The goal of 21 is to amount your card values as near to 21 as possible without exceeding or 'busting' it. Moreover, you have to beat whatever hand both the dealer and other players have drawn; if they have 20 and you have 19, you lose the hand.
Step 1: Understanding Card Values
Card Values are as follows:
Ace: 1 or 11 (your choice)
2-10: Respectively (2 = 2; 3 = 3; etc.)
Jacks, Queens, and Kings: 10
Step 2: Shuffle and Deal
After shuffling the deck, deal each player, including the dealer, two cards - both face down as shown. Cards should be dealt one at a time to each player, beginning from the dealer's left.
Step 3: Look at Your Cards
After all cards are dealt, all players may look at their two cards.
Add up your cards' total. Here is where the game truly begins.
Step 4: Understanding "Hitting"
"Hitting" is optional but could help you win the hand if your initial deal was a low value (any total value under 12 is completely safe). It is requesting another card from the dealer which is shown by tapping your index and middle finger together on the table when it is your turn.
You may Hit any number of times in one turn. Do this until you are satisfied with your card total or bust.
Step 5: Understanding "Staying"
"Staying" is keeping the hand you've been dealt. It can be done as soon as you are satisfied with your card count. Indicate your desire to stay by doing a single motion wave with the palm of your hand facing down to the table as shown.
Staying is viable above a total count of 11, however you still want to play the odds to attain the highest total under 21.
Step 6: Understanding "Folding"
"Folding" is the act of dropping out of a hand. Whatever bet you've made is automatically forfeited.
You can no longer win the hand after folding. It can be done at any point in a hand prior to showing your cards.
Folding is indicated by simply saying "Fold"
Step 7: Understanding Betting
Betting is not necessary in casual games of 21, but add an extra edge to the game depending on the value of the bet.
There is a minimum bet that all players must buy into in order to participate in a hand. All participants agree upon said minimum.
Bets, as previously mentioned, may be raised. Bets may only be raised on the respective player's turn after they've stayed their hand. In other words, a player cannot stay their hand and raise their bet on the same turn.
If a bet is made, all players at that point must either match that bet, or fold their hands.
Step 8: Rules for Dealer
Dealers do not place bets, nor are required to play minimum.
If the dealer's first two cards total less than 17, they are required to hit until their total is greater than 16.
If initial totals are greater than 16, dealers are required to stay.
Aces are automatically valued at 11 if the dealer's card count equals 17 or higher. Aces are valued at 1 if count is 16 or less.
Step 9: Order of the Game
After all players have seen their cards, the dealer shows his/her first card (1st picture).
Based on this card, players decide to hit or stay their hands.
After each player's first turn, bets may be raised and therefore matched or folded at each player's discretion.
Once all bets are final, the dealer reveals their second card and hits or stays their hand appropriately (in this case the dealer's Ace is valued at 11 because the other card is a 7, making the dealer's total score 18- therefore the dealer stays).
At this point, all other hands are revealed, and a winner or winners is/are determined. Winnings are two for one; for instance: bet 3 pennies get 6 back. Ties with the dealer result in a "break even" where bets return to those who tied, such as in this case where the left player also has 18. The right player only has 17 after hitting their hand, therefore losing their bet.