Can I Use a VPN to Play Online Poker? Here’s What You Need to Know
Online poker is one of the most favorite forms of entertainment for gambling enthusiasts around the world. But if you’re into this trending card game, you probably know it’s quite challenging to access online casinos and play poker in many parts of the globe. So, when traveling to another country, you may fail to enter your 888Poker or PokerStars account due to geographical limitations or local regulations. And that’s where a reliable virtual private network (VPN) comes to your rescue. Keep reading to learn why you should use a VPN to play online poker without a worry in the world.
Main challenges of playing online poker
Online poker rooms have made the game available to billions of users worldwide. From a niche industry serving gambling fans in the early 90s, it snowballed into a global trend fueled by the availability of new technologies. CMI reports that this market is expected to grow from 76 to as much as 170 billion between 2021 and 2030. Moreover, according to the latest surveys, the approximate number of online poker players has increased by over 60 million in the US alone. Moreover, thanks to convenient mobile apps, users can join the game through their smartphones or tablets from anywhere in the world.. Well, almost anywhere.
Unluckily, some poker apps and websites are unavailable in particular countries. So let’s take a closer look at this and other potential challenges for online poker fans.
Like many other gambling activities, online poker is partly or completely prohibited in some parts of the world. The reasons for such bans vary from strict Internet censorship with a religious or moral background (UAE, Iran) and generally low level of Internet freedom (China, North Korea) to the lack of federal-level gambling regulations (the US, Australia).
Here’s a brief overview of online poker availability depending on local laws in different regions.
Many European countries, including France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Poland, have their own licensing systems controlling users’ access to online gambling platforms. However, in most parts of Europe, including the UK, Germany, and Scandinavia, it’s pretty easy to play online poker on the most popular sites like GGPoker, PokerStars, and 888Poker.
In Asia, gambling regulations are much stricter compared to Europe. Many countries, including China, UAE, Iran, Pakistan, Bangladesh, North Korea, and more, completely banned online poker. Also, there are many “gray markets” where gambling is not transparently regulated. For example, in India, the legitimacy of online poker varies depending on the state. In the Philippines and Indonesia, it’s allowed to play poker on foreign sites, while the local providers are illegal.
In most LATAM countries, online gambling is either legal (Colombia, Costa Rica, Paraguay, Uruguay) or not clearly regulated (Mexico, Brazil). In Argentina, the regulations are province-based.
The US and Canada
Due to the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), it’s illegal for US-based operators to process payments of American citizens. However, it doesn’t prohibit the game itself. Moreover, online poker is currently legalized in six states across the US – Nevada, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Michigan. As for Canada, it doesn’t have any clear federal-based laws restricting online gambling.
Due to Australian laws, online casinos can’t offer its users to play online poker for real money. However, it’s not a crime to gamble in this country.
Most African countries, including South Africa, don’t have ultimate laws forbidding online poker. However, gambling is partly illegal in Nigeria and Egypt.
Apart from legal issues, online poker rooms may turn out to be unavailable in particular countries or states due to geoblocking. This technique prevents users from accessing certain services depending on their physical location. Normally, content is geo-blocked due to licensing and copyright agreements. In particular, some streaming services, such as Hulu, Disney Plus, and HBO Max, don’t work in many countries (for example, Hulu is only available in the US).
However, when it comes to online casinos, the reasons for geoblocking are mostly related to local laws and regulations described above. For example, some American gambling sites are available across many countries worldwide – but not in the US. So, when visiting this country, you may be unable to participate in poker tournaments on the beloved platforms.
If you’re not new to online poker, you probably know that a high Internet speed is essential for a seamless gambling experience. Therefore, frustrating lags and network limitations are other common challenges you may need to address. Here are the most widespread reasons for a poor-quality Internet connection:
- Network congestion. When a large number of users are connected to the same network nodes or links, they may cause a traffic overload. It results in poorer performance of the service and slower connection.
- Internet throttling. Your Internet service provider (ISP) may “throttle” your connection when you’re busy with traffic-intensive Internet activities like online gaming or streaming media. For more information, check out our recent article on how to find out whether you’re being throttled by your ISP.
As you see, there are quite many pitfalls that may spoil the fun of playing online poker. Now, let’s see whether you can overcome those challenges with a VPN.
Why use a VPN to play online poker
A VPN is a powerful tool that changes your virtual location and encrypts your Internet traffic, allowing you to browse the web more freely and securely. Here are the most compelling reasons to turn to this solution when playing online poker.
To access poker rooms when traveling
If you’re temporarily visiting a country where your favorite gambling website or platform is geo-blocked, a VPN will help you get around those limitations. It alters your IP address and spoofs your virtual location, so the online services you’re using can’t detect where you actually are. All you have to do is pick a VPN server located in your home country and enter your favorite casino trouble-free.
To protect your connection from DDoS attacks and scams
Except for being hard to access, online poker websites are often targeted by cybercriminals. Malicious actors may conduct distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks to slow down or even hack a gambling website. As a result, you risk losing your money due to a sudden lag. Moreover, hackers may compromise your personal data and demand a ransom from you or break into your personal account to steal your funds.
And again, a VPN can save the day here. A powerful online security feature like VeePN’s NetGuard is an effective measure against hacks, public network threats, phishing scams, and more.
To avoid Internet throttling
Remember that your ISP can limit your connection speed and bandwidth by applying Internet throttling? That’s another good reason to use a VPN when playing online poker. Such a tool creates a secure tunnel to encrypt your data. Consequently, no third party, including your Internet provider, can see what you’re up to online. And without knowing whether you’re gambling, streaming a movie, or playing an online game, your ISP will have no reason to decrease your Internet speed.
Apparently, a virtual private network is a great way to access your favorite poker rooms and enjoy a secure gambling experience. But unfortunately, not all websites warmly embrace VPN usage.
Which websites allow using a VPN to play online poker?
Some gambling companies try to detect those accessing their websites with a VPN or proxy and may even ban them. That’s why before using such a tool to play online poker, make sure to study the service’s Terms and Conditions and learn whether there are any strict rules in this regard. Here, we will mention the most popular poker rooms’ attitudes to VPNs (at least at the time this article is written).
Allowed. The following online casinos are generally favorable to using VPNs (some even strongly encourage users to adopt such a tool when playing). However, they may ask you to contact the platform’s tech support and explain why you want to enter with your VPN turned on.
- Red Star Poker
Uncertain. These platforms have a rather vague position regarding VPNs. Most of them don’t recommend using such tools (but also don’t mention any strict measures against VPNs in their Terms and Conditions).
- Chico Poker Network (TigerGaming, BetOnline, SportsBetting)
Not allowed. The following services claim that using VPNs is prohibited on their websites and may lead to a temporary block or even a permanent ban of your account.
- Winning Poker Network (PokerKing, Black Chip Poker, Americas Cardroom)
Note that VeePN doesn’t encourage using a VPN in any way that would potentially violate the Terms of Service of other platforms. For more details, please read the VeePN Terms of Service.
How to choose a VPN for online poker
Here is how to pick the best VPN for poker and other online gambling activities.
- Credibility. Free VPNs are often slow, inefficient, and sometimes even dangerous. A fake service may collect your data and sell it to third parties. So it’s critical to choose a VPN provider that follows a strict No Logs policy.
- Server network size. A VPN with an extensive network of servers lets you easily pick a virtual location that suits your needs best. Besides, services offering more than 2,000 servers normally work faster and are more efficient against potential DDoS attacks.
- Connection speed. As mentioned above, high speeds matter if you strive for a seamless gambling experience. Although all VPNs slightly reduce your connection due to traffic encryption, the difference isn’t significant with reliable services like VeePN.
- Privacy and security features. If your VPN connection suddenly fails, you may accidentally expose your private data, such as your IP and location. That’s why you should choose a VPN that offers the Kill Switch feature, which prevents your personal information from leaking by shutting down your Internet connection. Besides, pay attention to the provided encryption standard that hides your online communications from nosy third parties (AES-256 is the most reliable solution to date).
- Money-back guarantee. Thanks to this feature, you can safeguard yourself and save your money if the chosen VPN doesn’t suit you.
Once you’ve chosen a perfect service for your gambling activities, it’s time to set it up on your device. Here’s how to get started with VeePN.
How to play online poker with a VPN
- Select a VeePN pricing plan and sign up.
- Download and install the VeePN app. The service is compatible with multiple devices and operating systems, including Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android.
- Open the VeePN app on your device.
- Choose the desired server location.
- Make sure to switch on the Kill Switch feature to protect your private data.
- Turn your VPN on.
- You’re all set! Enter the desired poker room and enjoy the game.
If you still can’t access the preferred online gaming platform, take the following steps:
- Clear your browsing history, cache, and other data.
- Restart your device.
- Change your VPN tunneling protocol in VeePN settings.
- Switch to another VPN server.
Access and enjoy online poker with VeePN
If you need an effective, reliable, and intuitive solution to access and securely play your preferred online poker website, try VeePN. It’s a reputable VPN service provider with multiple top-tier privacy and security features. VeePN will protect your gambling experience and help you enter your preferred poker room even when traveling abroad. You can select any of over 2,500 servers across 89 locations in 60 countries. Besides, VeePN subscription covers up to 10 simultaneous connections, so you can protect your smartphone, tablet, laptop, and other devices.
Download VeePN now and get the most out of the online poker world.
FAQ: Can I Use a VPN to Play Online Poker?
How to use a VPN to play online poker?
To play online poker with a VPN, follow these simple steps:
- Select a reputable VPN service provider like VeePN.
- Choose a pricing plan for your needs and sign up.
- Download and install the VeePN app on your device.
- Choose the desired VPN server location.
- Turn on your VPN and enter the desired poker website.
For more details, read this article.
Is it illegal to play poker with a VPN?
In general, it’s perfectly legal to play online poker with a VPN in most parts of the world. In particular, you can use it when traveling to countries where online gambling services’ availability is limited. But note that some online poker services may block users who play poker with a VPN turned on due to their particular Terms of Service. Read this article to learn more.
Can PokerStars detect a VPN?
There is a chance that PokerStars or another online poker room will notice that you’re using a VPN. Online services may spot it by analyzing the IP address of a VPN server you’re connected to. However, many online casinos have nothing against VPN usage. Check out this article to learn more.
Can you use a VPN for PartyPoker?
All in all, you can use a virtual private network on PartyPoker. However, you should carefully study the platform’s rules before entering it with a VPN turned on. Note that VeePN doesn’t encourage using a VPN in any way that would potentially violate the Terms of Service of other platforms.
Can you play online poker in Australia with a VPN?
Yes, you can play online poker in Australia using a VPN. Australian laws don’t prohibit either the use of VPNs or online gambling. But note that the local services don’t offer any gambling activities for real money. So when traveling to Australia, you may need to use a VPN to access your favorite poker room that may be geo-blocked in this country.