The Reno Chess Club meets Thursday nights at 2850 Wrondel Way with most nights involving one USCF-sanctioned, rated tournament game. Pairings are usually set by 7pm. The time control is typically 30/90, SD/60, so in the worst case, a game may go a little past midnight. Basically, the activities are competition with any didactic occuring in the post-game analysis. There are no formal classes, but some members are generous with offhand instruction while others give paid private lessons.
Reno Chess Club dues are $40 per year, usually expected by the third visit. USCF Membership is strongly encouraged since most of our activities are rated tournament games. USCF membership is $42 per year, $29 if you decline the magazine subscription. There are discounts for seniors and juniors. Tournaments typically cost $5 per month.
On Saturdays from about 10-4, Shopper's Square in Reno at the corner of Virginia and Plumb typically has a half dozen tables set up for passersby to play pickup games against each other for free. The tables are at the west end of the building.
The USCF administers a rating system among all its members. A new unrated player will play his first 25 games in provisional status with his rating simply the total of his opponents' ratings, +400 adjustments for each win, -400 adjustment for each loss, and then averaged over all the number of his opponents. After the 25-game provisional period, the formula is a complicated Glickman modification of the Elo formula. Technical details can be found here.
There's nothing better than actually playing to get better. The post-game analysis, also called the postmortem, is a valuable time to figure out where things went wrong and get pointers as to what kinds of things are hurting your game. Almost all chess players collect more books than they can possibly read. There are now all kinds of free videos on YouTube and free articles at ChessCafe.com. For targeted help, teachers are excellent, but require more monetary investment.