To start Club 5
In the previous article, we discussed ways to attract new players. However, teaching brand new players how to play riichi mahjong can be its own headache.
Many players who try to learn the game become frustrated and give up. We think that this may have to do with the teaching method that they were exposed to. Using this knowledge, we at Mahjong Stars wrote our beginner’s guide in a unique order to help ease players into the game.
We also need to develop good teachers. Being a strong player does not necessarily make you a good teacher. Playing and teaching require different skills, and it is possible to learn more about the game by teaching.
That is why our main focus is to have good teachers and an effective teaching method so that new players do not give up on learning how to play. Riichi mahjong is a complicated game with a steep learning curve. By breaking down the first few lessons into simple minigames, new players can learn the game more easily while still having fun.
Do not try to just throw players into a game. It may be more convenient for the other players at the club to say, “Just keep your hand closed and try to riichi”, but that does not help new players learn. The tenacious ones may keep playing and try to learn the game on their own time (and they would likely do that regardless of the teaching method used), but this method just scares away all of the other new players.
By simplifying the initial lessons and easing new players into the game, we hope to retain more of these players. There is a lot to learn, so we recommend keeping teaching sessions for beginners to a length of 2 hours or less. How fast you go through the material would depend on how quickly your new players learn.
Depending on the size of your club, the way you run teaching sessions may vary. If you have plenty of players to keep running normal games, then it should be no problem for someone to run teaching sessions. But if someone teaching means that your club does not have enough players to fill a table, then you will have to make some concessions. We know that you would rather be playing mahjong than teaching it, but new players are necessary if you want your club, and the mahjong community as a whole, to grow.
Of course, our teaching method is not perfect. If anyone has ideas on how to teach new players, please feel free to let us know! We are always looking for ways to improve!