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Wireless transmission channels experience substantial signal degradation due to irregularities in the propagation path that impact synchronization between two communicating ends. Consequently, differential and noncoherent techniques that require no such synchronization have gained wide popularity. However, the transmitted data are still highly prone to transmission errors and appropriate error-control mechanisms have to be employed. Knowledge of the error statistics becomes crucial when designing these systems. A block-error rate (BLER) characteristic defines the error distribution within data blocks and in this paper, we propose a finite-state Markov chain-based method to evaluate BLERs in slow frequency-nonselective Rayleigh-fading channels for differential phase-shift keying. The methodology is then extended to the cases of faster Rayleigh and sub-Rayleigh fading. The model is verified by means of numerical simulation. The proposed model possesses many advantages of the well-developed Markov theory and may be easily extended to other modulation schemes such as noncoherent frequency shift keying.