set of 300 chips is the absolute minimum for a home
game, and that will become stretched with more than
four players. Much better is a 500-chip set, which
will be fine for up to eight players at most fixed-limits.
But the important thing about a set of poker chips
is not so much their total number as it is the proper
ratio of colors. Specifically you need many more of
one color than of the others, because one chip will
always end up being the "primary" chip used
in a game. If you wanted to, you could purchase a
set of 500 chips of one color, set their value to
the smallest amount needed for the game (usually the
small blind or bring-in amount), and have a good time.
Indeed, your chip set doesn't have to contain every
color in the rainbow. But a few different denominations
are worthwhile because they give you the ability to
keep chip values at "natural" numbers-such
as 25t~, $l, and $5-across different limits. Four
colors in the correct ratio will give you enough flexibility
to handle an}- game, including tournaments, smoothly.
Any colors beyond that are just eye candy.