A while ago I posted a question from our dear friend Donna in Central California, asking how to integrate newer players into the group so that everyone is happy and no one complains. Many of you sent in your ideas – Donna was very appreciative and took your responses to heart. I love what she ended up doing and I hope some of you will try this wonderful way to integrate new players.

Here is what Donna had to say: 

Here’s what we did yesterday.  When people arrived I announced that if you would like to be a “Mah Jongg Mentor” and perhaps play a bit slower in order to help out the newer players, please sit on the left side of the room. If this wasn’t what you wanted to do, please sit on the right side of the room. There were plenty of tables on both sides. I had enough experienced players volunteer on the left side of the room.  I assigned a newer player to each table on the left side of the room and asked them not to rotate from the table and just let the experienced players rotate. That worked out fine. In fact, some of the players on the right side ended up playing on the left side and I didn’t hear any grumbling at all. I think we will continue this way and those wanting to play very competitively and quickly can just stay on the right side.
All of the suggestions posted to your wonderful column were terrific and I’m sure helped others too.
BettySue mentioned the cute little prizes that she uses. I bought a box of assorted tiles and made them into either magnets or key chains by having a hole drilled through them and use them for prizes. They are very appreciated. 
Here’s a photo of the key chains, magnets, tile coasters (very easy to make), and mug mag I have made for prizes.
BTW, stayed tuned…on the 30th – tomorrow! – I will be posting a gift for all of us!


  1. Lucy

    Donna mentioned buying loose tiles. Can you tell me where I can buy loose assorted tiles?

    Lucy Santiago



    1. Mah Jongg and Me Post author

      Hi Lucy – loose orphan tiles seem to be everywhere – flea markets, antique stores, eBay, Etsy…just keep looking and you will start to see them everywhere!


  2. Betty Sue Minor

    Great ideas, we all love to win “something”. We give a first to mahj gift at each table when we play 3 rounds and then overall high point prizes too plus many times we give a dollar to the DAL (dead assed last) lowest score. Then some groups just play and give no prizes. It all works.


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