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Paf is a Finnish gambling company that is best known for operating legal casino activities on cruise ferries that come and go from the Aland Islands of Finland. In addition, the company operates an online casino website (Paf.com), which runs on their own proprietary software but also contains games from a range of other software developers.
Because of this arrangement, Paf takes on a lot of roles, ranging from operator to software provider for their own operations. One of the unusual – but quite positive – aspects of their work is that it is designed to generate funding for a variety of social and humanitarian causes on the Aland Islands, making this essentially a charity gaming operation. For those who have the option of playing at this site, that might be an attractive alternative to privately owned, for-profit casinos that are far more common in the industry.
For the Islands
Ålands Penningautomatförening – better known as Paf – was founded in 1966 in Aland by a coalition of charitable causes, including the Finnish Red Cross and Save the Children. Designed to raise money for these charitable causes and others, the group made a major breakthrough in 1973, when they began to operate gambling activities on ferries and cruise ships that were based out of the islands. Starting in 1999, the company has also expanded to the Internet, running their own online gambling site. Today, the company is licensed and operated by the local government.
Today, the firm operates offices in Helsinki, Stockholm, Madriod, Milan, and Tallinn, and employs people from at least 20 different countries, mainly throughout Europe. Through various acquisitions, the group has been able to serve players not only in parts of Finland, but also in Sweden, Italy, Estonia, and Spain. Perhaps due to their combination of charitable fundraising and a commitment to responsible gaming, this operator has often been lauded for their social practices, even winning the award for the most socially responsible gaming company from eGaming Review in 2014.
Free to Play Paf Slot Machine Games
If you visit the Paf.com online casino, you’ll see a lot of very familiar products from other major software providers, including luminaries like Microgaming and NetEnt. However, the group has also created their own machines, some of which are the same ones you might find on the cruise and land-based operations. In their online site, the games that they have created as specially marked, in order to highlight their own works among the other great products they offer.
In total, there are more than 40 slot machines that have been created by the operator themselves. While they don’t tend to have quite the graphical quality of some of the biggest developers in the business, they do cover a wide range of themes, some of which (unsurprisingly) seem to be directly targeted at the Finnish market.
Others have more universal themes. For instance, there’s King Vegas, a five-reel game with five paylines that comes with three different graphical and musical themes depending on the stakes level you’d prefer to play at. If you like progressive jackpots, you might want to try games in the Cash & Carry series, which feature a shopping theme and a retro vibe that almost feels like it comes out of the 1950s. If you’re looking for something that feels like it truly exemplifies the Nordic roots of this studio, then you can try Alpine Adventure, a nine-line titles that’s all about having fun in the snow, featuring an entertaining bonus game in which you’ll hope to guide a skier all the way to the finish line.
Paf has created a fairly robust collection of classic table games, covering most of what a typical casino gambler might be looking for. As with most iGaming operators, the focus is definitely on blackjack, where there are several different options available. Not only does this mean that different rulesets and side bets are covered, but there are also multi-hand versions and additional tables reserved just for high rollers.
Roulette is another area of focus. The standard version of the game that’s offered is European roulette, with several different table limits offered for players of various budgets. There’s also French roulette, which offers some additional player-friendly options, as well as Roulette Premium, a special game that comes with a mystery progressive jackpot that can be awarded at any time.
While those two games may be the top priorities for Paf, they’ve also created other table game products, including Three Card Poker and Oasis Poker. As usual, their site supplements these with offerings from other developers, meaning gamblers can also try Baccarat, Casino Hold’em, Pai Gow Poker and other popular casino titles.
The Paf library also includes a pretty solid collection of video poker machines. Many of the games included in this area of their online casino are classics, like Jacks or Better and Joker Poker. There’s also a game called 100 Hand Poker, which offers players the chance to play a very large multi-handed version of Jacks or Better.
A few other titles are a bit more original. For instance, HeartBeat Poker adds a bonus mode that is entered when players make a flush, after which they can win extra payouts by holding onto cards of the same suit. Meanwhile, in Mountain Climber, the base game uses the rules of Tens or Better, but comes with a bonus game in which players hope to string together wins in order to “climb the mountain” for a big bonus.
If you visit the Paf website, you’ll see a full range of gaming options that go well beyond the typical casino fare. These include live dealer games, a poker platform, bingo, sports betting, and even some instant win games. Much of this material wasn’t created directly by Paf, however: for instance, their poker room is part of the MPN Network.
Still, there are a few other titles created by this firm that are worth noting. For instance, several keno and bingo-based games come from their developers, and Paf does run its own bingo rooms, which are designed to be as a friendly and social for new players as possible.
Gaming for a Good Cause
Paf is a very different operation when compared to most gambling software creators or operators. Because of their position in local government, and their stated mission to funnel money to charitable causes, gamblers can feel pretty good about playing with this group even when they lose: after all, at worst, their money will be going to people who could really use it. That governmental oversight also adds a layer of security and trust to gaming that many people find reassuring. Combine that with a great selection of games and a reputation for great support and fast, reliable banking, and it’s easy to see why so many people love playing with them – both online and on cruises throughout the Baltic.