A new method is presented for evaluation of error probability for optical fiber communication systems in the presence of intersymbol interference and additive noise. It is based on deriving a best approximation, in a minimax sense, for the cumulative distribution function of the additive noise. The method takes into account the avalanche photodetector's non-Gaussian shot noise statistics. The additive noise is also not constrained to be Gaussian. Examples are presented for comparison to previously published techniques.