Games Galore

By Helena Touhey

From scrabble to mahjong, local game groups abound

We were inspired this summer by gatherings of mahjong players at La Forge Casino Restaurant, where some of our staff learned how to play this game for the first time, and others perfected their skills. Mahjong on the porch will continue into the off season at La Forge (186 Bellevue Ave., Newport).We’ve rounded up a selection of game groups that convene around Newport County all year long, often from our local libraries and community centers, where people of all levels of play are welcome to join.


The Viking Bridge Club meets at the Common Fence Point Community Center in Portsmouth on Tuesdays from 12:15-3:30 p.m. and Fridays from noon-3:15 p.m. for bridge, a card game classic.
Common Fence Point Community Center, 933 Anthony Road, Portsmouth, 401-375-2090


Head over to the Newport Public Library twice a month, where librarian and chess enthusiast Sean Doherty leads the Chess Club. Those just starting out as well as more advanced players are welcome (for players aged 16 and older). The club meets on the first and third Tuesday of each month from 3-4 p.m. Drop-ins welcome, registration not required.
Newport Public Library, 300 Spring St., Newport, 401-847-8720

And on Wednesdays and Saturdays every month, head to the Rogers Free Library in Bristol. “We like a competitive match, but we are not too serious!” reads the event blurb on the library’s website. Wednesdays are for anybody who loves a good game of chess, and Saturdays are geared towards intermediate and advanced players, but all are welcome any day: “We take it seriously, but we have fun! If you love the game, this is the place to be.” Chess Club convenes on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 2 p.m.
Rogers Free Library, 525 Hope St., Bristol, 401-253-6948


At the Portsmouth library, join experienced cribbage players Carol and Jackie and play with newcomers and more experienced players alike. Cribbage boards and cards are provided. As the event description reminds: this card game uses strategy and decision-making abilities and has roots dating back to the 1600s. Registration is not required. Group meets Mondays from 1-3 p.m.
Portsmouth Free Public Library, 2658 East Main Road, Portsmouth, 401-683-9457


For mahjong off Aquidneck Island, head to Jamestown, where players convene twice a week: Mondays from 4:30-6:45 at St. Matthew’s Church (87 Narragansett Ave., Jamestown) and Tuesdays from 4:30-6:45 p.m. at Jamestown Senior Center (6 West St., Jamestown). The group follows the National Mah Jongg League rules, and players must have their own official standard hands card. For details, call 401-423-7280 or email to sign up.
Jamestown Philomenian Library, 401-423-7280


Last but certainly not least: for a classic game of scrabble, Newport library has you covered. A staff member joins participants in play on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month from 3-5 p.m. Players aged 18 and older are welcome, as are drop-ins. The group meets in the Maker Lab.
Newport Public Library, 300 Spring St., Newport, 401-847-8720