Tips for Playing Online Poker with a VPN
VPNs today offer people a number of accepted and understood benefits. They provide security for people using private networks, increase the anonymity with which one can interact online, and can even speed up performance by blocking ISPs from intentionally slowing down the service.
What many people are ultimately drawn to VPNs for, however, is location masking. By essentially disguising or diverting your IP address, a VPN effectively gives you the ability to use the internet as if you are based in a different location of your choosing. There are multiple possible benefits to this kind of internet use (a common example being able to access streaming services that may only be available in certain locations). But common use of VPNs these days is to access online poker (and some other gaming) platforms.
The simple fact of the matter is that not all poker platforms are accessible in all countries. Furthermore, in some instances, countries restrict access to poker sites — or at least some of the activities on them — entirely. Thus, the appeal of using a VPN is clear. With that said, we do have some important tips for those considering private networks for this specific, popular purpose.
Set Up Your VPN Properly
The process of setting up a VPN for gaming is a simple one, but still one should approach with care and attention to detail. Essentially, you only need to choose a service, download it, create your account and sign in (complete with your subscription if necessary), and connect. But you’ll also want to make sure that you spend some time researching the service you choose, and ensuring that you know how to use location-related services.
The best way to examine a service is to find out whether it has24*7 live support option or not. It is ideal if the service’s official website has a dedicated tutorial for online gaming or a blog post that explains how gamers can use a VPN to access geo-restricted games.
Research Poker Platforms
The biggest mistake you can make if you’re pursuing online poker through a VPN, is to choose a platform at random, or trust the first one you come to. There are virtually innumerable poker sites (and apps) online, and some are more trustworthy, more enjoyable, or simply better than others. If you are going to the trouble of investing in a VPN specifically to play online games, it is important to take the time to sift through options and find a site with a strong reputation that has the features you care most about.
Know Your Game
Learning the rules to poker is pretty straightforward, and is something most of us do at some point while growing up, or perhaps attending college. Understanding how to win at poker, however, is a different matter altogether. It entails understanding your budget and how many hands you want to play at a time, learning which kinds of tables you want to play, understanding how to manage your emotions, and even preparing to accept both wins and losses in the moment. Poker is a complex emotional and mental exercise, and this is all-important to grasp before you start playing competitively online — particularly if you’re betting real money. Ultimately, this is a recommendation to find a cheap and accessible way to practice the game.
Consider Laws in Your Region
As discussed above, the desire to use a VPN to access poker sites is clear and understandable. Many in the world want to be able to play competitive online poker — either for real money or just for fun — and are unable to do so because of regional restrictions. Before turning to a VPN however, it is still important for you to look into the nature of those restrictions.
Ask yourself these questions. Is any and all access to online poker platforms legally prohibited? Are there only certain sites or companies that you aren’t permitted to access? Might you be able to visit foreign or offshore sites to enjoy them so long as you aren’t wagering real money in the process? These are all important questions to ask if this is something you’re considering. Unfortunately, while a VPN will often allow you to get around geo-based restrictions to access poker platforms, it does not make it such that you are free of potential legal issues.
And there is a way to prevent legal issues. Law often interrupts when the government agencies request user data and then monitor the activities of users. This will not happen if you choose a VPN that’s located in a safe jurisdiction like The British Virgin Islands or Panama. The tech companies in these regions act independently in terms of data retention and don’t log user data.
Consider Relevant Currencies
In addition to considering laws, it may also be worth looking into currency options — and specifically the question of whether cryptocurrency gaming may be legal where real-money betting is not. We aren’t saying this will necessarily be the case. But some do see alternative currencies as a sort of grey area when it comes to online gaming. As one piece on the rise of cryptos put it, these currencies are not a “direct liability of the government,” and thus are not typically viewed as legal or official tender. There is a fair question, then, about whether or not governments restricting real-money poker gaming can have a say in crypto gaming as is. It’s something every individual should look into with respect to the region and law at hand.
To sum all of this up, access to online poker platforms is a clear motivating factor for many who are considering VPNs. It makes sense, and a VPN can certainly give you the ability to play at more poker sites. That said, there are legal considerations at hand as well, and everyone exploring the use of a VPN for online poker should do meticulous research on this front before playing games.
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