There are two basic ways to handle chips, having them or not.
One way stacks nicely and fit in a sleek holder. The other way requires you to visit the bank on a regular basis and make change.
I would suggest getting a nice set of chips and a holder for them. It might seem like a bit of an expense but the amount of fun and play you get out of them is well worth it.
There is a down side to chips, and that is also the reason they are good, and that is because they are not real money. Players have less of a problem throwing chips into the pot than they do have throwing real money, but when it comes time to cash in, if there is a problem, you as the host have a problem.
Honest players in poker is a bit of an oxymoron but you want players you can trust outside of the actual poker arena.
A few years back I had this one mook was a friend of one of my regular players and the first time he played with us he counted up his chips and added $10 to the total in cashing out. At that time I generally took your word for it (friendly game and all). So I ended up being light $10. The next time he played I paid particular attention to his chip stack when he cashed out, and he tried the same trick, quickly getting flustered when I called him on it.
Needless to say, this joker was never invited back.
Denominations of Chips
After playing for a while, you loose the gitty feeling you get in counting out all the chips and you want to get it done as quickly as possible to open up the night for more poker
What I've found is that Chip Trays hold 20 standard chips in each of the 5 slots and it makes counting out and transporting chips easier. You can get them for as little as $2 each, and well worth it.
For chips I use 20 whites, 20 reds and 5 blacks. This adds out to $20 worth of chips at Whites (20x.25= $5) + Reds (20x.50 = $10) + Blacks (20x$1 = $5)
So if you plan for 10 players that's 200 whites, 200 reds and 50 blacks total. You are shooting for 8 players, and the extra 2 sets allow your players to buy back in when their chips are gone easily.
The 500 Poker Chip Sets usually don't have have the denominations set up like that but some places let you pick the colors and denominations in your rack, which I personally like.
My reccomendation is to pick up a 500 Chip Setand suppliment it with some more red and white using a couple 50 Chip tubes.
Then what I like to do is set up my chips in rows for playing with 20 whites, 20 reds and 5 blacks, removing all the other chips. This gives you 10 sets of chips that are ready to go.
Having extra chips is always a bonus for the nights you end up having a tournament with more than 10 players.
With that same chip set, just add a sleave of yellow , cut the whites and reds in half and you have a tournament set of chips of 1s (white x10), 5s (red x10), 100s (black x5), and 500 (yellow x2) that can host a 20 player tourney.
Don't get amounts printed on your chips! Just because the white chips might be worth a nickel today doesn't mean they won't be worth a quarter tomorrow.
I've outlined a few of your chip options below
Go to the bank with $100 and get 50 singles and $50 of quarters. This will feed 5 people at a $20 buy in. ($10 in change and $10 in bills). People can add their own money if they want.
This will keep betting down and fuses short. Nobody likes to lose REAL money.
Chip sets have come down in price and are available in lots of placed now, so there is no real need to go for the plastic texas holdem set anymore. Spend under $50 and you can get a nice set of 300, 500 or 1000 chips.
Here are some nice chips to choose from: