Online poker VPN: The grinder’s guide
Using a VPN when playing online poker is a simple, cost-effective way of keeping yourself well protected while grinding—and it comes with a myriad of other benefits that are +EV to your online life.Get ExpressVPN
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How a VPN encrypts your poker sessions
As an online poker player, you’re constantly sending your bankroll and personal information across the internet. Safeguarding your funds and identity is critical. A VPN offers security, serving as an encrypted tunnel between your computer and the internet.
Anyone who regularly uses a computer on an unsecured Wi-Fi network—for example, while traveling the live poker tournament circuit—could be a victim of hackers who can use programs such as packet sniffers to intercept data en masse.
VPNs provide an extra layer of security by tunneling all of the internet traffic flowing between online poker sites and your computer through a private and secure connection.
ExpressVPN also doesn’t keep any logs of your internet data, so you can play and grind with added anonymity from anywhere in the world.
The importance of security for online poker players
In the past, hackers have targeted popular poker forums, using leaked passwords to access high-profile accounts and defraud others.
One slip of a login password to an inquisitive hacker may be the death knell for your poker reputation. This is important because reputation dictates who will send money first in a trade, determines a player’s ability to join communities of high-stakes grinders, and influences the decisions of potential stakers when games are above the player’s bankroll.
Don’t make the mistake of exposing yourself to this enormous risk.
FAQ: Playing online poker with a VPN
Terms and conditions of poker sites disallow the use of VPNs for the purpose of grinding while in a restricted country, but the sites have no issues with regular grinders taking advantage of the vital security benefit provided by another layer of encryption.
Besides the security benefits, VPNs offer a selection of server locations to connect to, making it easy to change location with the click of a button. Location spoofing gives players added anonymity and security.
Some players use a VPN to access poker sites restricted by location. For example, prominent poker sites such as PokerStars, 888 Poker, Party Poker, and iPoker do not allow play from within the U.S., while U.S. sites like Bovada and Ignition Casino prohibit play outside of the U.S. Some users might try to gain an edge by joining games that are, for regulatory reasons, limited to players from a specific country; these games often have weaker players.
However, ExpressVPN is not intended to be used as a means of accessing poker sites in banned countries or gaining an advantage on the table, as it is against the rules of most poker sites.
When a player is in a new location, even if it’s not a banned country, poker sites may temporarily freeze your account and request an ID scan or phone call to verify it’s you operating your account. A secure VPN takes away the need to inform poker sites in advance that you’ll be traveling, preventing the inconvenience of losing time at the tables.