“ Brand: Mecca / Type: Bingo hall „
"Mecca, Mecca....Mecca Bingo!"
I first went to Mecca Bingo three years ago. Some of my sister's colleagues had been and said how good it was and so my sister wanted to try it for herself.
For those of you who don't know, Mecca Bingo is a national Bingo company. Today, I will be reviewing 'Mecca Bingo: Wrexham'.
~ * Members Only! * ~
Before you can pop in for a game of bingo, you do need to sign up. Signing up is very easy - simply fill in a 'Mecca Bingo' form and they will then create a card with your name on. Signing up doesn't take much time - we did it just before we were due to play our first game of bingo. We were members within about 10-15 minutes.
~ * Sign In * ~
Once you have your card, you need to 'sign' in with the door people who will sign your card. I like that the fact that the door people are always very friendly; they'll take your card, swipe it and then say 'Welcome back, Donna', they even say 'Happy Birthday' if it is your birthday. You cannot get into the club without a card - you have to sign in.
~ * Buying Your Tickets * ~
Once you have signed in, you can buy your tickets. Simply tell the 'ticket person' how many books you would like. The highest amount that you can have is 6 (where you have all 90 of the bingo numbers), whereas you can also have either a book of 'threes' or 'fours'. Depending on which day or time of day you go, the prices vary. In the week the prices are much cheaper and the weekends are typically more expensive. Although, having said that, sometimes on a weekend you could pay as much as £20 for a book of 6 and other times just £15. So it all depends.
I remember when we first went, we had all 6 books. We had been to our village hall bingo in the past and so thought we could do 6 books. When we got to Mecca, we couldn't keep up with the numbers as they seemed to be going so fast, and we were knew so we didn't know how everything worked. So we were a little bit stressed. Now that we have been a few times, we still have books of threes or fours (because you don't have to think and rush so much), although now we know how everything works, I think we would be ok with the books of 6. So I would definitely recommend getting the smaller books to begin with.
~ * Find A Seat * ~
Mecca Bingo has enough seats for 1000 people. There are lots of different seats to choose from. There are tables of twos, fours as well as big round tables for larger groups which I think is good.
~ * Playing Bingo * ~
I am guessing most people know how to play bingo. Simply listen to the Bingo Caller, and cross off any numbers that they have called off on your book. For each page there will be a 'line' game, a 'two lines' game and a 'full house'. If you have a line, two lines or full house remember to shout 'BINGO!' loud and clear!
~ * Don't Worry * ~
Bingo is fairly easy - there are lots of different books and different games to keep up with, but the staff are very good and will talk you through every step as you go along. You can always ask a question and they will happily answer it for you. Or if they can see that someone hasn't quite sorted out their books and the game has started, they will stop the game for a second so that that person can catch up, which I think is nice.
There is also a big massive screen which has all the numbers that have been called up for each game - so if you have missed a number you can use the board to catch up. It also tells you what the prize for each game is. So this board is very useful in helping you to know what is going on.
Each book is colour coded so that you cannot go wrong. For example the first page may be green and the next blue and the next red. The bingo caller will say 'Right, so now we're on the green page', and so it is very easy not to get lost.
~ * Table Top Games *
There are lots of intervals in between the games which I think is great at it means that you have time to pop to the loo or get another drink etc. If you don't want a break, you can play the table top games while you wait.
The table top games are kind of like 'computerised' games. Each table has a bingo card ( 2 in fact, Board A and Board B). Each game is £1 to play - sometimes they let you have 5 line games for your £1. I like these games as they are quick and easy.
I like these games because you have to press the 'claim' button to win and so it saves the embarrassment (I find) of having to shout all over the place- 'BINGO'.
~ * Prizes * ~
There are some excellent prizes. A lot of the prizes are £100 and go right up to £1000's. As the game goes on the prizes get bigger. It is very hard to win a prize though. When I first started going, I found it much easier to win a prize although I think that a lot of people have 'cottoned' on to the idea of Bingo, and so more players = harder to win a prize.
I have only ever won prizes on the table tops - never on the actual bingo games. The most I have won is £100 which is not bad at all for a night's work of bingo.
I have also won smaller prizes of £20 or less a few times. What I think is sneaky is that they will give you a load of £1 coins in your winnings. WHY? So you put them back into the machines of course!
~ * I WANT SOME CHANGE! * ~
If you are in a middle of a game, but need change for the table tops - you can stay in your seat and still get it. Simply put your hand up with your note (£5, £10, or £20) in your hand, and a member of staff will come and change your note(s) for £1 coins - easy!
~ * Other Bingo Players * ~
The majority of other players are very friendly and very welcoming to new members. Very often, you will see a regular helping out a new member with something.
Some members can be very rude though - especially the elderly - they'll very often push past you and jump in front of you in queue.
Some members take the game very, very seriously - so if you have to talk, talk quietly otherwise you will be told to 'shhh!' by the serious members, if they cannot hear the numbers being called.
~ * Staff * ~
The staff here are brilliant - always very friendly and helpful. They give you such a warm welcome, that you really feel a part of the 'Mecca family'. They really make the experience a happy one. It doesn't matter which member of staff you come across, whether it is the people on the door, the bingo callers, the bar staff or the café staff they are all very friendly. They are always happy to sort out any problems that you may have.
~ * Café * ~
There is a café at Mecca Bingo. There are so many meals to choose from, whether you are feeling very hungry or are just after something to nibble on whilst you play bingo.
Such meals include: Beef Lasagne (£4.29) and Fish and Chips (£3.79). They are very reasonably priced and you get good value for your money too. They also do some great offers such as '2 Meals for £6.49' which I think is great.
Last time we went, my sister and I shared scampi and chips. We were eating it within ten minutes of ordering. It came beautifully presented, in a basket (not on a plate). This was great because it meant that we could pick at it while we were playing Bingo. They also gave us lemon hand wipes to wipe our hands so that we didn't have to play bingo with greasy fingers.
~ * Bar * ~
There is also a bar at Mecca Bingo. I like it because it is in the corner and is had an old fashioned kind of bar. They have all sorts of drinks; I usually have a soft drink such as Cranberry Juice (around 99p) or a pepsi (around £1.10 for a pint). So again, great value for money.
~ * Toilets *
There are plenty of toilets available - one at each end of the room. There is never a queue here which is good. The toilets are always very, very clean which is great.
~ * Smokers * ~
There is a designated smokers area outside of the building which even has table top games for smokers who do not want to miss out on the table top games in the intervals.
Some smokers however, do not stick to the designated smoking area, and all huddle together right by the entrance (which is only small). It annoys me that every time you go in to the building and every time you go out of the building, you have to pass through all the smoke and the smokers who won't get out of the way - it really winds me up.
~ * Extra Points, Tips and Info * ~
There are 220 parking spaces available.
There are 6 disabled tables and 2 disabled toilets. There is also a lift available.
There are 2 cash machines here - and also a machine which will give you change (in £1's) for your notes.
They send you offers through the post (if you ticked the box saying you were happy to receive offers through the post on the form when you signed up). Such offers include £2.50 off your next session. Although a lot of the time the offers are when they tell you - such as 'get a ½ price book on Sunday 9th October' - so you have to go when it tells you otherwise you won't get the offer which is annoying.
You can play as long as you like - whether it is an afternoon session or the evening session. The bingo sessions' last around two hours - with lots of breaks. You also extend your session by having the 'early session' (a game before the main session begins) and the 'late session' (an extra game after the main game has finished).
If you don't want to eat when you are in bingo, there is a great chippy just outside which is great, as it means that you can get some chips to eat on the way home.
I love going to Mecca Bingo - it really is a great way to spend the evening - especially these long Autumn / Winter nights. It is a great way to socialise - you would be surprised at all the different ages of people there. I thought that it would be a lot of 60+ people, but sometimes I think that there are more people in their 20's and 30's than over 60's, which shows that it does not matter what age you are, bingo can be enjoyed by all ages.
What is so great about this club is the fact that it is jut not a place where you can come and play bingo - it is actually a social club where people can go and meet as well as enjoy a game of bingo.
I would definitely recommend a trip to Mecca Bingo Wrexham - I can gurantee that you will have a whale of a time!
Thanks for reading!
Xdonzx / xd-o-n-z-x