The Resident Evil 7 21 DLC is slightly different to the other Banned Volume footage packs, offering a Blackjack-styled mini-game with a sadistic twist.
Facing off against various opponents, you have to get as close to 21 as possible, keeping in mind your opponent's possible cards as well as a range of modifers that can turn your fortunes round on a dime.
As well as a story-driven episode, there is a more arcade-style Survival game, with unlockible rewards that introduce more modifiers.
How do you play and win 21
The aim of the game is essentially the same as Blackjack - you have to draw cards and get as close as you can to 21. If you beat your opponent, who is aiming to do the same, you win that round.
Of course, it's not that easy. One card is obscured from view from your opponent, meaning you have to guess what their score is. However, since there are no doubles - there is only one of each card going up to the maximum, 11 - you can deduce what they could have based on the cards already in play.
There are two twists to be aware of. One are bets - or fingers you can lose - which increase per round depending on who you are facing off against, and the other is Trump cards, which introduce special modifiers which can add the number of bets, add specific numbered cards, remove cards from play and more.
Here are some tips on how to play 21:
- If you've both over 21 or the target number (certain Trump cards can change it to 17 or 24, for example) it's the closest to that number which wins. If you have the same score, it's a draw.
- If you are playing to 21 and have a current score of 10, then you are safe to draw a card no matter what, since the highest you can get is 11. Also remember you can reduce which cards you won't draw based on what's already in play, so if you have 10 and an 11 is already in play for your opponent, then you know that won't be available.
- Using a number Trump card that is no longer in the deck will mean nothing happens. However, it's not a complete waste. If it's not visible on the table, it means it's your opponent's hidden card, informing you of their score.
- The Shield Trump card can be used to block out the bet entirely if you are only betting a single finger - handy if you know you're going to lose.
- Your opponent can and will go bust, so if your calculations look like they have gone over, it might well be the case.
- Some Trump cards only appear in Survival mode, and you'll get familiar with them the more you play.
- You'll also unlock more Trump cards as part of the game's many rewards, which are listed at the end of this article. As with Nightmare DLC, don't expect to reach the end of Survival off the bat, as the more you play, the more advantageous Trump cards you'll unlock, including useful starter Trump cards that give you vastly more options.
- Only a maximum of five Trump cards can be on the table, though you can still play instant effect cards.
- Stack Two-Up (which increases your opponent's bet) as many times as you like to wipe out your opponent.
How to win 21 and beat Desperation in the final round
Playing 21 for the first time is a more story-driven affair, with you pitted against Hoffman against your will. There are three phases - fingers, electrocution and a saw - each with a number of bets that increase per round.
Trump cards are introduced around halfway through, and during the final round of the saw phase - where the bet is high enough that Lucas can lose - he'll cheat and use a Trump card named Desperation, stripping your ability to draw new cards, and increasing the bet to 100, making it the next best hand the winner, alongside Perfect Draw, giving him 21.
How do you win against this? Throughout the saw round, you need to hang on to some Trump cards until this moment, which are the only cards you can play to win. We'd specifically recommend the Love Your Enemy card, which will give your opponent the best possible card. Since this forces Lucas to draw, and he will be on 21, it will tip him over the edge, making you the victor.
Want more help? Our Resident Evil 7 walkthrough and guide provides step-by-step instructions on how to survive the main story, as well as get the Shotgun and Grenade Launcher, while our Antique Coins locations, Mr Everywhere statue locations and File locations lists will help you find every available collectible on Normal and Easy difficulties. We also explain how to get the Dirty Coin item in the game by getting the best Resident Evil 7 demo ending, and for DLC, the full Bedroom solution, get the Daughters True Ending, beat Hoffman at Blackjack in 21 and how to beat Nightmare.
Resident Evil 7 21 DLC Survival rewards
Similar to the Nightmare DLC, each run offers the opportunity to unlock rewards that will benefit you in future playthroughs. There is a mixture of cumulative unlocks - such as defeating opponents and using cards over time - and rewards based on specific actions, such as defeating an opponent despite being bust.
Essentially, the more runs you play and the better you get, the more rewards you earn. Also note that these unlocks only apply to this 21 mode, not the main story.
|Defeat a total of 5 opponents||Got for 24|
|Defeat a total of 15 opponents||Two-Up+|
|Defeat 2 opponents in a row without being tortured once||Shield+|
|Reach 21 a total of 3 times||Starting Trump Card +1|
|Reach 21 at least 3 times in a row||Got for 27|
|Use a total of 10 trump cards||Exchange|
|Win a round having used at least 15 trump cards||Trump Switch+|
|Remove a total of 10 trump cards from the opponents' side||Destroy+|
|Remove a total of 20 trump cards from the opponents' side||Destroy++|
|Defeat an opponent despite being bust||Starting Trump Card +1|
|Complete 'Survival'||Perfect Draw+|
|Complete 'Survival' without being tortured once||Ultimate Draw|
|Complete 'Survival+' without being tortured once||Grand Reward|
|Defeat the elusive Mr. Big Head||Starting Trump Card +1|
|Defeat the elusive Mr. Big Head 2 times||Harvest|