Book Chapter

Card Confessions: Digital Forms of Deviance in the Mindsport Bridge



Maclean J, Punch S & Xu M (2023) Card Confessions: Digital Forms of Deviance in the Mindsport Bridge. In: Leisure Studies in a Global Era. Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing, pp. 53-73.

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been several public confessions to cheating from elite-level players in the online version of the card game bridge. Whilst the deviance of cheating is a perennial issue in the world of elite sports, little is known about how bridge compares as a mindsport. A Foucauldian theoretical lens examines the case of a young world champion who publicly confessed to self-kibitzing. Kibitzing is a bridge term for spectating, whereas self-kibitzing is when a player logs onto another account to look at their partner’s and opponents’ hands when playing in digital bridge tournaments. The confession is an entry point into the analysis, followed by thematically unravelling over 1500 public responses from members of the bridge community. The findings illustrate how confessions are used as a form of penance for the deviance of self-kibitzing. The confessionary sociological lens paves the way for a rebirth in bridge.

Digital bridge; Self-kibitzing; Confession; Foucault; Mindsport

Title of series Leisure Studies in a Global Era
Publication date31/12/2023
Publication date online30/04/2023
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Place of publicationCham, Switzerland

People (2)


Dr Jordan Maclean

Dr Jordan Maclean

Research Assistant, Sociology, Social Policy & Criminology

Professor Samantha Punch

Professor Samantha Punch

Professor, Sociology, Social Policy & Criminology