This paper investigates the joint maximum likelihood (ML) data detection and channel estimation problem for Alamouti space-time block-coded (STBC) orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM) wireless systems. The joint ML estimation and data detection is generally considered a hard combinatorial optimization problem. We propose an efficient low-complexity algorithm based on branch-estimate-bound strategy that renders exact joint ML solution. However, the computational complexity of blind algorithm becomes critical at low signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) as the number of OFDM carriers and constellation size are increased especially in multiple-antenna systems. To overcome this problem, a semi-blind algorithm based on a new framework for reducing the complexity is proposed by relying on subcarrier reordering and decoding the carriers with different levels of confidence using a suitable reliability criterion. In addition, it is shown that by utilizing the inherent structure of Alamouti coding, the estimation performance improvement or the complexity reduction can be achieved. The proposed algorithms can reliably track the wireless Rayleigh fading channel without requiring any channel statistics. Simulation results presented against the perfect coherent detection demonstrate the effectiveness of blind and semi-blind algorithms over frequency-selective channels with different fading characteristics.