benefit of Surfshark is the ability to connect an unlimited number of devices simultaneously. Plus, you can secure yourself with an extra layer of security by using the MultiHop and CleanWeb features.
Surfshark starts at $2.49/month and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
To find out more about Surfshark, read our Surfshark review.
If your priority is to make your true IP address disappear – look no further than IPVanish. Starting at $3.74/month, this VPN comes with a feature that you wouldn’t normally expect in a VPN. It’s called SugarSync, and it’s a whopping 500 GB of secure cloud storage. Of course, it is optional.
IPVanish also has everything else that you would expect from a worthwhile VPN. It comes equipped with a kill switch, military-grade AES-256 encryption, and IP leak protection. Plus, it offers reliable connections and many tunneling protocols to choose from, including OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPSec.
The service has over 1500 servers in 75 countries, allows ten simultaneous connections, and offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
To find out more about IPVanish, read our IPVanish review.
As the name suggests, PrivateVPN is an excellent choice to secure yourself while accessing online casinos. Based in Sweden, this VPN has a humble number of 150 servers in 62 countries. Despite that, it performs pretty well and is an excellent choice for playing PokerStars. Additionally, tunneling protocol options include OpenVPN and IKEv2.
Unsurprisingly, there’s also a kill switch, IP and DNS leak protection, and a strict no-logs policy. Furthermore, it has the Application Guard feature, which will close selected apps if the VPN disconnects.
PrivateVPN subscriptions start at $2.50/month, allow six simultaneous connections, and come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
To find out more about PrivateVPN read our PrivateVPN review.
A cheap and effective online poker VPN is VyprVPN. For only $1.66/month, you can take advantage of its 700+ servers in over 70 countries. Furthermore, the service is based in Switzerland and has an independently-audited no logs policy, guaranteeing privacy from everyone.
By grabbing a single subscription, you can secure up to five devices simultaneously. Furthermore, you won’t be left behind in speed as the VPN comes with the modern WireGuard tunneling protocol.
And for an added layer of security, you can utilize the proprietary Chameleon protocol. Naturally, the VPN comes packaged with a kill switch, DNS leak protection, and strong AES-256 encryption.
To find out more about VyprVPN, read our VyprVPN review.
Countries where PokerStars is blocked
Due to various political, cultural, and legal reasons, PokerStars is restricted in a significant number of countries. Make sure that you’re using a VPN when connecting from these countries if you’d like to avoid any legal action against you.
|Restricted countries by region|
|Europe||Asia and Oceania||Americas||Africa|
|Switzerland, Slovenia, Vatican City||Australia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Myanmar (Burma), North Korea, Singapore, Syria, Telangana and Nagaland (States in India), China, Taiwan, Macau, Hong Kong, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Kuwait, Malaysia, North Korea, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Territory of Palestine||Cuba, USA, Colombia||Libya, Sudan, Yemen, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Egypt, Jordan, Kenya, Nigeria, Mozambique, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Senegal, Sudan, Tanzania|
Of course, this isn’t the entire list. The laws and gambling situation can frequently change from country to country. Always check your local laws to be certain that you’re not doing anything illegal by accessing online poker sites.
How to play PokerStars from your country
The chances are that you live in one of these countries that are restricted from playing PokerStars. If that’s the case, you’ll need a good-quality PokerStars VPN to gain access to real money tables.
How to play PokerStars in the US
One of the most surprising restrictions of PokerStars is the United States. Although some states can still partake in online gambling, the majority of the US cannot. That is why you need to follow a few steps if you’d like to gamble for real:
- Subscribe to a reliable VPN. We suggest NordVPN, available for 72% off
- Download the VPN on your device
- Connect to a country that can access PokerStars, such as Canada
- Launch the PokerStars game and join a Real Money table
How to Play PokerStars in Australia
PokerStars left the Australian market in 2017 due to the Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill. As such, players need the assistance of a VPN for Australia if they are to continue gaming. Here’s a quick guide on getting started:
- Sign up for a high-quality VPN. We recommend NordVPN, currently 72% off
- Install the VPN app on your device
- Connect to a nearby country that allows online gambling, for example, New Zealand
- Start the PokerStars launcher and jump into a match
How to play PokerStars in the UK
For now, PokerStars is available in the UK, and you are free to gamble with real money. However, if you’re serious about online gambling and would like to reduce potential risks like DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks, you would be wise to get a UK VPN and secure your internet connection. Here’s how to do that:
- Grab a well-reviewed VPN. We endorse NordVPN, the 1# VPN for PokerStars
- Download and install the VPN
- Connect to a nearby server for optimal speed
- Turn on the PokerStars game and have fun
How to play PokerStars on your device
PokerStars is played on a separate downloadable poker client from the official website. It is available for PC on Windows and Mac and mobile devices on iOS and Android. Once you’ve decided on which platform you want to play, you also need to find a PokerStars VPN that is compatible with your device. Luckily, most worthwhile VPNs have dedicated apps for these platforms, so you shouldn’t have to worry about this too much.
How to play PokerStars on PC
Before downloading the PokerStars software on your Windows or Mac device, make sure that you are in a country that does not prohibit online gambling. If that’s not the case, you’ll need to get a VPN first. A VPN will ensure that your real IP address does not get tracked when logging in. In general, you want to keep things consistent and change your settings as little as possible. Ideally, you’ll need a VPN with a dedicated IP address. This will guarantee that no one else will be using your IP address and won’t raise any suspicions.
If you’re still not sure where to start, here’s what you need to do:
- Get yourself a reliable VPN, preferably with a dedicated IP feature. We suggest NordVPN
- Install the VPN software on your computer
- Connect to a country that isn’t restricted
- Have fun playing PokerStars
How to play PokerStars on mobile devices
Thankfully, PokerStars has a mobile app for Android and iOS devices. That way, you can play easily while on the go. However, security becomes paramount when you’re connecting to unknown networks and public Wi-Fi. Thus, even if you live in a country that doesn’t prohibit online gambling, you need a VPN to secure your potential winnings. Here’s how to go about doing that:
- Subscribe to a secure VPN. We stand by NordVPN, the best choice for PokerStars
- Download the VPN app on your mobile device
- Log in and connect to a server in an unrestricted country
- Download the PokerStars app and enjoy
Free VPNs for PokerStars
You might be tempted to try out free VPNs to play PokerStars. However, few key reasons make this a bad idea.
First off, free VPNs have huge user bases and small server networks. Many people could potentially sign in with the same IP address, raise suspicions, and get swiftly banned. Furthermore, free VPN IP addresses are probably already banned and blacklisted due to overuse.
Additionally, free and even freemium VPNs have a minimal number of country options. You probably won’t even find a free VPN that offers servers in unrestricted countries. But if you really want to try your luck with a free VPN, there’s one option that we recommend.
One of the main reasons that makes AtlasVPN a practical choice is the fact that there are no data caps. This means that you can use the VPN without any limits. Additionally, there’s a kill switch to protect your actual IP address from leaking.
Free users get access to servers in the US and the Netherlands. Unfortunately, you won’t have any luck with the US servers, but the Netherlands is still an excellent choice for playing PokerStars.
And if you decide that Atlas VPN is worth the money, it’s pretty affordable and starts at $1.39/month.
To find out more about Atlas VPN, read our Atlas VPN review.
Tips while playing online poker with a VPN
Naturally, just the technical features of a PokerStars VPN aren’t going to cut it. You also need to practice some caution if you’re using a VPN for PokerStars.
The most obvious thing to remember is to always launch the VPN app before the PokerStars app. Under no circumstances should you connect without a VPN. Doing so will leak your actual IP address, the poker service will take note of it, and you will eventually get banned. And, of course, a kill switch will ensure that your IP address remains secure even if the VPN connection drops unexpectedly.
Another good habit is to withdraw your winnings as often as possible. You never know when PokerStars will pull the rug from under you and restrict your country from playing. This has happened before, and players were unable to access their accounts anymore.
Furthermore, you should avoid using any payment options that could reveal your real identity and location. Instead, look into some off-shore options, such as PayPal.
Whether you’re a casual player or a die-hard poker master, a VPN is a great addition to your arsenal. It allows you to circumvent any geographical restrictions that are imposed by online poker companies. And even if you live in a country that allows online gambling, you can utilize a VPN to protect yourself from privacy breaches and various online threats. What matters is that you choose the best VPN service to ensure top-notch security.
Do you have any tips and tricks when using a VPN to access poker sites? Let us know by leaving a comment!
Can I use VPN for PokerStars?
Yes, it’s possible to use a VPN to access PokerStars from restricted countries. However, this is a breach of the terms of service and could get you banned.
Is it illegal to use a VPN to play poker?
If online gambling is illegal in your country then yes, using a VPN to play online poker can still be considered illegal.
What is the best VPN to play online poker?
The best VPN for online poker is NordVPN. It’s based in Panama, has a third-party audited no-logs policy, a huge number of servers worldwide, a dedicated IP feature, and great connection speeds for online gaming.
Can PokerStars detect VPN?
PokerStars does not necessarily detect a VPN connection. Instead, it tracks IP addresses and sees if it’s been used by multiple users simultaneously. Additionally, it may suspect that you’re using a VPN if your geographical location is changing constantly.
Disclaimer: Affiliate links help us produce good content. Learn more.
Ethan is a security researcher and digital privacy advocate. He spends his time unraveling various anonymity and security tools, plus contributing to open-source projects. Otherwise, he keeps a low profile by hiking or cycling around the countryside.