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How to Gamble Online with VPN in 2023

Are there any gambling site restrictions in your region? They can be solved quickly with Virtual Private Network (VPN) technology. In this article, I’ll tell you why VPN services are useful for PokerStars and other poker sites​.

Today, online casinos represent one of the fastest-growing types of entertainment, attracting more and more fans each day. While various sports betting has been popular for ages, poker isn’t left in the dirt either – more than 100 million people dabble in this card game.

Whether you’re a professional player sitting at online poker rooms between tournaments or just another person trying their luck, there are many potential gains here. Can’t forget about the thrill of seeing the right cards fall into your hands, either.

Unfortunately, online gambling platforms, such as the ever-popular PokerStars, aren’t available in all countries. It may be due to regional laws restricting gambling or censorship meant to protect moral and religious values.​

I’ll look at the best PokerStars VPN services that circumvent not only these gambling bans but allow you to protect your identity while doing so.

Best VPNs for PokerStars

  1. NordVPN: Best VPN for online gambling. This service can effectively hide your digital identity and grant access to online gambling platforms like PokerStars.
  2. Surfshark: Affordable and effective VPN with an extensive list of country locations. Players can use this service to unblock the most obscure online gambling sites.
  3. IPVanish: A handy PokerStars VPN that boosts your safety with various tools and real-time antivirus protection. Use this service to reliably hide your gambling activities.
  4. PureVPN: This provider is based in the British Virgin Islands and went through independent audits of its no-logs policy, ensuring peak privacy while playing PokerStars.
  5. ProtonVPN: Swiss-based, audited, and open-source – the perfect mix for absolute confidentiality while browsing the net or gambling online.

How to play PokerStars with a VPN:

  1. Subscribe to an effective VPN with reliable geo-block circumvention features. My top choice is NordVPN
  2. Download the software on your favorite gambling device
  3. Install the VPN and connect to a country that doesn't restrict PokerStars, for example, the UK
  4. Play PokerStars anywhere!

Why do you need a VPN for PokerStars?

Like many online poker sites, PokerStars isn’t available in every country in the world. What’s more, it doesn’t even offer its services in regions where gambling is severely restricted or outright banned.

Several betting sites, including the star of the article, don’t allow visitors with an IP address associated with a particular location to enter. On the other side, the ISP could also be blocking access following the country’s laws.​

A simple IP address change usually fixes this issue, but it can be problematic for players to visit such sites using proxies or anonymizers. True, they make it look like you’re connecting from another region, but they do not encrypt your traffic. It leaves your activities exposed to everyone with the right tools to see them.

Play PokerStars with NordVPN

I highly recommend using a PokerStars VPN. This technology solves many privacy and security issues by properly masking your IP and routing connections through tunnels encrypted with an unbreakable cipher. Plus, they usually have the tools needed to break through strict censorship firewalls in places like China.

Online poker sites – a matter of controversy

Essentially, why PokerStars and other gambling platforms aren’t available everywhere boils down to two main reasons.

Reason # 1

Even in online poker, users are dealing with real money and at a substantial profit if luck is on their side. Authorities often restrict citizens' ability to receive rewards from sources beyond their control.

Reason # 2

Another reason could be money laundering, which many believe occurs in online gambling. Because the authorities cannot control the flow of money through gambling sites, they choose to make them illegal instead.

The result

Poker sites are simply unavailable in some countries. While places like Australia and the United Kingdom prohibit only specific platforms, certain States in the US, for example, have made all online gambling illegal.Thus, you should understand why privacy is the number one reason for using a VPN for online gambling.

  • I also suggest reading our article about using VPNs for Bitcoin transactions to minimize risks and prevent personal data leaks.

I’ve made this list according to key requirements and nuances crucial for such websites as PokerStars. If you want to look beyond the providers mentioned here, make sure the one you end up subscribing to meets these criteria.

#1. Utmost anonymity

Since gambling isn’t legal everywhere, the PokerStars VPN must include all the tools necessary to keep yourself hidden online.

  • High-grade encryption for masking all web activity
  • IP, WebRTC, and DNS leak protection for making sure your actual location isn’t visible
  • A kill switch that shuts down your internet if the VPN connection suddenly drops

#2. No data collection

By using such technology, you’re masking what you’re doing online from everyone else. But it’s still potentially visible to the VPN provider itself. That’s why it’s imperative to go only for services that adhere to a strict no-logs policy, meaning they don’t amass any info about their subscribers.

Bonus points naturally go to those VPNs for PokerStars that had this policy audited by an independent entity. It’s a badge of truth that affirms the accuracy of the service’s claims they don’t participate in subscriber monitoring.

#3. Expansive network

A good VPN for poker or betting needs a global presence to offer the most freedom for your online identity. It essentially ensures accessibility to any foreign platform unavailable in your region. Plus, you’re more likely to find servers closest to you, which plays a vital role in connection speeds and your overall VPN experience.

#4. Geo-block circumvention

The PokerStars VPN should be robust enough to bypass the website’s systems restricting access to it. It should also be able to break through your country’s firewalls if you reside in a region with severe internet censorship.

#5. Optimal performance

Can’t have any connectivity issues when you’re playing with moderate amounts of money on the table. Constant lag and high latency can seriously affect the outcome of your poker sessions, so the VPN must have the latest tunneling protocols meant to uphold fast speeds.

Best VPNs to access poker websites

Which VPN service supports data protection, location masking, doesn’t keep logs, and is the most versatile?

I bring to your attention the 5 best PokerStars VPNs that have passed all types of security tests, have the most functionality, good reputation, and don’t track their users.​

Comparison of the main features of VPN services for gambling:

ServiceRanking (out of 10)Number of countries supportedEncryptionMobile device supportPrice (monthly)
NordVPN1060AES-256+from $3.49
Surfshark10100AES-256+from $2.30
IPVanish1050AES-256+from $3.33
PureVPN978AES-256+from $1.95
Proton VPN963AES-256+from $3.99

1. NordVPN

NordVPN is a powerful tool able to bypass any blocking, be it streaming platforms or online betting websites like PokerStars. It routes your traffic using the bulletproof AES-256 encryption standard, so none of your info will fall into any hands. Plus, the provider offers internet & app-level kill switches and leak protection measures to uphold your privacy.

Its proprietary NordLynx protocol ensures great speeds, so gameplay is always smooth. Another distinctive feature of this VPN is the ability to work even in internet censorship-heavy countries like China, where such technology is often blocked. You can achieve it in two ways:

  • Obfuscated servers – these mask traces left by conventional VPN protocols, making this tool undetectable during Deep Packet Inspection (DPI).
  • Double VPN – this feature routes your traffic through two servers, meaning you can transfer the data through an accessible country first and pick a blocked region for the second.

The service has been successfully tested for all platforms, and I never had issues with loading times or lag during decisive moments on PokerStars. I also appreciate NordVPN’s versatility – it has plenty of P2P-optimized servers. The regular ones worked great with Netflix, and I even got to access foreign lobbies in several online games I dive into after work.

2. Surfshark

By now, Surfshark VPN has received the title of the most secure service. It utilizes cutting-edge technology to make visiting PokerStars and surfing the Internet as safe as possible whether you’re at home or on the go. The essential tools work just great for that, but the true gems are the extra features.

Camouflage and NoBorders modes help you break through the Great Firewall of China in just a few clicks. Then there’s CleanWeb which ensures you’re not plagued by ads or accidentally land on malware. Surfshark VPN’s MultiHop feature works the same as NordVPN’s Double VPN, encrypting traffic twice for double the privacy.

This VPN has other notable aspects, like the fact all servers are RAM-only, so there’s definitely no data collection. Another is the recent Surfshark Nexus upgrade which introduced Software Defined Networking (SDN). It routes all user traffic through one massive network, improving connection stability, speeds, and even security.

3. IPVanish

IPVanish is a PokerStars VPN I can’t overlook, which, as the name suggests, will help you mask your online presence. Being based in the US doesn’t stop the provider from helping users retain their privacy – plenty of anonymity-ensuring tools found in the client attest to that. Plus, it adheres to a zero-logs policy that an independent third party has audited.

Now, I’ve encountered issues trying to access streaming websites (Hulu, Disney+, BBC iPlayer) But entering other geo-blocked content wasn’t a problem – I connected to PokerStars on the first try. That was possible due to IPVanish’s version of Stealth VPN, which you can find as the OpenVPN Scramble feature in the settings.

I like the fact there are no virtual servers, so the one you’re connecting to is physically located in that country. It reduces latency and increases connection reliability, crucial for online betting. I also give IPVanish bonus points for owning & operating the whole server network, ensuring no unnecessary third parties can tamper with the hardware.

4. PureVPN

Another PokerStars VPN powerhouse I can’t leave out of this list is PureVPN. It offers a surprisingly massive server network that allows you to unblock anything you want. While it doesn’t have any specific Stealth VPN feature, this service works just fine whether you want to access the world wide web from China or stream foreign Netflix libraries from the US.

Subscribers get the essentials and a couple of additional ones when it comes to privacy-ensuring tools. Secure Wi-Fi, for one, is something constantly traveling online betting enthusiasts will enjoy. Split tunneling can also help route VPN traffic through the PokerStars app only, leaving the rest of your internet unchanged.

PureVPN can maintain pretty great speeds for such a large-scale fleet. I’ve tried connecting to PokerStars through several different tunneling protocols (there’s a bunch available), and WireGuard proved to be the best connection stability and loading-times wise.

5. Proton VPN

My final best VPN for PokerStars is Proton VPN, a project done by the same guys responsible for ProtonMail. It’s based in privacy-friendly Switzerland, and all the apps are open-source & audited and come packed with some impressive protection-focused tools. I even tried the free version – it’s almost as good as premium, but having only 3 servers is really limiting.

Proton VPN’s most prized feature is Secure Core. It was specifically designed to defend against network-based attacks, which is helpful if some tech-savvy sore loser decides to target you. NetShield also piqued my interest because it employs DNS filtering to block intrusive ads while speeding up website loading times.

Now, some people have to connect to the other side of the world to access poker websites like PokerStars. And it has a considerable impact on speeds & connection reliability. It won’t be a problem with this service, though – the proprietary VPN Accelerator feature redistributes loads so that you can enjoy excellent performance from anywhere.

Countries where PokerStars is unavailable

PokerStars is blocked in a shockingly large amount of countries, be it for cultural, political, religious, or other reasons. The fact remains that if you want to dabble in everything this poker website has to offer without landing in trouble, you have to use a VPN.

RegionsCountries where PokerStars is blocked
The AmericasColombia, Cuba, the US
EuropeSlovenia, Switzerland, Vatican City
Asia and OceaniaAfghanistan, Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, China, Hong Kong, India's states (Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Assam, Odisha, Sikkim, and Gujarat), Iran, Iraq, Israel, Kuwait, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar, North Korea, Pakistan, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Syria, Taiwan, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Yemen
AfricaEgypt, Jordan, Kenya, Libya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Yemen, Zimbabwe

Keep in mind that laws regarding online gambling are constantly changing. Moreover, these websites themselves might pull their services from certain countries for one reason or another. Before you do anything, always double-check your region’s laws.

Tips for playing online poker with a VPN

You can never be cautious enough while participating in any kind of gambling, particularly online. VPNs for PokerStars do provide a certain level of protection, but you also have to do your part as well.

#1. Turn on the VPN first

Always connect to a VPN server before opening the PokerStars application. The service doesn’t technically allow VPN technology – if your IP address suddenly changes while the client is open, your account might get suspended.

#2. Enable the kill switch

This feature ensures your actual location doesn’t get exposed if the VPN connection suddenly drops or something glitches out. With most providers, it’s enabled by default, but others require users to toggle it on themselves.

#3. Utilize Stealth VPN

This and similar tools mask the fact you’re using a VPN in the first place and are very handy in bypassing online censorship. It also helps avoid detection from PokerStars systems created to sus out players changing their locations.

#4. Disable IPv6 if possible

IPv6 addresses are relatively new and are prone to leaking people’s actual location, and we can’t have that. Some VPN services block it automatically, but you can also disable it yourself by going to Control Panel > Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center > Change Adapter Settings > Properties.

#5. Deposit responsibly

You’re risking getting your account banned, so it’s best to deposit only the money you need for the game. Furthermore, I recommend transferring money only through international services so that your bank details aren’t revealed to the gambling service.

#6. Cash-out often

Following the above step, withdraw your winnings as often as you can. If your account ever gets frozen, you won’t be able to get it back, and it’s doubtful PokerStars will grant you access to your profile again.

Does PokerStars allow VPNs?

Technically, PokerStars doesn’t ban VPN usage, but it’s a bit tricky. According to the VPN policy, they recommend not using such technology as it may disrupt some if not all services in their client. Furthermore, it may cause unintentional bugs that might ruin your betting experience.

If you live in a country where online gambling is either restricted or banned, utilizing a VPN to access PokerStars will result in you losing your privileges and/or funds in your account. Worst case scenario – the company decides to take legal action. You have to get caught by the system for that to happen, though.

It, naturally, leaves many people in a bind. The VPNs I’ve listed above are reliable enough to avoid detection, but there’s always that 1% chance of something failing. So, use them for PokerStars at your own risk.

Can I use free VPNs for playing PokerStars

At this point, there are more free online gambling VPNs than paid ones, and it’s alarming that people readily use them without thinking about the risks. I understand why some go the completely costless route, but it's hard to endorse it when it involves potentially large sums of money.

I strongly suggest rethinking using free VPNs as most of them can and will put you in danger. It is especially true with obscure providers who don’t disclose how they manage to stay afloat or what kind of policies they are abiding by. Of course, there are other concerning things.

#1. Shameless user surveillance

There are countless stories of users digging into free VPN software and finding user library trackers and other monitoring tools that collect everything from the moment you connect. You’re signing away your IP address, online activities, device identifying information, and other personal data just like that.

#2. Clients full of malicious software

Another open secret is how some free VPN technology comes with unwanted surprises in the form of malware, adware, spyware, keyloggers, and other kinds of nasty software. It doesn’t put only your security at risk – it can also damage the longevity of your hardware in the long run.

#3. Intense advertising

Navigating the VPN client could also prove to be a nightmare as they are no strangers to various intrusive advertisements and pop-ups. Most of the time, they are even oddly catered to your interests, and it’s highly likely because the provider is selling your data to advertisers funding their services.

#4. No proper VPN tools

I’d even dare to say some free services are more like proxies than proper VPNs. What I mean is that they only “mask” your IP address but don’t ensure you’re actually protected. More often than not, there’s no traffic encryption, leak protection, or a kill switch. And you’re highly likely to get caught using a VPN by the gambling website’s system.


While PokerStars is one of the most popular poker websites, it’s far from being available everywhere. And if you want complete and secure access to it, don’t just use anonymizers or proxies that can’t properly ensure your and your money’s safety. In my eyes, Virtual Private Networks are the only way to go here.

I’ve tested many services and listed the best ones – unsurprisingly, NordVPN came out on top yet again. This technology guarantees top-notch protection while opening the doors to many other online venues not necessarily related to poker and gambling.

What’s more, I found they don’t disrupt my daily browsing and even enhance it. I also felt safer entering online betting rooms with all that additional measures meant to keep me totally anonymous – just the way I like it.

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