The Ising model with three alternative layers on the honeycomb and square lattices is studied by using the effective-field theory with correlations. We consider that the nearest-neighbor spins of each layer are coupled ferromagnetically and the adjacent spins of the nearest-neighbor layers are coupled either ferromagnetically or anti-ferromagnetically depending on the sign of the bilinear exchange interactions. We investigate the thermal variations of the magnetizations and present the phase diagrams. The phase diagrams contain the paramagnetic, ferromagnetic and anti-ferromagnetic phases, and the system also exhibits a tricritical behavior. (C) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.